The stunning waterfalls of southern Laos - Rusty Compass travel blog

The stunning waterfalls of southern Laos

| 12 Nov 2015
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12 Nov 2015

There’s plenty more to the south of Laos, but the waterfalls are an unforgettable part of any visit - especially during the wet season. In this blog post and video, we check out two waterfalls on the Bolaven Plateau outside of Pakse and the mighty Khone Phapheng on the Mekong in the far south.

I’m just back from my first visit to southern Laos - and what a wonderful time it was. There were many highlights - including the many waterfalls.

I only visited a handful - and they were dramatic. The waterfalls themselves were special but the natural settings were a big part of their appeal. We made sure we arrived very early or very late and managed to completely avoid the crowds.

It’s worth noting that the waterfalls, and Laos generally, are at their best when the rain’s falling, the river is flowing fast and the countryside is a rich green. That usually means travelling between July and November.

Khone Phapheng, Laos
Photo: Mark Bowyer Khone Phapheng, Laos


Tad Fane waterfall, Bolevan Plateau Laos
Photo: Mark Bowyer Tad Fane waterfall, Bolevan Plateau Laos


Tad Fane waterfall, Bolevan Plateau Laos
Photo: Mark Bowyer Tad Fane waterfall, Bolevan Plateau Laos


Tad Gneuang waterfall, Bolevan Plateau Laos
Photo: Mark Bowyer Tad Gneuang waterfall, Bolevan Plateau Laos

All of this material was shot in early November 2015.

I shot the first part of this video at the Bolaven Plateau falls of Tad Fane and Tad Gneuang around 40kms from Pakse.

The second part is at the incredible Khone Pha Pheng in Champasak province near the Cambodian border. These are the biggest falls in South East Asia and the most dramatic I’ve ever seen. Whatever they lack in height, they more than compensate in power and drama.

The the falls around Khone Phapheng make the Mekong River unnavigable and it was here that the French colonial era dream of a trading route between southern China and Indochina fell apart. 

We’ll be publishing lots more about travel to Laos soon.

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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