Savannakhet is a large culturally diverse country town in Laos stretching along the Mekong River. It has some beautiful French colonial buildings and is an important trading hub between Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. Savannakhet historically served as a key transit and trading post and is now the largest town in Southern Laos. The best things to do are wander along the waterfront and check out the fossil collection at the odd but fascinating Dinosaur Museum, then settle in a nice riverside restaurant for dinner.
Vibe: A sleepy town, great for relaxing by the riverside.
Known for: the birthplace of the Honorable Kaisone Phomvihan, the first Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and co-founder of the Lao PDR was. Savannakhet is also known for its weaving – especially Phouthai Silk, cotton and ethnic Katang weaving.
Must do: check out the night market and St Teresa church.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Wat Ing Hang
A beautifully carved Buddhist holy temple built in the 16th century to honour Buddha’s visit to the area. The tower is approximately 9 metres tall and it is said to house one of Buddha’s bones making it the second-holiest religious monuments in Southern Laos
This odd little museum is home to some of the 110-million-year-old dinosaur fossils which were believed to be dug up in a village in the 1930s. Some say it's not worth the visit, but it's very cheap, so why not find out for yourself.
St Teresa church
A pretty Roman Catholic Church that you might not expect to find in Southern Laos.
EATING AND DRINKING
Grab some tasty and authentic Lao cuisine at a local restaurant called Orra, they have some western options on the menu too.
The Night Bazaar is a great place to get delicious street food and a few beers.
WHERE STRAY STAYS
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Clean and comfortable rooms make for a relaxing stay at Avalon Residence. Great location near a bus stop and a local supermarket, cafes and restaurants. You can even take a nice stroll down the serene Mekong River and watch the beautiful sunset.
Facilities: Free WiFi, 24-hour front desk, airport shuttle, luggage storage, coffee shop, restaurant, onsite ATM/cash machine.