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Southeast Asia is home to some of the best combinations of nature and history in the world, a fact that is evident on a tour of Laos. If you're looking to add some adventure to your trip while still appreciating the historic sites, you should make a point to include Wat Phou in your travels. The ruins of this centuries-old temple require a challenging hike to get to, but the payoff is certainly worth the journey.
The site is located about 3.7 miles from the Mekong River and has been home to a temple in some form since as far back as the 5th century. The ruins that are currently at Wat Phou, however, were likely constructed between the 11th and 13th centuries. Among the site's highlights is a sanctuary, that is still used today as a place of religious worship.
While the ruins are certainly an appealing aspect of Wat Phou, the trek there as well as the view it offers are just as impressive. From the sanctuary, you can gaze out toward the Mekong River in the distance and look out over the lush green landscape hundreds of feet below. Additionally, while it may not be as ornately decorated as some other temples, the lengthy history is palpable at Wat Phou thanks in large part to an intangible sense of mystery.
If you enjoy temples like Wat Phou, you may want to transition your trip to Laos into a Vietnam tour. By making the journey over the border, you can open up a wide variety of new experiences. One of the most popular historical sites in Vietnam is the Complex of Hue Monuments, which served as the country's capital for more than 140 years.
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