3 day Motorbiking trip around Bolaven Plateau, Laos
In Dec 2016, I visited Laos as part of my four and half month trip to south east Asia. I might not have visited too many places, but I think its time, I start sharing my experiences to people who might want to visit these countries. So here goes 3 days of documenting. 🙂
The Bolaven Plateau is an elevated region in southern Laos. The plateau’s elevation ranges approximately from 1,000 to 1,350 metres (3,280 to 4,430 ft) above sea level. Most of the tourists who travel around this region, tend to rent a motorbike and ride around these hills. And I did the same with my friend M.
We rented an automatic scooter from our guest house(GH) for 100,000 Kip/day. We were staying in Champasak town, so we started out trip from there and ended it back there.
I have shared the riding route I have taken over 3 days with Google maps.
We rode from Champasak to Pakse and then towards Paksong. 12 Km before Paksong, we stopped to check out a water fall called Tad Fane. We couldn’t see any path to go down to the bottom of the waterfall. After sticking around for few minutes, we continued to the next one.
On the way we could see many coffee plantations though we didn’t stop. Believe it or not, both of us don’t like coffee.
The next stop was at a water fall called Tayicseua. The road in this region is pretty new and curvy. It was lot of fun riding through the ups and downs of the road.
By evening we reached the Houa Khon waterfalls. We decided to stay here for the night. Before it got dark, we managed to go see the waterfall and even take a dip in the water. So refreshing after the all day ride!
The GH we stayed, was on the opposite side of the, more touristy part of the river. There weren’t many other guests, rooms were simple, but cheap(50000/60000 Kip). The food was good, the nights were silent except for the various insect sounds from the forest. To reach this GH, take the road just before(going from Attapeu to Sekong direction) the bridge at Xe Noy. The road was a bit tricky as on Dec 2016, but nothing unmanageable.
Next day morning we rode to Tad Lo waterfall, a very popular waterfall in this region. We passed through Sekong and Thateng towns on our way. The views weren’t so bad. By this time you have come down to the plains and you could see the mountains on your left side as you ride.
On the way, we stopped to take a look at the Captain Hook Home-stay. Yes, the name got our attention and we had to see what was there! The owner has his own coffee plantations and he conducts daily coffee tours there. We didn’t take the tour, but decided to order the lunch there. Though it took some time, the delicious pumpkin soup with sticky rice was the best food we had on the trip.
By afternoon we reached Tad Lo. Expect a lot of tourists here depending on the season. The waterfall is a bit far from the village, so we went to see the waterfall first. Fortunately, not too many people go close the falls, so we could lie down on the flat rocks and rest a bit, before we start the hunt for accommodation for the night.
Around the main bridge we found a place to stay for 40,000 Kip. Really cheap!
Today was the last day of our trip. There was no major attractions on the way. And we decided to skip all the miniature waterfalls. We took the route via Laongam, back to Pakse and then to Champasak.
Having said all this, if you are planning to do a bike trip in Laos and don’t have too much time, I would suggest you do the Thakhek loop. Its more popular among travelers. I haven’t done it myself, but it seems more fun than Bolaven.