Wat Phou Temple is located in Champasak district, in Champasak province. It is in the south of Laos, between the Mekong river and Phou Kao mountain. Wat Phou Temple or Vat Phou is a complex of Khmer architecture and Hindu religion and is situated at the foot of a hill. The summit, the Phou Kao, immediately commands one’s attention because of its shape, identified in ancient times with the linga, the phallic symbol of Shiva, from which originated its ancient name, Lingaparvata, and its reputation as a sacred hill. The permanent spring, at the foot of the cliffs, is probably one of the main reasons that induced the ancient rulers of the area to establish a shivaist sanctuary at this location.
We take an early morning drive out of town about 40km to the 5th century Wat Phu (mountain temple). The original temple was built by Khmer Hindus at the top of a hill at the site of a fresh water spring. The temple is stunning, and very remote, with superb views of the Mekong valley.
At the top of the site there are a number of carved rocks resembling a crocodile, a mythical Naga and an elephant. It is believed that these rocks were used for human sacrifice. Lunch is at a local restaurant before being transferred back to your hotel.