If you are visiting Southern Laos, you will want to put Tad Fane at the top of your waterfall list, together with the Li Phi and Khone Phapeng waterfalls further south on the 4000 islands. Tad Fane, in the Dong Hua Sao National Park on the Bolaven Plateau, is breathtaking feat of nature. One of the most magnificent falls in South East Asia; it combines two rivers to form stunning twin 120m high waterfalls.
Treat yourself to more than the glorious views with a leisurely lunch at the Tad Fane Resort. Immerse yourself in the beautiful scenery with an overnight stay in a bungalow set amongst the towering trees of the forest.
Indulge your adventurous spirit with half and full day treks up to the top of Tad Fane falls and to nearby ethnic villages. Like coffee? You will want to make the time to try the local brew, the best coffee in Laos. Meet the famous ‘Mr Koffie’ and take an intimate and enthusiastic tour on the plantation followed by tastings.
Make the time to visit Tad Yuang waterfall on the Bolaven Plateau as it has become more accessible and tourist friendly in recent years. This is thanks to the work of volunteers who developed the area creating safer viewing platforms and other amenities.
Visitors can enjoy the many vistas of this impressive waterfall by following a path to lookouts at the top, middle and bottom of the gorge. There’s even a picnic area above the falls to pause and take in the views.
Whilst it’s not the highest waterfall on the Plateau, it’s just as picturesque. Do watch your step maneuvering the slippery staircases. Cooling off in the pools is possible but take care around the rushing waters.
Tad Khone Phapheng
Locals often refer to Khone Phapheng Waterfall as the jewel or the pearl of the Mekong, as it is Southeast Asia’s largest waterfall. Millions of litres of water descend over a set of cascades making it one of the most spectacular sites in Southern Laos.
The “Manikoth tree” at the entrance to the site is very famous. The tree used to stand on a rock in the middle of the waterfall, but toppled over in 2012 due to flooding. The public wanted to save it, however, as according to an ancient epic poem adapted from the Ramayana, the tree has supernatural powers. After several attempts, the tree was finally brought on safe shores by a helicopter.
Tad Somphamit or Lii Phii Waterfall
This beautiful natural location is the perfect place to relax. You can follow paths to enjoy different views of the waterfall. You can take a picnic, have a drink in the bar near the sandy beach and even have a swim there, but be careful that you don’t go too far out! The beach is a very special place at the end of the day when the sun paints a firework of pinks, reds and yellows on the sky.
The waterfall is also often called Lii Phii. As the legend goes, the name Lii Phii was given to the area due to the fact that it was considered to be a giant fish trap (Lii) not only for fish, but also for ghosts and dead people (Phii). Therefore, watch your step and be careful if you go into the water.
Tad Pha Suam
Tad Pha Suam is a wide 6m high waterfall that stretches around a U shaped cliff. Its name ‘suam’ means ‘room’ in Lao. The falls flow year round from the Houai Champi River as it descends across the Bolaven Plateau from the north in Salavanh province. Spend a lazy afternoon swimming in the large natural rock pool beneath the falls, or enjoy a picnic or lunch at the nearby Uttayan Bachieng Resort restaurant.
You can also visit the ethnic Lavae model village nearby where you can discover housing styles from different ethnic groups and see handicrafts in the making.
Tad Pha Suam is also the first waterfall in the Bolaven Plateau loop, a 374km round trip that takes four days by motorbike or vehicle. The Pha Suam waterfall and the ethnic Lavae model village are very popular with Thai tour groups.