Tad Pheung falls: Hidden jewel of Bolaven Plateau

|     Phoonsab Thevongsa     |

VIENTIANE, Laos (Vientiane Times/ANN) – Champassak Province is well known for its relaxed pace of life, warm hospitality along with a rich cultural history.

Numerous stunning waterfalls also attest to its impressive natural heritage. The province boasts some significant waterfalls such as Southeast Asia’s biggest Khonephapheng, as well as Somphamit, Tad Phasuam, Tad Fan, Tad Yeuang and Tad Etu.

Another such wonder, Tad Pheung, is less well-known to tourists as it is hidden in the high jungle of the Bolaven Plateau. Last week, while visiting the province, I was fortunate enough to find out about this beautiful waterfall thanks to the generosity of the local people. With their enthusiastic description, I couldn’t wait to experience it.

Tad Pheung, also known as Tad Alang, is located near Tad Tayicseua in the Highland formed from the ancient volcano that created the Bolaven Plateau, situated about 90 kilometres from Pakxe town. This amazing waterfall sits off the main paved road some 44 kilometres from Pakxong on 16A Road and is accessible by car and motorcycle.

Coming from the east, it is four kilometres from the paved road to the signed entrance. For the most part, the dirt road is fine but some steep, rough spots require care on a motorcycle, especially in the rainy season.

A visitor opens his arms to catch the spray from the falls. - VIENTIANE TIMES/ANN
A visitor opens his arms to catch the spray from the falls. – VIENTIANE TIMES/ANN

The longer unsealed road from the west is much smoother. In the rainy season, hiking to this waterfall is challenging as it involves climbing steep rocky inclines with lots of muddy and slippery steps.

Upon reaching the waterfall, most agree it is well worth the effort with the welcome offered by the lush, green and refreshing vista that await.There’s a breath taking view when you stand on the grassy hill with pink wild flowers in front of the waterfall and see rainbows caused by the spray refracting the sunlight.

Close to this waterfall, traditional Lao style accommodation and food are provided, offering tourists an authentic, cultural experience that is also perfect for campers. Activities include trekking, swimming, viewing waterfalls and simply relaxing.

Tad Pheung waterfall is less known among many domestic travellers, but in a curious paradox, is fairly familiar to foreign travellers passing the Bolaven Motorbike Loop over two or three days.

The loop sees travellers stopping at various beautiful locations and discovering impressive scenery along the entire journey.

Overall, visiting this beautiful waterfall is highly recommended as there are no big hotels or resorts, simply nature at its best.

Camp sites and genuine local hospitality make it a perfect place for an eco-friendly weekend break to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.