The landscape of the Bolaven Plateau is characterised by coffee and tea plantations and dramatic waterfalls surrounded by lush vegetation. Various ethnic groups inhabit the area. Historically, the Laven dominated the region, but nowadays other ethnic groups such as the Alak, Katu, Ta-oy and Suay also reside in the area. Situated in the highlands at an elevation ranging from 1,000 to 1,350 metres above sea level, the cooler climate is a great relief from the heat during the hot season.
Immerse yourself in the coffee production process and visit plantations. You will discover stunning waterfalls where you can cool off in the clear water, or take a gentle trek and visit an ethnic village. If you feel like a more adrenaline-fuelled trip and want to challenge yourself, register for the amazing Tree Top Explorer trip or rent a motorcycle and ride around the small Bolaven loop on your own.
How to get there: You can book an organised tour or a driver at any of the travel agents in Pakse. If you prefer to make your own plans, you can rent a motorbike or a car (with or without a driver). If you have more time and need less comfort, you can also use public transport, as there are daily buses to Paksong, Salavan and Sekong. They can drop you off at any point, so just ask. Get schedules and tickets at any of the travel agents in Pakse.
Where to stay: Accommodation and food facilities are mainly located in Paksong and Tad Lo. You can also find resorts near some of the waterfalls and along the road, or basic homestays on the way.
What to bring: Swimsuit (see → Do’s and Don’ts), sunscreen lotion, a raincoat, and fleece as it can get cool.