Wat Phou, a small Angkorian era temple, is the chief tourist attraction of Southern Laos. Most visitors to Wat Phou consider it as a remote outpost of the great Khmer empire centred on Cambodia's Angkor Wat. But in fact this small mountain temple is the birth place of that once mighty empire. It's history is shrouded in much mystery so here we shall delve in to what is known about Wat Phou, ranging from serene Buddhist sanctuary to site of bloody human sacrifice.
The town of Champasak in southern Laos is small and neglected. But within the grounds of an unremarkable looking Buddhist temple in the town centre are the funeral stupas of two kings. For this was once the capital of an important kingdom that held sway over central and southern Laos parts of Vietnam and Cambodia as well as Ubon Ratchathani, Sisaket and Roi Et in modern Thailand. The story of Champasak is one of tragic downfall which some believe was caused by powerful curses upon the ruling families.