Laos Coffee Stall
What better way to start the day than with a group of older gentlemen shooting the breeze, playing dominoes and sipping jet-black Lao-style coffee? A few sips might even provide some insight into Savannakhet. There is no English-language sign here, look for the open-fronted baby-blue building.
Savannakhet is ridiculously chill. Not just by South East Asian standards, but by global standards. The traffic is pretty much non-existent and the roads in the centre are generally in good condition, making it perfect for cycling!
Most guesthouses will offer bikes for rent. Just grabbing one and biking around the Mekong area and the city centre is a pleasant way to spend an hour or two, you can also pop into the Savannakhet Visitor’s Centre for information about the city and surroundings.
This is a really good way to spend a few hours. It was dry season, so the lake was small, but it is cool and relaxing, restaurants are nice, buffalo walking around, people fishing. Bust a relaxing way to see a bit of Laos’ countryside.
The Dinosaur Museum is one of the best things to do in Savannakhet if you are a French speaker, the displays are in Laotian and French (not in English!). It costs just 10,000 kip to enter and displays dinosaur bones, ancient minerals and has quite a lot of information about dinosaur discoveries in Laos, but only in Laotian and French.
The rather dusty Savannakhet Museum houses old photos, war relics, artillery pieces and inactive examples of the deadly unexploded ordnance (UXO) that has claimed the lives of more than 20,000 Lao since the end of the Secret War.
That Ing Hang
Thought to have been built in the mid-16th century, this well-proportioned, 9m-high that is the second-holiest religious edifice in southern Laos after Wat Phu Champasak. It is located about 11.5km northeast of Savannakhet via Rte 9, then 3km east and the turn-off is clearly signposted. Going by bicycle or motorbike is the easiest option.
The Buddha is believed to have stopped here when he was sick during his wanderings back in ancient times. He rested by leaning (ing) on a hang tree (thus Ing Hang). A relic of the Buddha's spine is reputed to be kept inside.