Bolaven plateau full day
The Bolaven Plateau is a vast highland rising east of Pakse to an altitude of 1000-1350 meters above sea level. Created by a gigantic extinct volcano, its cooler climate, abundant rainfall and fertile soil inspired the French colonialists in the early 20th century to introduce large scale cash crop farming like coffee, tea, rubber and tobacco to the local tribes, namely the Laven (Bo-Laven = Home of the Laven), Alak, Katu, Ta-oy and Suay. Numerous rivers cutting deep into the hard volcanic bedrock have created a wide variety of waterfalls, some of them easily accessible by road. Being famous for the production of world class coffee, it has recently become a sought after tourist destination.
Departure: 08.00 hrs
Return: 18.30 hrs
08.30 hrs – 08.45 hrs
The first stop is the Ban Blacksmith village, spread out alongside the main access road to Bolaven. Several small family-run workshops offer their production of various farming tools, machetes and knives, all forged in simple smithies open for anyone to see.
Note: There will be no work on Buddha days.
09.10 hrs – 09.30 hrs
Now arriving at the height of the Bolaven the first waterfall en route is Tad E-tu. A narrow stairway leads to the bottom of it, where a large and easy to get to pool invites for a refreshing bath. To respect local custom, wearing of appropriate swim wear is mandatory.
10.00 hrs – 11.15 hrs
After a short drive the twin falls of Tad Fane are reached. With a height of 120 meters they are the tallest in Laos. The spacious wooden platform at the edge of the cliff presents a clear, unobstructed view onto the fall. The most exciting perspectives of this natural wonder are seen from the daring zipline traversing the canyon. To avoid long waiting times it is recommended to make a reservation at least one day in advance.
12.45 hrs – 13.20 hrs
Having concluded lunch at Tad Yuang the tour proceeds back to the main road to stop at the Lak 40 Café to enjoy homegrown organic coffee, tea, cocoa or fruit shakes. Amidst of plants and trees indigenous to Bolaven this charming place holds a coffee and tea processing facility open for interested visitors. Their lush garden also welcomes you to go for a relaxed walk. A wide selection of organic products is also available there.
11.30 hrs – 12h00 hrs
Just a short drive away we arrive at Tad Yuang. There are great views of the 40 meter tall fall from the top, side and bottom. On top there is picnic area right at the riverside and a restaurant overlooking the stream. A lunch will be served to the thundering sound of water plummeting into the deep. For the fit and adventurous a steep stairway winds down to the pool at the foot of the waterfall.
14.10 hrs – 14.30 hrs
Brief stop at the Ban Kok Phung Tai, a village populated by members of the Katu people. This animistic tribe believes in the spiritual mind and soul as well as spirits adhering to or inhabiting all things and beings. The women are known for their colorful intricate cotton weavings, while the men are skillful wood carvers. They all share a passion of smoking homegrown tobacco mixed with herbs from large bamboo bongs.
15.10 hrs – 15.50 hrs
We continue our tour to arrive at the cataracts of Tad Lo, another well preserved natural site with the possibility for a relaxing walk through dense indigenous forest. Below the fall is one more chance to have an energizing bath or watch local fishermen at work.
16.20 hrs – 17.20 hrs
Final stop at a village becoming famous for its organic coffee production and Katu style cotton weaving. Entrepreneur and local guide Mr. Vieng happily shares his profound knowledge about Bolaven coffee from seed to cup and will invite you to a freshly brewed coffee. There is a wide variety of excellent coffee products and textile handicrafts for sale.
Arrival back at Pakse Hotel.
TOTAL COVERED DISTANCE: around 220 Kilometers.