History: Attapeu’s history dates to the Lane Xang Kingdom in the 16th century during the reign of King Sayasetthathirath. Locals believe the king’s remains are housed in the ancient stupa, Vat Pha Saysettha, as the king died nearby. Prior to coming under the kingdom’s control, the territory was called “Idkabue”, which means "buffalo droppings" as wild buffaloes lived...Read more.
Ethnic Diversity: Little is known about many of Attapeu’s 10 ethnic groups, who live in very isolated mountainous areas. The ancestors of most of Attapeu’s 127,000 residents have trickled in from neighbouring provinces, the Bolaven Plateau, and Vietnam. Animism and spirit worship guide these groups, though many are aware of Buddhism, and incorporate it in their...Read more.
Things to Do: If you’re nuts about nature, Attapeu can take you deep into distant wilderness. Visit isolated waterfalls, and feel their rumble applaud the tranquil setting. Trekkers will find rarely travelled trails. True explorers can board local boats and voyage through the jungle. And, though Buddhism played a minor role in distant spirit-worshipping Attapeu, you can find...Read more.
Attractions: Explorers seeking a truly “off the beaten track” experience hit pay dirt in the mountains of Attapeu. Visit one of Attapeu’s few Buddhist Temples. Vat Pha Saysettha and Stupa is the most renowned and is easy to reach from Attapeu Town. The religious site was built in 1577 in honour of Lane Xang King Sayasetthathirath, who died nearby. Ancient Vat Sakhae...Read more.
Getting There: Getting to Attapeu becomes easier every year, and a new airport aims to welcome flights. Until the Attapeu Airport kicks in, you’ll have to fly to Pakse and head overland. Lao Airlines offers 14 direct weekly flights to Pakse International Airport departing Vientiane at 07:10, 7:50, 8:10, and 10:30, depending on the day, for the 75-minute trip. The carrier also...Read more.
Getting Around: Getting around Attapeu Province can be challenging, though touring the town and its environs is quite easy. A song taew around town costs as little as 5,000 kip. You can rent bicycles for sightseeing and pedalling along the Xe Kong River, or hire a motorbike to venture further from Attapeu Town. The easiest way to get around the province is on a tour...Read more.
Where to Stay: Stay in a quiet garden setting or a room with a refreshing Xe Kong Riverview in Attapeu Town. Most of the province’s 12 hotels and 46 guesthouses sit in the town’s centre, a 2.5-km protrusion into the Xe Kong’s flow. Paved roads and a choice of transportation from neighbouring Champasak, Salavan, and Sekong province lead to Attapeu Town, on the east...Read more.
Travel Guide: Pakse in neighbouring Champasak Province presents the main gateway to Attapeu. Busses depart to Pakse from Vientiane Capital and central and southern Lao provinces along Highway 13, but you may have to change busses along the way. Attapeu has a new airport, but lacks flights. International and domestic flights arrive daily at Pakse airport from national...Read more.