Among a variety of beautiful lands of “The Million Country”, Bolaven highland at south Laos always is an impressive destination. Not only having friendly and hospitable local, but also the pristine and rustic nature – an outstanding land for experience and adventurous trips. Travel to Laos, why don’t you go there?
Bolaven Plateau – The Coffee Paradise
Located in Champasak Province, southwest of Laos nearby Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam border, tourists have a chance to visit Bolaven highland, where is considered as “Coffee paradise” of this land with the quantity export accounting for 95% of the country. With the fresh weather, the stable annual amount of rain and fertile soil has created favorable conditions for coffee growing. In French War 1975, French brought coffee beans from Vietnam to Bolaven highland. From then, Laos families have started growing coffee on this land.
Most workers on coffee farms are Laven triple – an ethnic group scattered in this area. Their primogenitor is Khmer the prosperous empire in 9 – 13 centuries. Katu and Alak triple also grow coffee, they draw a deeply imbued ethnic minorities identities picture in Laos.
Nowadays, Laos produces 25.000 tons of coffee annually, most of them are extremely strong coffee Robusta. The familiar breakfast of local people is coffee with condensed milk. Come to Bolaven, tourists have a chance to taste concentrated coffee in the traditional way of Laotian.
Bolaven Plateau Exploration
Before, many backpackers missed Bolaven highland towards Si Phan Don or Vientiane capital; however, nowadays, many tourists have chosen a sightseeing itinerary and coffee cultural exploration on the highland with an altitude from 1000 to 3000 meters.
South Laos with numerous lush green hills and majestic falls will be loved by a lonely heart away from hơm – especially who like traveling alone. Riding a motorbike is the best way to explore this scenic loop. High recommended for those who aren’t faint of heart as the roads are quite winding, narrow and dirty.
You will become brave and adventurous when roaming to every mountainous village by motorbike. From Pakse, you can hire a motorbike, fill full gasoline and set off with Bolaven map in hand. There are 2 loops for you to explore Bolaven: Small loop can be done around 3 days; Bigger loop will pass through some rough falls so that it is more difficult to win in 5 days.
In return, you will be able to admire the hypnotic beauty as a gift from nature, multi-cultural ethnic villages, tasty food, drink traditional coffee and socialize with kind-hearted and friendly people. The best experience is staying homestay with local in simple stilt houses but cozy, reasonable and safe. Imagine you will dream in the tranquil atmosphere with the rhythm of the falls and wake up with gorgeous sunshine and the birds’ voice, smell the scent of wet grass with dew, and smoke. Is the life of nomads interesting?
Riding on these steep and muddy roads are difficult, let’s prepare carefully equipment, protective pads, gloves and put some suncream.Waterfall Hopping in Paksong
Paksong is another stop on the Bolaven Plateau loop. In here, the waterfalls flow like champagne and it is one of the best things to visit when in Bolaven highland. You know you are near Paksong when passing through coffee plantations and feel the cooler air. There is nothing much in the town, but many waterfalls to visit and discover within a 5 – kilometer distance from one another.
Tad Fane, a stunning double falls, you can only view from Tad Fane resort but it’s worth to stop. If you set up a plan before a day, you can book a local to guide you down the base of the fall. You are not allowed going by yourself since the locals said that venomous snakes including King Cobras live here.
Other majestic falls are Tad Yuang. Walking around the base of the falls by wooden stairs, you can take many breathtaking photos from the top to the bottom and picnic with a delicious lunch on the carpets of green grass.
Tad Champee is also a fantastic fall that is perfect for swimming. Tad Champee is not as big as the others so you can swim underneath the falls or take a wooden raft. There is a large bench here where you can take a seat and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
Tad E-tu is another impressive waterfall in Paksong with a resort. This is a wonderful place to come for lunch since they have a restaurant with a dramatic view.
There is no right or wrong time to visit Bolaven Plateau since if you come wet season from July to October, you will admire the spectacular waterfalls, in other times, you can observe and even participate in the coffee harvest with local people. This is truly a worth-visit land!