Vat Phou Ruins

Vat Phou Ruins


The Vat Phou ( Wat Phu ) ruins are eight kilometres away from Champassak township (where the boat will be waiting for you) and are reached by tuktuk taking around 30 minutes. The Vat Phou ruins are at the base of a curiously shaped 1416 metre mountain which has a flat narrow peak and steep forested sides. On the summit of the mountain is a 15 metre high monolith, which is the main reason for the site of the temple as this is a natural lingam or symbol of the Hindu god Shiva. Carved representations of the female sex organs, called yoni, can also be found.

Built between the 6th to 12th centuries, Vatphou ( Wat Phu ) is a pre-Khmer ruin. The Chenla Empire, a great civilisation stretching south into Cambodia, north and west into northern Thailand and as far as Burma was responsible for the building of the original temple in this site. Nothing remains of the once great city of the Chenla Empire, since all but religious sites were built of wood.


Between the 11th and 12th centuries, the Khmer architects restored and rebuilt many sections of the temples and it now has many features characteristic of the ruins at Angkor – stone causeways, decorative lintels and many carvings.  These days the Vat-Phou temple complex is slowly being repaired and restored through the UNESCO World Heritage project.

Vat Phou was built as a Hindu temple but is now used for worship by Theravada Buddhists.

Our Vat Phou Mekong cruise spends around 2 hours walking around the various temples and ruins of the Vat Phou complex. You will also get the opportunity to visit the Vat Phou museum at the bottom of the ruins complex.  Each tour is escorted by a French and English speaking guide to provide the best information possible for the passengers.

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