Monday, September 1, 2008

Waterfall haven

The upper falls at Tat Lo
One of the most enjoyable features of travelling in Laos is that you are never far from the next waterfall, and I'm a sucker for waterfalls. As we made our way from Savannakhet to Pakse in southern Laos we detoured to visit three of the main waterfalls in and around the Bolaven Plateau area, with our first port of call the falls at Tat Lo. There are three falls hereabouts though we only had time for two of them, the third is a 10km hike away. The first set of cascades is near the town and the Tadlo Lodge which has a prime location with gushing water for sending its clients to sleep, whilst the larger falls is another 700m upstream. Not earth-shattering but very pleasant nonetheless. Our next stop was something else altogether. Tat Fan is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Laos with parallel streams of the Huay Bang Lieng plunging out of dense forest and down a sheer drop of 120m to the valley below. We saw it from the top of the opposite cliff at the TadFane Resort, but the view wasn't panoramic due to the dense vegetation and you couldn't see the valley below without slipping over the edge, not a good idea! Our final set of falls were at Tham Champee, about 5kms from Tat Fan and in a gorgeous forest setting, idyllic were my thoughts at the time. We were there just before 6pm and the light and sounds of the surrounding forest were a great way to end our waterfall adventures. We got to Pakse in the dark, and the rain, for a night of luxury at the Pakse Hotel, who looked after us like royalty.
The lower falls at Ta Lo, called Tat Hang
The bungalows of the Tadlo Resort straddle the Tat Lo waterfalls
One of the beautiful butterflies we saw at Tat Lo
The dense forest setting of the spectacular Tat Fan waterfall
The two streams send their water cascading 120m to the valley below at Tat Fan
The idyllic setting for the Tham Champee waterfall
The end of the day at Tham Champee - a beautiful spot to finish our adventures in the Bolaven Plateau


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