Savannakhet is a sleepy and sluggish capital of Savannakhet Province which sits on the Mekong river bordering Thailand. It reflects both the present and past Laos. Wandering around town it is easy to find decaying early 20th century architecture situated in historic quarter, spot a magnificent riverside with Xayphoum temple with a traditional curved roof and relax in one of the stylish local restaurants.

Helpful tips

Restaurants. There are multiple places in the city where you can find descent food. In most of the local restaurants you will find price and quality ratio alright and fresh food. There is a Night Market working every day, stop by and try local food from one of the food stalls, look for a cleaner place and enjoy!

We enjoyed food not far from where we stayed in a small local restaurant called “Pad Thai”. The food there was great, they are working mostly on takeaway but have few tables to eat inside as well. We chose this place not only because it was way cheaper than chain restaurants, but also to touch how ordinary people who live here eats. As this city is just a river from Thailand, Thai culture strongly influenced this city and their cuisine.

Markets. In Savannakhet as in almost every other city in Laos you will not easily find a lot of cheap souvenirs to put on your fridge. However, we encourage to walk around and look for hand made goods in local markets. Here they will charge you more if you look like a tourist. In shops all over city prices vary around same level, thus, choose a more convenient for you. We did not find any shops where they would accept card payment, town is full of small shops and markets which do not accept it, thus, be prepared and have some cash with you!

Transportation. To get to Savannakhet you can use car, bus, plane or boat as it is considered a large city in Laos, it has great accessibility. We traveled to Savannakhet using hitchhiking from Pakse. The road quality is good, they are not massive but well maintained. We got lucky and reached Savannakhet before the sunset. Either way you choose, be aware that infrastructure is not bad but clearly not the best, roads are small and sometimes two-line road (one line each direction) is already considered as a highway. So, do not forget to enjoy the trip not only the destination.

Inside the city you will find yourself using local Tuk Tuk’s, bikes or mopeds which are one of the most convenient transportation devices used to get around. However, exploration is doable on foot if you decide to skip on bike.

Best of luck planning your holidays in Laos!

Is there anything else you would like to visit while in Laos?

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