Pakse

Pakse (or Pakxe; French: Paksé; Laotian: ປາກເຊ [pȁːk séː] 'mouth of the river'; Thai: ปากเซ) is the capital and most populous city of the southern Laotian province of Champasak, and the second most populous city in Laos. Located at the confluence of the Xe Don and Mekong Rivers, it has a population of about 95,000.[1] Pakse was the capital of the Kingdom of Champasak until it was unified with the rest of Laos in 1946.

Pakse
ປາກເຊ
District & municipality
Pakse District
Champasak Palace Hotel, Pakse, formerly the palace of Boun Oum Na Champassak
Pakse
Location in Laos
Coordinates: 15°07′N 105°47′E
CountryLaos
ProvinceChampasak province
DistrictPakse district
Population
 (2010)
  Total119,848
  Religions
Buddhism
Time zoneUTC+7 (ICT)

History

The French established an administrative outpost in Pakse in 1905. The city was the capital of the Lao Kingdom of Champasak until 1946 when the Kingdom of Laos was formed. After the Franco-Thai war the French ceded Preah Vihear Province, formerly belonging to the French protectorate of Cambodia, as well as the part of Champasak Province located on the other side of the Mekong river from Pakse, which had been part of Laos, to Thailand.[2]

The city served as the primary seat and residence to Prince Boun Oum Na Champassak, an important figure in the Laotian Civil War. The prince began the construction of Champasak Palace, but fled in 1974 before it could be completed. The town fell to Pathet Lao forces in May 1975. After 1975, Pakse acquired substantial economic importance in the region. The construction of a bridge over the Mekong, built with Japanese aid, allows road traffic with Ubon Ratchathani in Thailand and has further connected the city to neighbouring countries.

Demographics

In 1943, 62 % of the population of Pakse were Vietnamese.[3] Today, Pakse is home to many ethnic Chinese.

Religion

Multiple rows of golden statues of the Buddha seated, with yellow and red flowers, at Wat Phou Salao (Golden Buddha temple), in Pakse.

The population is predominantly Buddhist and the city has several temples. These include: Wat Luang, which was built in 1935 and is the largest temple in Pakse, and the Chinese temple Wat Sopsé.[4] Pakse is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Vicariate of Paksé led by Cardinal Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun.

Culture

The city is the location of the Champasak Provincial Museum, which is a repository of historical documents and artifacts from the province.

Infrastructure

Health

There are two hospitals in the city. One is the second largest in Laos, but many citizens travel across the border to Thailand as Thai hospitals are better equipped.[5] There is a high risk of malaria and dengue fever during the monsoon season.

Road

Mekong bridge, Pakse

Pakse is on National Road 13, the main transportation highway of Laos. It has bridges over the Xe Don, the French and the Russian Bridges, and one bridge over the Mekong River, the Lao Nippon Bridge, one of only five bridges over the Mekong in Laos. Pakse is the gateway to the Bolaven Plateau, as well as to the southern provinces of Salavan, Sekong, and Attapeu.

Air

It is served by Pakse International Airport. Pakse Airport construction was completed on 2 November 2009,[6] resuming flights to Vientiane, Siem Reap, Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok.

Climate

Pakxe
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
1.8
 
 
31
18
 
 
16
 
 
33
21
 
 
25
 
 
35
24
 
 
75
 
 
35
25
 
 
245
 
 
33
25
 
 
324
 
 
31
25
 
 
434
 
 
31
24
 
 
468
 
 
30
24
 
 
309
 
 
30
24
 
 
116
 
 
31
23
 
 
30
 
 
31
21
 
 
2
 
 
30
19
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source:
Imperial conversion
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
0.1
 
 
89
65
 
 
0.6
 
 
91
69
 
 
1
 
 
94
74
 
 
3
 
 
95
77
 
 
9.6
 
 
92
77
 
 
13
 
 
88
76
 
 
17
 
 
87
76
 
 
18
 
 
86
76
 
 
12
 
 
87
75
 
 
4.6
 
 
87
73
 
 
1.2
 
 
87
69
 
 
0.1
 
 
86
65
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches

Pakse has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen climate classification Aw) with very warm temperatures throughout the year. Temperatures are especially high in the months before the monsoon season (March–April). There is a distinct wet season (April–October) and dry season (November–March).

Climate data for Pakse (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 36.7
(98.1)
37.8
(100.0)
37.8
(100.0)
39.4
(102.9)
38.3
(100.9)
35.0
(95.0)
33.9
(93.0)
34.4
(93.9)
34.4
(93.9)
35.0
(95.0)
34.4
(93.9)
35.0
(95.0)
39.4
(102.9)
Average high °C (°F) 32.0
(89.6)
33.5
(92.3)
35.1
(95.2)
35.5
(95.9)
33.5
(92.3)
31.6
(88.9)
31.0
(87.8)
30.5
(86.9)
31.0
(87.8)
31.3
(88.3)
31.2
(88.2)
30.8
(87.4)
32.3
(90.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) 25.6
(78.1)
27.7
(81.9)
29.6
(85.3)
30.4
(86.7)
29.1
(84.4)
28.1
(82.6)
27.6
(81.7)
27.2
(81.0)
27.3
(81.1)
27.1
(80.8)
26.2
(79.2)
24.9
(76.8)
27.6
(81.7)
Average low °C (°F) 18.7
(65.7)
21.4
(70.5)
24.1
(75.4)
25.8
(78.4)
25.3
(77.5)
24.9
(76.8)
24.5
(76.1)
24.3
(75.7)
24.1
(75.4)
23.1
(73.6)
21.1
(70.0)
18.9
(66.0)
23.0
(73.4)
Record low °C (°F) 8.3
(46.9)
13.3
(55.9)
12.8
(55.0)
20.0
(68.0)
21.7
(71.1)
21.7
(71.1)
21.7
(71.1)
21.7
(71.1)
20.0
(68.0)
16.7
(62.1)
13.9
(57.0)
8.9
(48.0)
8.3
(46.9)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 1.5
(0.06)
10.4
(0.41)
26.5
(1.04)
67.3
(2.65)
229.6
(9.04)
351.3
(13.83)
414.6
(16.32)
504.6
(19.87)
308.2
(12.13)
128.9
(5.07)
25.3
(1.00)
2.2
(0.09)
2,070.6
(81.52)
Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 0 1 3 8 17 21 24 25 20 12 5 1 138
Average relative humidity (%) 62 60 59 65 75 82 83 85 84 79 72 67 72.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 274.5 243.9 244.5 227.1 202.0 145.0 142.2 126.6 141.2 188.3 225.7 249.3 2,410.4
Source 1: World Meteorological Organization[7]
Source 2: NOAA (humidity 1961–1990),[8] Deutscher Wetterdienst (extremes)[9]

Tourism

Pakse is growing as a tourist destination. Visitors to Pakse's Champasak Province have grown from 113,684 in 2006 to 493,180 in 2013.[10] Sites of interest include:

References

  1. "Population of Pakxé, Laos". Mongabay.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2014-12-08.
  2. Grabowsky, Volker. Regions and National Integration in Thailand 1892-1992. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1995.
  3. Stuart-Fox, Martin (1997). A History of Laos. Cambridge University Press, p. 51. ISBN 978-0-521-59746-3.
  4. "Pakse Town". Southern Laos. Southern Laos. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  5. "Healthcare in Pakse". Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
  6. "Pakse; Information & Statistics,". Travel-Tourist-Information-Guide.com. Retrieved 2014-12-08.
  7. "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1981–2010". World Meteorological Organization. Archived from the original on 17 July 2021. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  8. "Pakse Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  9. "Klimatafel von Pakse (Pakxé) / Laos" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961-1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  10. "2013 Statistical Report on Tourism in Laos". Sabaidee Laos. Tourism Marketing Department, Lao PDR. Retrieved 2014-12-08.

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