AsiaLaosTad Fane

Tad Fane (Boloven Plateau)

Tad Fane Travel Blog

 › entry 22 of 27 › view all entries
Piecing together a snake ...

"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.

Trying to catch a chicken for Mieke.

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.

Showing Shot some Dutch money.
Unlike our drive to Phonsovan this fortunately didn't involve any curving roads along mountain passes. Instead the road to Bolaven is a very gradually ascending way. The change in temperature was dramatic though. Pakse had been boiling, Bolaven would be slightly chilly. Along the way we made a quick stop at a tea plantation. Because of it's fertile soil lots of tea and coffee plantations were established by the French, and some of the world's best coffee comes from the Bolaven (as we'd already tasted several times during the past weeks). Plans to turn Bolaven into a major large-scale coffee plantation were frustrated by the US bombardments in the 60s and 70s though. At the tea plantation Shot explained the process of planting and drying tea, after which we bought some packs of coffee and tea and were on our way again.
Getting alternative transportation to Pakse.

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.

Taking a break along the road to Pakse.
We were quite shocked when the resort's guide informed us that he could arrange for a Baasi but we had to pay for the costs. That seemed more than fair but knowing what costs are involved 100 dollars seemed like an absolute rip-off. This gave us some more doubts about this place.

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 ...

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Piecing together a snake ...
Piecing together a snake ...
Trying to catch a chicken for Miek…
Trying to catch a chicken for Mie…
Showing Shot some Dutch money.
Showing Shot some Dutch money.
Getting alternative transportation…
Getting alternative transportatio…
Taking a break along the road to P…
Taking a break along the road to …
A can full of coconut juice.
A can full of coconut juice.
Katang masks.
Katang masks.
Katang girl.
Katang girl.
Wherever you go, theres always Be…
Wherever you go, there's always B…
Off-limit katang sanctuary.
Off-limit katang sanctuary.
Lunch on the Meking at the Khem Kh…
Lunch on the Meking at the Khem K…
Paul getting a haircut.
Paul getting a haircut.
Shot explaining the process of roa…
Shot explaining the process of ro…
At Bolavens tea plantation.
At Bolaven's tea plantation.
Buying Lao coffee and tea.
Buying Lao coffee and tea.
At the Tad Fane resort.
At the Tad Fane resort.
Tad Fane.
Tad Fane.
Tad Fane
photo by: edsander