Bolaven Plateau

3.5 /5




Ideal duration: 2

Best Time: October to February Read More

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"Waterfalls, Ethnic Villages and Hiking"

Bolaven Plateau Tourism

Bolaven Plateau is an elevated region located in the Champasak province in southern Laos. It is a luxurious plain known for its cool climate, stunning waterfalls, forested mountains, coffee and remote villages home to the few ethnic groups in Laos. It is one of the most popular attractions among the tourists seeking adventure, hiking and mountains.

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Places to visit at Bolaven Plateau

1. Bolaven Province has many waterfalls. Some of the famous ones are:

The Tad Lo Waterfalls - The Tad Lo is one of the most visited waterfalls in the Bolaven plateau. More than the waterfalls, the greenery leading to the falls is a great place to hike and enjoy amidst nature.

Tad Hang Waterfalls - Another beautiful waterfall located close to the Tad Lo, which can be combined.

That Fang - Also known as Dong Hua Sao, this 120 metre falls is the tallest waterfall in Laos. You need to hike along a well-marked trail surrounded by gorgeous mountains for about 6km to get to the waterfalls.

Pha Suam & Tad Yuang - Two smaller waterfalls located on the way between Pakse and Bolaven plateau known for their dense greenery.

2. Visit the ethnic minority villages -

The communities of Alak, Katu and Suay villages open up their villages for tourists, who can get to know their culture and ways of life. You can also visit their local markets to buy some unique products created by these villages. You can go on organised guided tours which can be booked via hotels or guesthouses or explore independently through motorbikes or tuk-tuks. The guided tours cost around 323111 LAK to 461588 LAK (35 to 50 USD) per person for half-day/full day.

3. Tour the Coffee Plantations -

Bolaven has many coffee estates that give free tours of their plantations to tourists. These are short 1 hour informal tours that can be taken by direct walk-in.

Tips While Visiting Bolaven Plateau

  • There are no ATMs near the attractions or in the nearest towns. It is better to carry sufficient cash.

  • The areas around waterfalls and villages have limited options for food and drinks. So carry your snacks and water.

  • There are no public toilets too.

  • Accommodation options are limited in the town and can get booked during the hiking season. It is recommended to book hotels and guesthouses in advance.

  • Carry sunscreen, umbrella or a hat for the sun and raincoats as well.

  • Also, it is recommended to wear good hiking shoes as it involves a lot of walking around.

History & Significance of Bolaven Plateau

The word Bolaven translates to the Home of the Laven in the local language. The plateau acquired the name due to the Laven, an ethnic group that has been inhabiting this region and other places in southern Laos. Bolaven Plateau was taken over by the French in 1893 during their colonization of Laos. They noticed the fertile plains and introduced agriculture or a large scale. Coffee, rubber and bananas were cultivated during this time, which also led to the farming of many vegetables, paddy and rice. The ethnic groups, including the Laven, Katu, Tahoy and Suay all adopted these crops and farming techniques for their livelihood.

The tradition turned the plateau into one of the prominent agricultural regions in Laos, and today, it is one of the leading producers of quality coffee and rubber. Most of the country's export happens from the Bolaven plateau, and apart from being a popular tourist attraction, the region is also a significant contributor to Laos economy and employment.

Suggested Itinerary for Bolaven Plateau

Here is a 2 day itinerary for Bolaven Plateau -

Day 1:
Start from Pakse and hike to That Fang waterfalls. Next head to the Tad Lo waterfalls. After exploring, you can spend overnight in one of the guesthouses near Tad Lo.

Day 2: Visit a coffee plantation and then head to the villages for a tour. You can head back to Pakse or continue in Tad Lo.

Bolaven Plateau Photos

Bolaven Plateau

FAQs on Bolaven Plateau

Who should visit Bolaven Plateau?

Bolaven Plateau is ideal for all types of travelers. But adventure seekers and nature lovers will enjoy it more.

What's great about Bolaven Plateau?

Bolaven Plateau is an excellent place in Laos to enjoy its abundant natural beauty, including waterfalls, mountains and also to know and meet the few remote ethnic communities in the country.

What's not great about Bolaven Plateau?

Bolaven plateau offers a lot to travelers. It is not worth visiting if you are short on time. Also, since it involves a lot of physical activities like hiking to the falls and villages, elderly and people with young children might not be very comfortable.

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