Located in the western province, Savannakhet is a city in southern Laos that is located alongside the Mekong River. With a population of 120,000 people, this is the second largest city in Laos in terms of numbers. It is a very important hub for both countries like Thailand in the West as well as for Vietnam in the East. It also is an important commerce hub for the city of Vientiane in northern Laos and Pakxe in the South.
What makes the city of Savannakhet quite a bit different from other tourist locations you would find in the country is the fact that it can be significantly cooler here then you would find in other areas. In fact, the average temperature of the city is less than 70°F, with its warmest months being May and June. You will still find that there is significant amount of rainfall each year, reaching as much as 58 inches or more in one single year. The rainiest month is August which averages nearly 14 inches.
Getting to Savannakhet —> BOOK FLIGHT
This city has a great international airport that services several different airlines from the region. You also can gain access to other cities in Laos through the airport.
There is only one country where you can gain direct access to the city by boss, and that is from Thailand. Since the Second Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge opened in 2007, this is become an easy passageway for people to get to Savannakhet by bus. The cost is just a few dollars.
What to See in Savannakhet
There are many great spots to visit in and around the city. One place that is especially great for kids is the Dinosaur Museum. You will find several exhibits of dinosaur fossils as well as random dinosaur bones from many different types of these reptiles. There are great tours that will show you and explain to you about the discoveries, and you can even watch scientists cleaning the skeletons to maintain them.
Like many places in Laos, this was once an area dominated by the French. This means that you will find many old French colonial buildings in the central heart of the city. The Catholic Church that is located there is a true wonder and has continued to be maintained by the government.
Like you will find in many cities in the country, there are spectacular temples dedicated to Buddha in Savannakhet as well. The Wat Xayaphoum is the greatest of these. This Temple dates back over 500 years, it is now serving as both a temple and a high school for students attempting to become monks. You will find that the Lao New Year’s celebration at this Temple is really something to behold.
The That Phon Festival is three days and three nights of an experience you truly have to see to enjoy. This festival is held on the first full moon in February and is celebrated with gifts, sports events, dancing, songs and many other events. Held at the sacred stupa in Phon Village, this is an event you will truly enjoy.
There is also a fabulous boat racing festival that occurs each year in the city this occurs at the same time that a temple parade occurs making the event a fully enjoyable one for everyone. This is usually held in mid-October.