On my second day in Pakse, I was up even before 6AM, but I couldn’t get out of my guesthouse because the gate was locked and I had to wake Por to get out. The idea wasn’t very palatable. So I waited for 30 minutes until I noticed the gate already open. Por had gone to the market, I was told later.
This road in Pakse was almost deserted at 6AM. This was in front of Imoun Homestay.
Life starts stirring at the vegetable market in the center of the village.
Xuan Mai Restaurant is usually packed with mostly foreigners, but in the morning, service is a plodding snail paced, 6 other customers walked away, even those who already ordered.
Breakfast was Chicken Fried Rice at 15,000 kip; 2 fried eggs cost 10,000 kip.
A roadside stop on our way to Bolaven Plateau before we got off the highway en route to Utaing Bajiang Nature resort.
ETHNIC COMMUNITY RESORT
Elephant Riding Booth
The way to the Ethnic Tribe area
The “resort” has tree lodgings. I saw a sign that read “steam lodging” as well but I wasn’t sure what it meant exactly. I don’t think I’ve seen anything that resembled this. The other point of interest in Utaing Bajiang is the Maak Ngaew Waterfall and the Great Naga Cave, a Tree Pole House, and the ethnic Tribal Handicraft Museum. This place alone was worth my $35 transport service. Who cared if motorcycling was uncomfortable or windy or dangerous? Walking around the place was absolutely "chill" - and crossing the suspension bridge just to get to the short but crescent-shaped waterfall was a thrill.
Talieng House and their colorful products (above).
The Alak House and their products (above).
Lawae lady: she was working on some "reed", thinning them with a knife.
La Ngae House
Lanae Village where children gather around. Every time a guest comes over, they start singing.
Some of the displays at the Handicraft Museum. We shall post an in-dept coverage of this museum and the resort in the future.
A magnificent tree house that took my attention.
Huge wooden carvings of elephants in a solitary corner of the compound.
Waters from the Maak Ngaew River
A "dancing" but very safe suspension bridge.
Maak Ngaew Waterfalls
We drove back along the highway as we went deeper into Paksong territory, 38 kilometers from Pakse. We further went northeast until we reached another village – Ban Phakkoudkeo. We were heading to Tad Fane Resort, one kilometer from Ban Lak 38 (roadside marker).
A walk to the entrance of the resort where I paid 5,000 kip for my entrance and 1,000 kip for our motorbike parking at Ban Phakkoudkeo.
The twin falls of Tad Fan from the viewpoint of Tad Fane Resort. There's a craggy uneven path that goes down the mountain on the way to the falls but it was so slippery just 20 minutes into a hike. Needless to say, it was dangerous, especially when the trail was that slippery.
I met a German couple on my way back. “Is there a path?” the guy asked. “Yes, but it doesn’t look safe,” I replied. "That's alright," he said, implying they were savvy where dangerous treks are concerned. :) And I walked away. I mentally thought, “Break a leg.” I laughed in spite of myself. The implications could be limb-breaking. I was perspiring from my hike back to the viewpoint. This was anything but boring, with every change of location stirring electric current through my spine. Wandering in strange new places is nothing short of magical, and I wasn't even too far away from my guest house. Tad Fane is 45 minutes away from Pakse, but if you’re taking the commuter bus, I was told it would take 1 hour, even longer.