I didn't end up spending a lot of time in Pakse, but it's definitely a cool little town to visit.
By little, I really mean big by Laos standards. After going out into the more rural areas to the east of Pakse, I noticed just how big it really is.
In terms of touristy things to do, there's not too much here. It's a good starting point for treks, to do a Gibbon adventure in the jungle where you zip line into tree-top bungalows (over my travel budget, but def something to check out if you have the funds! About 200$ for two days), as well as motor biking around the Bolaven plateau, which I ended up doing with a couple of girls that I met (post to come soon!)
There are a couple of wats in the town, and a big Buddha on top of a mountain that you can hike up - about 500 steps.
We only made it across the bridge, since we left it a bit late in the day.
It was soooo freaking hot here that midday was a bit of a write-off, but there's also a cool morning market that goes until about 3pm if you get up the courage to set out into the 40C sun ;)
There was some construction happening on one of the main roads, so there were open drain holes all over the place.
We kept mentioning how dangerous it was, and then we lost one of the girls I was traveling with down a man hole.
She was fine, mostly just shook up with a couple of cuts and bruises.
Lesson learned: pay attention where you're walking at night!!
While sitting by the Mekong River, with a drink in a bag, four college students shyly approached me and asked me if they could sit down and practice English with me.
It was great to spend some time with the locals, and they even brought me to the night market to check out some fabric - the ladies in Laos wear these beautiful silk skirts.
It was quite expensive to get a skirt made, even with them bargaining for me, so I just got some fabric.
[Grammy, you might have an order for some pillow cases coming your way soon ;)]
Overall, it's a chill place to hang out in one of the restaurants by the river and plan your next step.