If you are hard of reaching, maybe this guy can help you. Apparently he can make people's arms grow longer by pulling them. He even has a yardstick to prove it. I offer no guarantees though, since I did not try it myself - I felt right confident I already had the longest arms in the region.
I presume this place is fairly deserted on an ordinary day, but I went there during the februrary festival when it was more crowded than the market place in Pakse. The temple itself is pleasantly situated, rising in tiers along the hillside in the jungle, and contains numerous excellent and well preserved rock carvings. A supposedly genuine Buddha's footprint on the cliff rocks and a crocoldile stone thought to have been used for human sacrifice may also be seen.
During the festival the locals pitch a fair at the foot of the hill and engage in various amusements and rituals.
The main procession way to the Vat Phou covered with sandstone and pararelled with 2 long row galleries and posts called "Sao Nang Jaran" or Sao Nang Rieng". On the time I visitted this procession way was on renovation.
From Vat Phou,I rode my bicycle to the South for Hong Nang Sida and Hong Tao Toa. I reached the first one with tired feeling,cuase the way to this building is a small road,a part of road was cutted by small canal.I passed some rice fields and local houses. And there 's no any sign for its.I just noticed the stone marking the Ancient way to Angkor Thom,cuase I know that those 2 places located on this way. Hong Nang Sida is a ruin where wasn't finished in building. After this place,I gave up to discover later,cuase I felt so tired. So I rode back to Vat Phou area and took a rest at the restaurant.
Inside the principal sanctaury is now housing the Buddha image.This sanctaury used to housed the statue of Siva Lingam as the symbol of God Siva. We can see so many Laos come with flowers to pay homage to this Buddha image.
The main sanctaury built from sandstone. The style of this building is Baphuon style of Ancient Khmer,dated back to 16 Buddhist centuries (for front sandstone building,but for back side building where built from brick,it presumed to be built before the front one). Inside,it used to housed the Lingam statue as a symbol of God Siva.So all the decorations related with this god. On the wall outside,it decorated with carving sandstone depicted about Apsaras,guardians,gods and godessess of Hindu.Later,in 18 Buddhist centuries,it was renovated to be a Buddhist temple and housed the Buddha image instead of Siva Lingam statue.
Between the first terrace and second terrace located the temple guardian.This statue called "Phraya Kammatha" by local. The statue dated back to 18 Buddhist centuries.This statue is in standing position,the left hand places on chest and the right hand hold a stick. The name of this statue came from the local legend. On the time of building Vat Phou,it was the competition with building Phra Thaat Phanom in Nakhon Panom of Thailand.Phraya Kammatha was the head of project,but he couldn't won.So he punished himself by hitting his chest.
The first step tp the main sanctuary was on renovation when I visitted. It 's a steep stairway built from laterite and sandstone. It covered with Frangipani tree which made the step 's more beautiful than a plain way.
This entrance have a beautiful stone carving on the pediment.Though it was destroyed but you can see some holes which tells the style of roof as the sloping and decorated with tile on wooden structure.
A small building built from sandstone located on the South of the second procession way. This building called "Hong Ngou" means the house of cow, because it used to housed the cow statue. This statue called "Nandin" or Kho Usubharaj" as the vehicle of Siva God.This building also located at the end of ancient way from Angkor Thom. So it was the important one in the past. Unluckily,I cann't took a picture of this building cuase it was on renovation area.
Hong Tao and Hong Nang or so called "Southern Palace and Northern Palace". Hong Tao is on the North and Hong Nang is in the South. These 2 buildings 're in square plan surrounded the sqaure space in the centre. These building assumed to be built in Kor Ker period of Ancient Khmer around 16 Buddhist centuries. Over the entrance if each side decorated with stone carving perdiments and lintels,all these stuffs told the style of these buildings.
From the entrance to Vat Phou,there 're 2 pathways for reaching the base.The new one covered with asphalt.And the old one is on the direction East-West to Vat Phou.This procession used to be the main pathway pararelled with posts in Ancient Khmer style on 2 side.This pathway also pararelled with 2 square ponds. All 're the typical plan of Ancient Khmer style.
Behide the mountain where located Vat Phou is a high mountain called "Phu Klao". This name derived from the shape of the peak look like the knot on lady's head. "Klao" means knot. This mountain also called " Khao Nom Sao" cuase of the shape look like breast. "Nom Sao" means breast of lady.But the popular name is Phu Klao. The peak of Phou Klao also look like Siva lingam or the symbol of Siva God. As the natural Siva Lingam so it also called "Savayambhulingam". From the shape of Siva Lingam,some scholars presumed that it was the persuasion to built Vat Phou for holy the mountian of Siva Lingam.
At the front area of Vat Phou,it located the big pond called "Baray". This pond used to be the boat racing place and the pouring water ceremony on Buddha images. At the end used to have a big pavilion which built on the Ancient Khmer base,nowaday that building was destroyed and just left the old base.
At the entrance to Vat Phou area,you 'll see the museum building on the left. This museum 's very interested for me. It housed so many artifacts which found in Vat Phou and surrounded area. Some highlight artifacts 're Buddha image which have an influence of Dvaravati style of Thailand and some statues from Vat Phou.
It was a diffecult time for me to ride the bicycle to Hong Nang Sida.But after I finished it,I got a good experience on this trip. Just attempt,I can get it.