Friday, 7th October 2016
A guide to the waterfalls of the Bolaven Plateau
The Bolaven Plateau is a fascinating place to visit for a number of reasons. The crater of an ancient volcano in southern Laos has provided an incredible area of biodiversity, as its rich soil, cool temperatures and abundant rainfall, where dense jungle thrives, as well as coffee plantations. But the real highlight of a trip to this elevated area, which reaches heights of 1,300 metres, is its stunning waterfalls.
If visiting the waterfalls from Pakse, then the first you’ll come across is likely to be Pha Suam in the Uttayan Bajiang nature resort. It is situated around 30 kilometres from the city on Route 20. The water tumbles over a ten-metre high cliff into a pool of fish below.
Of the three waterfalls in the vicinity of Tad Lo village, Tad Suong is the most impressive, being the tallest. It’s even more of a spectacle to behold during the wet season, when large volumes of water crash over it. Climb to the top of the falls for stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Arriving in the village of Tad Lo, head to Tad Hang, which is the best of the waterfalls for swimming it. It is wide rather than tall, making it a gentler prospect and is popular with locals and visitors alike.
Another opportunity for a swim is Tad Faek, which is complete with ledges that the locals love to jump off. If it’s the weekend, you may just want to spectate, as it gets very busy, but at other times you may have it to yourself.
For those who are prepared to venture along the atrocious road towards Paksong there is a fantastic reward waiting. Tad Katamtok is among the best waterfalls on the plateau and always looks magnificent whatever the season. See it up close or from a viewing platform located on the other side of the valley.
Further along the dirt road is an area with a number of waterfalls, but undoubtedly the most impressive is Tad Alang. The water comes over the edge of the canyon in sheets, contrasting its frothy white appearance with the ferns and other plants that line the walls.
Back towards Pakse you will find the double-waterfall of Tad Fane, which is best seen from across the valley. There are guides available in the city to lead you there, as it’s not the most obvious spot to find.
Also nearby is Tad Gneuang, which is nice to visit if there has been heavy rain, but can be a little underwhelming during the dry season.
Related news stories:
Everything you need to know about coffee in Laos (29th December 2015)
What is there to do in and around Pakse? (6th July 2015)
Eat your way through Luang Prabang?s night market (26th May 2016)
Why has Laotian food not been widely exported to the rest of the world? (2nd April 2015)