Bolaven Plateau: Caffeine, Waterfalls and Wonderful Wat Phou

August 8, 2013 by | Filed Under: Adventure Travel, Culinary, Laos, News

The Bolaven Plateau gets it name from the Laven people, an ethnic tribe from the area. It is a spectacular natural area with waterfalls, vast forests, canyons, coffee plantations, and much more. Given the incredible natural landscape one could just get swept away by staring into the sunset.

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Breakfast at Tad Fane Waterfalls
Having just come out of the world-of-dreams, you’re still unsure if you are fully awake as you sit on the second story terrace listening to the rhythmic sound of the water and staring at the twin waterfalls plummeting downwards. As you slowly become more aware of the world around, it’s time to get excited about a day of natural beauty ahead.

Tad Champee Waterfalls
A relatively precarious set of stairs leads you down to a small raft that’s attached to a rope. Sitting on the raft you can pull yourself along the river up to the bottom of the wide Champee Waterfall. Seeing it tower above you as your raft wobbles to and fro, and feeling your body vibrate from the sheer power of water hitting water is one of the coolest experiences of the day.

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Sinouk Coffee Resort
Enjoy one of the best lunches you can have in Laos, in a picturesque setting where a genius landscaper has brought together flowers, coffee bushes, streams, mini waterfalls and walking paths in brilliant unison. Also enjoy a cup of great espresso before heading back out into the Bolaven Plateau.

Ban Lak 38
The ethnic tribes in Laos are poor. Very poor. Ban Lak, named after its location 38 kilometers out of Pakse, is one of those poor villages. Only a few tourists stop by the village, or its school. Walking through it, you’ll see people sitting around smoking bamboo pipes and watching you go by. Khiri Reach supports the local school to contribute with all sorts of supplies that make learning more fun and motivating. It is interesting to see how villages in complete poverty live. Despite that, we see smiles on the faces of the many children running around.

Roadside Coffee Shops
Driving around all the different sights and walking up and down trekking routes can be a tiring experience. Luckily there are lots of coffee shops along the sides of the main road, most selling their self-grown and freshly roasted coffee. This is the perfect way to get that extra bit of energy.

Pakse and Massage
On your way south to the 4,000 Islands in the Mekong River, take a break in Pakse for a beer by the Mekong and have a traditional Lao massage. Tried and tested by the Khiri staff, Champa Massage offers great value for money and the smell as you walk in is fantastic. To find it, just go to the Pakse Hotel and look across the road.

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Wat Phou
This site absolutely justifies having the highest entrance fee in the country. A VIP ticket at 45,000 kip will get you a golf cart that takes you to the foot of this ancient Khmer palace and temple. Situated at the base of a mountain, parallel-engraved stone buildings mark the start of an arduous upwards hike to the holy site at the base of a cliff. The trek is both a work out, but also a religious journey people undertake once a year. Take a break on the way and turn around to take in an astounding panoramic view of the plains, lakes, and river.

The Bolaven Plateau is a short drive from Pakse, and easy to reach from Ubon Ratchathani in Thailand via Chong Mek border, and from Kratie in Cambodia’s Rattanakhiri Province via the Dom Kralor border.

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