Wat Phu

Wat Phu - UNESCO World Heritage

Spread over the lower slopes of Phu Pasak (also known more colloquially as Phu Khuai), Wat Phu is smallcompared with the monumental Angkor-era sites in Cambodia or Thailand.

Wat PhuWat Phu : View over the reservoirs and palace ruins from the upper level

But the tumbledown pavilions, ornate shiva-lingam sanctuary, enigmatic crocodile stone and tall trees that shroud much of the site in soothing shade give Wat Phu a mystical atmosphere.

Khmer wallsKhmer walls : Walls of the ruined palace buldings at Wat Phu champassak

Vat Phu (who means mountain temple) is one of Southeast Asia ’s best examples of both early and classic Khmer architecture dating from the VIIe th to XIIe th centuries. This UNESCO World Heritage Site includes the ancient city of Shestrapura and many little known but interesting archeological sites along the banks of the Mekong River . There are also many fine examples of traditional Lao homes and buildings from the colonial period. If you are in Champasack during February, don’t miss the Vat Phou Festival.

Khmer doorway Khmer doorwayKhmer doorway : Doorway of a ruined palace, Wat Phu champassak

The temple is stunning, and very remote, with superb views of the Mekong valley. At the top of the temple site are a number of carved rocks, resembling a crocodile, a naga and an elephant. It is believed that these rocks were used for human sacrifice.

 
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