alexametrics Paksong/Bolaven Plateau
Tad E-Tu Waterfalls
Tad E-Tu Waterfalls
Photo by : Danou
Paksong/Bolaven Plateau

Destinations

Paksong/Bolaven Plateau

The Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos is famous for its great scenery, ethnic villages, and traditional coffee farms. It also has some of Southeast Asia's most spectacular waterfalls, including Tad Fane (Paksong), Tad Tayicseua (Paksong), and Tad Champee (between Pakse and Paksong).

The plateau’s elevation ranges between 1,000 and 1,350 metres above sea level, so the weather in general is milder than most places in Laos. It can get rather chilly at night, so packing a jacket is a good idea if you’re planning a visit to the Bolaven Plateau.

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Brief History

Bolaven Plateau was named after an ethnic group, the “laven” who lived here. During the late 19th century, this area was annexed by the France who planted coffee here. This started the coffee plantation culture.

The Plateau was heavily bombed during the Vietnam war as it was a strategic vital location for both the North Vietnamese and the Americans.

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Overall Weather

Bolaven Plateau has three seasons:

- Hot-dry (February to May)

During this season, the average temperature is around 34C with the temperature soaring as high as 39C and dropping as low as 23C. You may still encounter small showers during this season especially when the rainy season draws near. The temperature may drop as you go up the plateau with an altitude of 800-1350 meters. Most of the waterfalls are still going strong during this season, but it gets better during the rainy season.

- Rainy season (June to October)

As the rainy season starts, the average temperature is around 25C which increases to 31C as it approaches the cool-dry season. The temperature may soar as high as 34C and drop as low as 22C. Do expect lots of rain during this season especially in the months of July and August. It is advisable to be extra careful when traveling on the dirt roads as it could be wet and slippery due to the rain. However, do expect strong and beautiful waterfalls during this season as the rain replenishes the source of the waterfall.

- Cool-dry (November to Jan)

During cool-dry season, the average temperature hovers around 30C and temperature may drop as low as 21C and as high as 35C. The coldest month will be in January. This is the best time to visit Bolaven Plateau as it has a comfortable and cool temperature. However, do take note that it gets pretty chilly after sunset, so do remember to bring warm clothing to stay warm.

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How to get to Bolaven Plateau

How to get to Bolaven Plateau

The easiest way to go to Bolaven Plateau is to go from Pakse town. From Pakse, one could take a bus or motorbike and travel approximately 38km to reach Bolaven Plateau. They could also join a day trip out of Pakse that visits Tat Lo, Tat Fan, Tat Phasuam waterfalls, a coffee plantation and ethnic minority villages in Plateau which costs around 150,000k per person.

Getting around Bolaven Plateau

Most of the roads are closed except for the dirt roads that lead to most of the waterfalls. These dirt roads are still in good condition and a good way to travel these roads is by 100cc and 110cc motorcycles. Motorcycles can be rented in Pakse or in Tat Lo. However, in Tat Lo, only a small amount of motorcycles is available for rent, unlike Pakse.

One good way to travel is through the Pakse-Paksong-Tat Lo-Pakse loop which takes around one whole day. You can also travel more by going for the Southern Swing. Please take note that most of the maps given out from the motorcycle rental shop have an inaccurate scale of the area, misrepresenting the distance needed to travel from one place to another.

 

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Public Bus details in Pakse

Transportation from Provinces to Pakse             

Departure

Destination

Kind of Bus

Distance

Departure Time

price*

Remark

Vientiane

Pakse

Local

 

10:00am

12:30pm

13:30pm

14:00pm

14:30pm

15:00pm

15:30pm

16:00pm

110,000 Kip

13h

Express

 

07:15am

18:00pm

19:00pm

20:00pm

140,000 Kip

10h

VIP (sleep)

 

20:30pm

21:00pm

170,000 Kip

8h

Oubon (Thai)

Pakse

VIP

 

08:00am

70,000 Kip

 

Ban muang Champasack

Pakse

Express

 

07:30am

35,000 Kip

 

Khammouane

Pakse

VIP

322 Km

Every hour from 08:30am

70,000 Kip

 

Express

60,000 Kip

 

Xieng Khouang, Bounmixay southern bus station

Pakse

 

 

07:15am

120,000 Kip

16 Hours

 

 

 

Transportation from Pakse to Provinces   

Departure

Destination

Kind of Bus

Distance

Departure Time

price*

Remark

Pakse

Donkhong

Express

 

07:30am

55,000 Kip

 

Dnokhong/ Meuang Khong

Song-theaw

 

09:15am

15:30pm

50,000 Kip

Southern Bus Station

Donkhon Island

 

09:00am

15:30pm

50,000 Kip

Ban Nakasak

 

09:00am

15:30pm

50,000 Kip

Champasak District

 

10:00am

11:00am

12:00pm

20,000 Kip

Dao Heung Market

Paksong District

 

08:30am

09:30am

12:30pm

20,000 Kip

Southern Bus Station

Sekong Province

Local

 

07:00am

08:00am

09:00am

11:30am

35,000 Kip

Northern Bus Station

Vip

 

15:15pm

45,000 Kip

Express

 

07:30am

08:30am

09:30am

10:30am

11:30am

40,000 Kip

Sengchalern Bus

Attapeu Province

Local

 

07:00am

08:00am

09:00am

11:30am

45,000 Kip

Southern Bus Station

Vip

 

15:15pm

55,000 Kip

Express

 

07:30am

08:30am

09:30am

10:30am

11:30am

50,000 Kip

Sengchalern Bus

Khammouan Province

Local

 

07:30am

08:30am

09:30am

10:30am

11:30am

60,000 Kip

Sengchalern/southern Bus Station