Tad Fane (Boloven Plateau)
Tad Fane Travel Blog› entry 22 of 27 › view all entries
"And down the waterfall, wherever it may take me,
I know that life won't break me, when I come to call."
Angels - Robbie Williams
At 9 o'clock, after another fine breakfast in the best hotel we'd have on this vacation, it was time to leave Siphandon. Since Mieke had just found the shedded skin of a snake near the reception it might indeed be better to go. ;-) We had to wait for a couple of minutes for the ferry to return from the other side and also made a few stops along the way back to Pakse. First we had a beer and coconut near a gas station on Route 13 while the driver filled the motor up with water again. Seemingly the car trouble hadn't been completely solved yet.
Later we stopped at the handicraft village of Ban Nong Dung where a tribe of Katang people live. The art of these people is very different and looks more like those traditional African statues you always come across. With the exception of two nice Buddha statues we couldn't say that their masks and woodcarvings were exactly our cup of tea. The Katang are firm believers in house and village spirits though and it was interesting to see their ceremonial hut that was absolutely off-limits and was filled with all kinds of their strange statues.
Around one o'clock we arrived back in Pakse, where we had a tasty lunch at the Khem Khong restaurant that floats on the Mekong. Next up was a quick stop at the local market of Pakse, where Paul got himself a new haircut. We left Pakse eastwards for the Bolaven plateau, where the climate has a welcome cooler temperature because of it's height.
Around 4 o'clock we arrived at the Tad Fane Resort, which was at least slightly different from what we'd expected. Their website had a very luxurious aura, but in reality the place was a bit run down. The bungalow Paul and I stayed in was okay but the one for Ad and Mieke had stains on the walls, dirty curtains and holes in the bathroom roof. Certainly not the impression we got from their website. A Beerlao, which normally costs 8.000 - 12.000 kip in most places we'd visited was a staggering 18.000 kip, although the food was normally priced. We'd asked Shot if it was possible to participate in a traditional Lao Baasi ceremony. This is normally organised for guests when they go on a long journey and is meant to make the 32 wandering spirits that they believe make up a person, return to their body.
One thing that was absolutely reliable though in our information was the fact that the resort is located at a cliff overlooking the Tad Fane waterfall. It was quite impressive to see how two parallel streams of the Huay Bang Lieng plunge out of a dense forest at the edge of the Dong Hua Sao NPA downwards for more than 120 meters. True, you had to walk to a viewpoint just outside the resort to actually see it, but it was definitely there.
Anyway, we had a good dinner and chatted with a Dutch tour leader that was cycling through Thailand, Laos and Cambodia on his own. After some more blogging it was time to go to bed. Tomorrow would bring a full day trekking with that strange guide ...