Continue from Laos Memory Lane: Luang Prabang. The accent in this region of Laos is very close to my own accent, Tai Tai. But I think the local can pickup that we’re not from the Pakse area. My family were from Muang Kao, right across the Mekong River from Pakse. We spent the last part of our trip in Pakse running errands and visiting with relatives.
Southern Laos is known for its beautiful waterfalls. This is a video by by Rafael Amador which I have posted before. The most beautiful waterfalls is at Khone Papen, then Tad Fane, Tad Lo (elephant), and in the end of the video is Tad Sua.
We visited Tad Yuang, a post from my trip.
Also Tad E-Tou waterfalls, a post from my trip.
I wanted to visit a coffee plantation in Paksong but time was not on our side. If you’re in the area and have the time, check out this place, Paksong.info, the owner was kind enough to send me some photos to post for my Paksong Lao Coffee post.
I also want to visit Wat Phu but I was told that the only way to get there is by a ferry and there is a cut off time to come back. If we were to miss the ferry, then we would have to spend the night there. We didn’t have that much time and couldn’t take the chance so we didn’t get to visit. What is so fascinating to me about Wat Phu is the story that I’ve heard over the years, it’s the legend of the human sacrifice. I want to see this for myself.
Wat Phu is a ruined temple complex in Champasak, southern Laos. It is known for its Boun, also know as Wat Phu Festival and usually takes place on the full moon of the third lunar month (usually in early February for 3 days). Pilgrims from near and far come for Boun Wat Phu, and the festivities include elephant races, water buffalo & cock fighting, boxing, music and dances. Wat Phu was designated a World Heritage Site in 2001.
I think there is definitely a legend of human sacrifice at Wat Phu Champasak, but there are different versions out there, and the one known to the locals which was a story about Wat Phu and how the pond or the lake would take one life per year and no more.
After looking more into this, it appears that there is another version, at the top of the temple site are a number of carved rocks, resembling a crocodile, a naga (cobra), and an elephant. It is believed that these rocks were used for human sacrifice.
The crocodile stone however has acquired some notoriety as being possibly the site of an annual human sacrifice. It has been suggested that this crocodile stone was used during the Chenla period (6th to 8th century) to make human sacrifice (you understand better the deep holes in the stone that would be filled with blood). However, this was never scientifically proved (source.)
I think both legends are interesting, I’m wondering if there are more out there. If you do get to visit Wat Phu, do look for these stones.
We also visited Talat Dao Heuang Pakse new market, a post from my trip.
I hope you have a safe trip and don’t forget to take lots of photos to share. Bon voyage! 🙂