The Bolaven Plateau in Southern Laos is mostly within Champasak Province between the Snnamite Mountains that form the Vietnamese border and the Mekong River. At its highest it is 1,350 metres and it was the scene of many important episodes in Laos history; French colonisation, the Phu Mi Bun revolt and more recently the struggle against the Americans in the Vietnam War. The French brought agricultural techniques that transformed the region into an agricultural area with coffee being especially important.
Intermarriage has watered down the ethnic groups somewhat though the dominant group is the Laven after whom the plateau is named.
How to get there
There are domestic flights and international ones to neighbouring countries to and from Pakse, the provincial capital. Locally bus services are regular if slow at times. Buses go west to Thailand and east to Danang in Vietnam.
Best time to visit
Indochina tour packages cut across several countries and there are significant climatic differences; it is normally impossible to avoid rain completely. In Laos the monsoons are between May and October.
Things to see and do
Tourism is now very important to the economy of the area and Laos tour packages will include some of the following:
• There are innumerable rivers and waterfalls. The Tad Lo Waterfalls are 90 km from Pakse and are surrounded by green vegetation, a wonderful setting. It is not especially large unlike Taat Fang which falls 120 metres though you face quite a trek to reach its base.
• The villages are a genuine experience. There are many quite easy to access and each has its own culture and crafts. Anyone on holiday in Laos is missing something if they do not meet the locals.
• Take a trip on a river, a ride on an elephant or just explore.
• A tour of a coffee plantation is an addition interest.
Laos travel guide information is by necessity general. Within the plateau there is guesthouse accommodation and of course those on Laos travel packages will have everything arranged for them.