Bolaven Plateau, Paksong, home of Lao’s premium coffee, Laos

Paksong, the coffee capital of Laos, within an hours drive from Pakse, is the destination that a motorbike is rented for. I am taking a  two days trip for a small circle around Tadlo and Bolaven. Starting from Pakse, my route goes clockwise following the red coloured road, splitting journey half at Tadlo.


You will cross lots of rivers and streams over an one lane bridge.


And it is a paradise if you love waterfalls. One after another all the way, so don’t spend too much time on one waterfall. Don’t forget June/July are the rainy season for a spectacular volume of water. Vendors line up the entrance of a waterfall.


If you have been on Beer Lao last night come another day as you will walk across a slippery wood bridge like this.


Well, To a person like me from New Zealand, especially Rotorua, we got ones home better than this.


Small stream by the village is used for a communal bathroom and laundry place.


Best home based cafe on the way goes Mr.Vieng’s home cafe, right in the middle of his  two Hectare coffee garden.


I wished this was my home.


Never seen a country coffee brewing table like this. Lovely. Vieng’s wife Noi uses a handy portable espresso when serving guests a cup of a brew.


And bamboo constructed motorbike park under the house.


Coffee is being extracted from an espresso. Hot steam moves up through the percolator and reaches the catchment on top. Old school espresso tool.


Whenever Noi has time, she sorts the beans by hands.


Right at the garden. A robusta coffee tree shades the house. Bitter tasted coffee that is used for making instant coffees.


At a market sells a good nibble.


Shops after shops the whole road is covered with the wooden structured stalls selling locally produced stuff, like bamboo shoots, pineapples, durians, corns, kumaras and heaps of pumpkins.


Getting close to Tadlo where I call it a day.


In Tadlo town, you will have some river bangalow with view over a waterfall and lots of cheap guest houses starting from 25,000 Kip(US$3) a night. Competition is fierce, so you are on the winning side.




One of best, Fandee family guest house, the French run business for locals. Come for a munch. Everything is yummy here. They have got the most impressive wifi password, no-smile-no-wifi, now you know what to bring?


Very comfy wooden stump seat?


We become all family here.


Even a village pig stops by for a nibble regularly.


Road to waterfall sometimes gets tough.


Look at this local village backed up by a waterfall.


Pumpkins are sold at 1000Kip a Kg.


Another waterfall which can only be accessed through a private resort, but if you ask nicely not being a guest, they will let you in.


Next morning on leaving Tadlo toward Paksong, the holy coffee town sitting more than 1000 metres above sea level, I saved my stomach empty for a good coffee.


Local kids trying to talk to me, sorry for my Lao, I speak just nit-noi.


On turning into the “Hospital Company” vendors sell corns, mushroom buns at cheap price.




The hospital is in beautiful sets of nature. Mountains, rivers and coffee trees around, and I am thinking how people can get sick with those. My conclusion? Nobody to love.


Paksong town itself doesn’t offer a good spot for coffee apart from a couple of places.

Won cafe run by a well seasoned Dutch expat Mr.Coffee. Sit for an hour and listen to what Mr.Coffee tells you about his traveling and story of coffee since his age of three. Really cheerful guy over a brew he makes.


Mr.Coffee everyone calls him.


A coffee farmers union of sort, Jhai cooperative company managed by Tao, local youth who speaks very good English. His Vietnamese-made roaster was in full swing when I visited. He made a brew with an Arabica Typica bean, medium roasted, 24g over 400 ml of water. We exchaged emails and who knows what will be coming on between us?


Beans under cooling process. The name Jhai is heart for Lao. Perfect name for coffee because I believe your heart tells the urge for a cup, not your stomach.


Craving for Pizza or spicy fried chicken? Head for MaruHan. You will hit-and-miss this spot. Only place in Paksong otherwise come back in Pakse.





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