Champassak (Pakse) General information The province of Champasak is home to one of Asia’s great, but least visited temples, Wat Phu. Pakse, which means the “mouth of the river” is currently a busy trading town. The old capital in southern Laos is situated where the Mekong and Xe Don rivers meet. The province also encompasses much of the Bolaven Plateau, home to a number of ethnic minorities. Pakse has a number of comfortable places to rest and is an excellent starting point to explore the surrounding area. The town has one of the largest markets in the region. Within Pakse is the Champassak Museum with relics from Wat Phu as well as from the Bolaven Plateau. The freshwater dolphins living in the Mekong are believed to have saved the lives of both locals and travelers who have faced difficulties in staying afloat while facing the tough river currents. They are known as Irrawaddy Dolphins and can sometimes be seen off the southern tip of Don Khon. The best time to view the dolphins is in the early morning or late afternoon and can be reached by chartering a boat from the beach at Kong Ngay. Weather Summary This city has a tropical climate; the summer months experience more rainfall than the winter months. In April the temperatures are at their highest, averaging 29.7°C (85.5°F) and at their lowest in January, averaging 24.2°C (75.6°F). The average annual temperature is 26.9°C (80.4°F) and the average annual rainfall is 2108 mm. January sees the least amount of rainfall, with an average of zero precipitation and July sees the most, with an average of 550 mm of rainfall. In general, the higher you are, the more rain you get, and the towns along the Mekong River south of Vientiane get the least rain.