One of the most scenic destinations in southern Laos, the Bolaven Plateau is an expanse of land formed by an ancient volcano. Packed with some of the country’s most stunning waterfalls, lush jungles and farmland, this is a great spot for exploring what makes Laos so special. The altitude on the Bolaven Plateau (1,000 to 1,350 metres) means the area has its own microclimate, with average day time temperatures reaching the mid-20s most months of the year.
The area is renowned for its coffee growing, so while you’re here, stop off at the main city, Paksong, and take a tour of an organic coffee farm. Many farms will let you try as much coffee as you like, and some will even teach you how to roast your own green arabica beans to brew fresh-from-the-field coffee!
Renting a motorbike from Pakse and crossing the plateau has become a popular trip in recent years, and you can choose to take in the sights on a short loop (taking a couple of days) or a longer loop, which can take anywhere from three days to as long as you have to explore. Make sure you pack a rain jacket and some warm clothes as the microclimate here can mean the weather is unpredictable. There are plenty of beautiful waterfalls to see in the Bolaven Plateau, but one of the easiest to get to is Tad Lo Waterfall. Here you can bathe in the pools of the Xe Set River at the base of the waterfall or head off on an elephant trek to remote tribal villages.
Explore the city of Paksong, renowned as Laos‘ ‘coffee capital’. Shopping at the market for local produce, coffee and souvenirs is a great way to start your day and you can even stop off for lunch here. The locals are shy but friendly and will usually be curious and interested to meet you – you might end up making some great friends on your trip!
With remote ethnic villages to explore, coffee farms to tour and markets to discover, there’s plenty to see and do here.
Plan your trip to the Bolaven Plateau today.