Saturday, 25 August 2007

A Waterfall in Southern Laos

Cat and I have just got back from a memorable trip to southern Laos with my daughter, Anna and son-in-law, Will. They have just endured the wettest summer in England's history, so I was on tenterhooks when I read that a depression in the South China Sea was about to drown this region just as they were arriving in Bangkok. Would the holiday on Koh Samet, in Surin and Laos be a wash-out?

As it transpired we did pretty well, especially as high water levels are just the job when you're going on what is essentially a waterfall crawl. There's nothing much in southern Laos except mountains and rivers and hence waterfalls and so that's exactly where we went.

First we escaped the heat for a few days and went up to the Tad Fane Resort on the Bolaven plateau for a few days. Living in beautifully appointed wooden chalets hidden in the trees, eating well at the round, wooden thatched restaurant, all the while cooled by swirling mists, it was a great place for a relaxing stay. Despite being the low season it was busy too and full of interesting travellers.

The reason for its huge popularity is clear though. Directly across the valley from the restaurant is the spectacular Tad Fane falls, consisting of two parallel streams that plunge 120 meters into the void below. As a waterfall freak with many under my belt including Niagara, I was very much impressed.

I've also made a date to go back there in the hot season. When it's dusty and baking here in Surin, a few days of cool will be balm to the soul, even if the falls are now only a trickle.

If these are the highest falls in Laos, our next stop was to be at the biggest falls in Laos, a veritable Niagara which as it turned out were carrying a bigger flow than for many a season. I shall not resist posting a picture or three.

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