Pakse and the Bolaven Plateau, Laos

After a few days in Vientiane, I was ready to move south to see some gorgeous waterfalls! I was planning on taking the sleeping bus south to Pakse, but after finding out if you were single, you would be placed in a bed with a stranger unless you bought two tickets, I decided on paying the extra $10 to get a flight and be there in an hour instead of 14 hours! Seemed like a no-brainer!

I arrived in Pakse and took a tuk-tuk to the guesthouse I had booked. It was a nice enough place and the man running it spoke fairly good English, making it easier to find out what was going on in the area. He was really sweet and even loaned me an umbrella to combat the sun while I took a long walk. I shortly stumbled upon a large market with the works, and a little reprieve from the heat. It’s always fun to see the locals buying goods for their upcoming meals, etc. After, I continued down the road to grab a snack, then to the bank of the Mekong where there were a couple of temples and giant Buddha across the river. During my walk, I met a super nice guy with a bike/sidecar who drove me to see another famous temple before taking me back to my hotel to get a bit of rest before the evening.

That night, I took the guesthouse shuttle to dinner in town, where I met a couple of nice ladies from Switzerland. It was a treat to have people to eat with a share a few fun travel stories. I also booked a ride for the next day so I could tour the Bolaven Plateau, known for its amazing loop of waterfalls. Unfortunately, due to the very small number of tourists, I had to pay for an entire minivan for myself.

Morning came, and my driver picked me up, and we began our journey. The first stop was Tad Fane Falls, that has two streams dropping almost 400 feet off a rocky cliff. Unfortunately, it was not possible to hike down to the bottom and get the view up, but still such an amazing view from the lookout!!

Tad Fane Falls

Next, we stopped at Tad Yuang Falls, an even more impressive sight! It is not as high as Tad Fane, but, in my opinion, more beautiful how it stretches across the rocks. This one also had a slippery path/stairs down to the bottom. I hiked down stopping at some for some views along the way. When I got within about 100’ of the bottom, it was so magical feeling the mist cover my body. I was the only one there in this peaceful spot!

Tad Yuang Falls

The third stop, and grand finale for the day, had two falls a short walk apart, Tad Hang and Tad Lo. First, I went to Tad Hang as I had heard more about Tad Lo so I thought I’d save it for last. Tad Hang was gorgeous, and even had a trail up to the falls with a super sketchy bridge across the river for better viewing. Again, I was the only one there, and decided to take a chance on the bridge for the amazing reward. It was so worth it!!

Tad Hang Falls
What a bridge!!! Sorry if the video makes you dizzy, but yikes!

Tad Lo, on the other hand, was kind of a disappointment. Although it was beautiful, they have a pumping system setup, which I’m guessing supplies water to the people living in the area (which also scares me since this is how I ended up with giardia in Nicaragua). Something was horribly wrong with the pumps and there was an awful, loud, whining noise filling the area as well as a lot of trash scattered around. There were several locals in the pools below washing clothes, bathing, and the kids were having fun playing around the bamboo bridges that crossed the river. I did take some time to sit on one of the bridges where I could put my feet in the water, out of ear shot of the annoying pumps.

Tad Lo Falls

After seeing the falls, I had a quick snack at the restaurant, then headed back to Tad Hang for a dip in the river. It was so refreshing!!! And better yet, I met an amazing lady from Germany, Carmen. We played in the water a bit, took some pics and chatted about travel. Funny enough, she had booked the same place I had just booked in the 4000 Islands (next up) on Don Khone, but just a couple of days later. Hopefully we will cross paths in the islands!

Big Hugs till the next time!

Michelle

6 Replies to “Pakse and the Bolaven Plateau, Laos”

  1. Awesome waterfall pictures, how cool there were so many close to one another. Growing up on the Canadian border, with lots of college friends who had never experienced Niagara Falls, I visited often, which never disappointed!

    Liked by 1 person

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