The Bolaven Plateau is a region in southern Laos with elevation ranges from 1000 to 1350 m altitude. It’s the place in Laos where the famous lao coffee and green tea comes from. Looking forward to cooler temperatures out there we leave some stuff in our guesthouse in Pakse and go on a 3 days motorcycle trip. It takes some time until we get fully aware of the beautiful scenery the Bolaven Plateau also offers, cause especially the first parts of the tour are along burning forest and over dusty streets. The smell of burning wood doesn’t stop even in the night time and the nature looks badly injured to us. But within this depressive atmosphere there is beautiful scenery with impressive waterfalls and jungle left, that might be even more amazing in rainy season.
Our first stop is Tad Lo with a waterfall inside the village. Climbing the rocks a little and putting the feed into the water is really nice after the ride in the heat of the sun. In the guesthouse we are staying we meet the swiss guy, who had the room next to ours on Don Det, and the people he is travelling with. The owner is not staying there at the moment so a women from another place is taking care for it. The place is run more or less by itself and the people who are staying here at the moment. That’s really relaxing but also means that some things don’t work all time so don’t expect running water or light in the bathroom. Just around 3 km away from Tad Lo there is another waterfall that is almost completely dry at the moment but this makes it possible for us to stand at the cliff and look downwards…..we can feel the tingle in our stomachs doing that.
Until now it didn’t get a lot colder and that’s why we spend most of the time next day swimming in another waterfall that seems to be very attractive to the locals. There are a lot of Lao people around having picnic and enjoying the water, too. They seem to have a lot of fun and some want to make some photos with us again. I really don’t want to know, how many times people put some of these on Facebook or somewhere else to show them around. The bike ride lasts longer than expected this day. The place we wanted to stay over night just offers tents, which is not a problem, but the price for that is really impudently high and that’s why we decide to go on to Paksong….after around 130 km our backsides are really hurting that evening.
Tad Fane waterfall, the place we pass the next day, is gorgeous even in dry season. Around 120 m dropping water surrounded by beautiful jungle. A nice place to get food and stay for a while is nearby and we spend some time there. In the morning we visited a small coffee and tea farm, where a nice Lao woman showed us around explaining the plants and kinds of coffee and tea they grow. Her daughter was quite exited because of our visit and the time there was a lot of fun.
The last kilometers to our last destination before driving back to Pakse are just painful because of our backs and exhausting because of the heat and we just relax after arriving in Champasak. To be honest, it’s not just relaxing, we are going to have some luxury. There is a highly recommended Spa in Champasak offering different kinds of massage and is supporting local people with employment. Seven decides to try the traditional Lao massage. As I need it a little softer not to get hurt I ask for the coconut oil one and it’s wonderful. Not just the treatment itself is great, the atmosphere and nice details like offering tea and fruits create a perfect experience to calm down. Again thanks to the Lao women, who made it that special! If you are in Champasak have a look at Champasak Spa (http://champasak-spa.com/) it is really worth it.
Before we return to Pakse and finish our motorcycle trip we visit Vat Phou, a Khmer Hindu temple complex at the base of mount Phu Kao. But unfortunately the heat is limiting our endurance and we get exhausted very fast, so we can not spend so much time there.
It’s the last tour we did in Laos. We are preparing for Cambodia. The bus is going to pick us up the next day at 8 AM.