Tea leaves and coffee beans on the Bolaven Plateau

Trip Start May 01, 2010
1
59
90
Trip End Apr 30, 2011


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow
Where I stayed
Thaluang Hotel

Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  , Champasak,
Saturday, December 11, 2010

From Tha Khaek, we took a local bus further south to Pakse. After about 100 km into the journey, there was a sudden bang and the bus filled with smoke. The driver pulled to a stop and we all filed out. The tyre had blown and unsurprisingly there was no spare. After a few minutes we all climbed back on board and we carried on our journey albeit at a slower speed. We thought the driver was planning on driving to the nearest place where he could obtain a new tyre. Instead we drove the remaining 150 kilometres or so all the way to Pakse with a constant thud thud thud from the burst tyre! Far worse than this though was being subjected to Asian pop karaoke DVDs played at full volume for the whole journey! What is this Asian obsession with karaoke all about?!

We arrived in Pakse mid-afternoon and booked ourselves onto a tour of the Bolaven Plateau for the next day. The next morning we went to the Sabaidee 2 Guesthouse, who organised the tour, and jumped into a minibus along with a nice Dutch girl called Danya, a couple of women from Singapore and a guy called Eric who strongly resembled Quentin Tarantino in both looks and mannerisms! An intense and interesting chap he has lived and worked in some seriously far-flung places including Congo, Sierra Leone, Haiti and Sakhalin island off the east coast of Russia.

We drove up onto the Bolaven Plateau, an area known for its cooler climate, coffee and tea growing, and several large waterfalls. In the morning we visited two waterfalls, Tat Fan, a dramatic double streamed waterfall which plunges 120 metres down, and another smaller but equally lovely cascade. We also went to a tea plantation followed by a coffee plantation where we learnt how the two plants are grown and the tea leaves and coffee beans processed before trying the resulting products which were very good. After lunch we visited two tribal villages belonging to the Alak and Katu peoples, both animist tribes who believe in a spirit world and perform water buffalo sacrifices. In the Alak village we were surprised to see two girls who had Asian facial features but sandy coloured hair with blond streaks. In the Katu village we were equally surprised to see two very young girls smoking a tobacco filled bong! At our third and final waterfall we stopped for a nice swim before heading back towards Pakse.

That evening we caught up with Bob who had just come down from Vientiane. Along with Danya and Eric we had a good meal at an Indian restaurant called Jasmine that serves the most delicious lassis!
Slideshow Report as Spam

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: