Exploring the bolaven plateau laos

I did not plan on visiting Pakse or the Bolaven Plateau Laos while I was traveling through this country but sometimes the best days are those completely unforeseen.

My boyfriend and I booked an overnight ‘sleeping bus’ from Vang Vieng to Savannakhet, Laos and were due to arrive at our destination at 6 am.

After a rough, wild, and slightly uncomfortable night in the back of a bus with no windows, we woke up to the Lao bus driver yelling at us to get off the bus as we were at the last stop.  Disoriented and barely awake we hopped off the bus and to our surprise we were in the city of Pakse.

If you’re not familiar with Laos, that meant we over shot Savannakhet by 2 and a half hours!  Whoops!

Having our full fill of the “bus life” we decided to stay exactly where we ended up.  To our surprise, Pakse Laos and the surrounding Bolaven Plateau has lots to offer and is now one of my favorite places in Laos.

How to Spend 1 Day on the bolaven plateau laos

Exploring the Bolaven Plateau Laos

For full transparency, I have sprinkled some affiliate links in this post.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases that gives me a small commission at no extra cost to you if you decided to make a purchase.  As always, I would never recommend a product or service that I didn't truely believe in.  All proceeds go to keep Jess traveling and coffee ☕️.  I thank you in advance.

How to Get to the Bolaven Plateau

First rent a moped.   It costs 80,000 KIP (roughly $8 USD) for the whole day.  I think everyone should experience and explore Bolaven Plateau this way.

There are several Bolaven Plateau waterfalls clustered together located 45 minutes to an hour outside of the town of Pakse.  Follow the only road that leads out of town to get to the Laos waterfalls.  Along the Pakse Loop way you’ll pass through a few local villages as the area is mostly rural.

Tad Fane Waterfall

Tad Fane waterfall is the first waterfall you will visit.  Tad Fane is a set of two waterfalls cascading down the side of a mountain and the most popular waterfall in Southern Laos.  

The Tad Fane waterfall reminded me of a scene straight out of Jurassic Park.  I traveled here during the wet season, so there was a lot of fog the day I explored this area but it was still such an epic sight to see.

Tad Yuang Waterfall

The next waterfall you will visit on the Bolaven Plateau loop is the Tad Yuang waterfall.  This one was my favorite.  

In the dry season you can take a dip above or below the falls and there are restaurants and shops that line the parking lot if you’re looking to grab a bite to eat. It cost 25,000 KIP ($3 USD) to enter each waterfall.

Koffie’s Coffee Tour

Keep journeying 20 minutes past Tad Fane and check out a Bolaven Plateau coffee and tea plantation.  Koffie’s Coffee tour is a unique, highly informative tour with an overload of information about coffee growing, harvesting, processing and quality of coffee around the world and they teach you how roast coffee.

If you’re willing to splurge on a experience go zip lining and drink the Laotian coffee above a waterfall.  Bucketlist Goals thats all I have to say.

Tad Lo & Tad Hang Waterfalls

If you plan to spend more days exploring the Bolaven Plateau loop keep going to reach two more Bolaven Plateau waterfalls.  You’re heading to Tad Lo waterfall which is 10 meter tall  on the banks of the Xe Set.

Tad Hang waterfall is also close by where in the summer you can swim around in the pools that surround this fall.  If you are staying in this area, there is a long, scenic walk that takes you to all three falls on a well marked trail.


Salachampa– Connected to Salachampa Hotel, a perfect place to sip a Laobeer and try some Lao dishes.

Daolin– Serves a variety of pastas, Thai food and offers a lot of vegetarian options. Great price point. Open daily 6:30 am – 9 pm.

Cafe Em– an outdoor coffee shop using organic, freshly roasted Arabica beans from the Bolaven Plateau. Open daily from 6 am – 7 pm. Located by Tad Lo and Tad Hang.

WHERE TO STAY in/near Pakse 

BUDGET Hotels in Pakse

Budget places to stay in Pakse, Laos

Salachampa Hotel

The Salachampa Hotel is located in the center of Pakse.  The hotel offers simply furnished rooms and the convenience of an on-site restaurant.  Stays include services like luggage storage and laundry.

Rooms start at $20 a night.

Mid Range Hotels near Pakse

Mid range places to stay in Laos

Tad Fane Resort

The Tad Fane Resort is located walking distance to the Tad Fane Waterfall.  The rooms are basic but you if you’re looking for a retreat in nature this is the spot for you.  Every room comes with a balcony and A/C.

Tad Lo Lodge

The Tad Lo Lodge has an amazing location on riverside and is a 5 min walk to Tad Lo waterfall.

Luxury Hotels in Pakse

Luxury places to stay in Laos

Champasak Grand Hotel

The Champasak Grand Hotel has large spacious rooms that are tastefully decorated and located 15 minutes away from the airport.  Some of the top amenities include a spa, fitness center and a large outdoor pool.

La Jardin Hotel

A quiet but central location. La Jardin Hotel has comfortable beds and an outdoor pool.  Perfect spot to rest your hat after a day of exploring the Bolaven Plateau.

Before You Travel to the Bolaven Plateau, Laos

  • VISA– The USA and most European countries need a visa to travel Laos and you can obtain these at the border.  The cost of a visa is $30 USD but varies depending on which passport you are holding.  Check here to find out how much a visa cost for you.
  • PURCHASE: World Nomad’s Travel Insurance.
  • CURRENCY: Laotian KIP is the currency of Laos. 8,000 KIP is about 1 USD.  Average daily budget is $40 USD’s and that’s not denying yourself of pleasures.

Have you been to the Bolaven Plateau?  Let me know in the comments below!

The Bolaven Plateau Laos in 1 DayThe Bolaven Plateau Laos in 1 DayThe Bolaven Plateau Laos in 1 Day