Jim climbs up toward the sanctuary of Wat Phu Champasak
From the Four Thousand Islands in southern Laos, we took a bus yesterday a few hours further up the Mekong river to Champasak. The highlight of the area is Wat Phu Champasak, the ruins of an ancient Khmer religious complex that climbs dramatically up the side of a mountain. This morning we bicycled out to see it.
It was a pleasant 15 km ride each way, despite the poor quality of the bikes and the pretty intense heat. At first the temple complex didn’t look like too much. While it might have once rivaled Angkor Wat in importance in the Khmer empire, there just wasn’t that much left. But as we climbed the steps further up the mountain, we discovered a photographer’s paradise of scattered ruins, dramatic vistas, and colorful shrines.