This was once a royal city and the provincial capital, back when the Mekong was the main artery of commerce, but once the highway was built (I think around 1930) running close to the east bank, river traffic soon declined, and Champasak on the west bank virtually died.
It is now a long loose straggle of decaying buildings with absolutely no redeeming features other than providing a base from which to visit the ancient ruins of Wat Phu, 10km away. This is truly wonderful. But you could just as easily stay in Pakse (the new provincial capital 30 km to the north) and hire a motorbike to reach Wat Phu via the Mekong Bridge there and the good west bank road. Pakse has good food (we highly recommend Xuan Mai restaurant, about 100 metres south of the principal Wat), plenty of modern facilities, an airport, and overnight sleeper buses to major destinations. No need to stay in Champasak, so why bother?
Champasak is not really a town but a collection of villages. It is quiet and peaceful. To visit Vat Phou is worth a stay in this very friendly and nice city.
I met a number of residents using a mixture of Thai, Lao and as little English as possible. Smiles and a hello go a long way in Champasak.
Apart from the wat Phu, which is about 7 km away, main interest is the road along the Mekong river. There are a few French colonial houses there and nice view on the Mekong.
The spa located this street is very good
Came to see Wat Pho - so only stayed one night - but could easily of stayed two nights as the hotel was very good
highly recommend to come for the Wat Phu festival on Frebuary every year. Wonderful experince for the 3 days festival at Wat Phu temple.
The UNESCO heritage site of Vat Phu is well Worth the detour the bilingual (french and English) books printed and for sale at the museum - the guide to Vat Phu and the museum catalogue are well written and documented.
I found the people very friendly in general. However you have to be aware of the fact that Champasak is VERY quiet.
There is not a lot to do, people got there to see the Ancient City or to relax, I'd recommend to stay for to nights. Go there check in, have a nice afternoon/evening, do the Ancient City the next day, have another relaxing evening and leave the next day. =)
Rural area with nice nature resources. Water falls are major attraction but took couple hours to commute between places.
The hole village is on a single road near to the Mekong river. We found the place very relaxing and nice to stay 2 nights.
The Inthira hotel looks great and the restaurant is excellent.