Explore Wat Phou Temple

Wat Phou is often overlooked in favour of the more famous Angkor in Cambodia, but is of one of Southeast Asia's most dramatically situated temples. The fascinating pre-Angkorian ruins of Wat Phou near Champasak were founded in the first decades of the 9th century by Jayavarman II, the first king of an independent Khmer nation, and served for some time as the Khmer capital. Wat Phou is often compared to Angkor, not only because it was built in the same style but because it too was lost to the jungle for centuries. Whilst the structures themselves are thrilling, it is the jungle overgrowth that creates the atmosphere. The Wat stood unused for centuries because it is a Hindu temple in what became a devoutly Buddhist land. Those who climb the steep stairs to the sanctuary at the top of the mountain will be rewarded with a stunning view over the Mekong and its plains. A picnic breakfast in the temple grounds can be arranged for any Early Birds who wish to be rewarded with the stunning sunrise view in the almost deserted temple.

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