The sgBikerBoy 2016 Trip – Day 30

20 July 2016, Wednesday. Decided to stay another day in Pakse, as the region around Champasak has loads to offer. Travellers on motorcycles typically do the loop in Bolaven Plateau. The area offers waterfalls, ethnic villages and coffee plantations. I left early in the day as the Bolaven Plateau loops (there’s a big loop and a smaller loop) are typically completed in 2-3days. I planned on completing it in 1 day.

I reached Tad Fane waterfall before 8am. The entrance wasn't manned and I just walked in.
I reached Tad Fane waterfall before 8am. The entrance wasn’t manned and I just walked in.
The twin falls of Tad Fane plummets more than 100 meters and looks spectacular from a distance.
The twin falls of Tad Fane plummets more than 100 meters and looks spectacular from a distance.

Unfortunately, on my way out of the Tad Fane falls, the guy at the ticketing booth turned up and I paid the 5,000kips entrance fee. He waived the 3,000kips motorcycle parking fee though.

Tad Champee is just north of Tad Fane, but the 2km of road into the waterfall parking area was dirt and gravel road – and my Michelin street tires weren’t too happy. The sky started turning dark, and I didn’t want to risk riding back OUT in slippery roads. So I decided to give this one a miss.

I headed away from the dark clouds and rode towards Tad Phasouam, some 33km away, still on the Bolaven loop.

Awesome view of Tad Phasouam.
Awesome view of Tad Phasouam.
Tad Phasouam and me.
Tad Phasouam and me.
Crossing this creaking suspension bridge made of wood and rattan.
Crossing this creaking suspension bridge made of wood and rattan.
Don't try jumping!
Don’t try jumping!
Went exploring further and saw this really narrow bridge.
Went exploring further and saw this really narrow bridge.
Just about a foot wide! Don't fall!
Just about a foot wide! Don’t fall!
...and the path lead to Keak Ngaew waterfall.
…and the path lead to Keak Ngaew waterfall.
Another ultra narrow bridge.
Another ultra narrow bridge.

As I continued on the Bolaven loop, it started to rain. So I headed back to Pakse for some lunch. And just when I had finished lunch, a guy walked up to me and asked, “Are you from Singapore??”

Hey! I recognised that english accent!

“Are you also from Singapore?” I asked in return.

Daryl is a Singaporean who's now based in Laos! He was rather excited to see a lone Singapore-registered motorcycle in Pakse.
Daryl is a Singaporean who’s now based in Laos! He was rather excited to see a lone Singapore-registered motorcycle in Pakse.

I didn’t have anything planned for the rest of the afternoon, and so I stayed around and chatted with Daryl for quite a while. Turns out that he runs a bee / honey farm here in Pakse, and he invited me to go over and take a look.

Buzzz.... One part of his Lao Honey - Daryl's bee farm, set against an awesome mountain-view backdrop. They are at 15°10′24″ N 106°5′47″ E if you'd like to visit.
Buzzz…. One part of his Lao Honey – Daryl’s bee farm, set against an awesome mountain-view backdrop. They are at 15°10′24″ N 106°5′47″ E if you’d like to visit.
He showed me the inside of one of the boxes. Bees galore! In total, he manages to harvest around 400kg of honey every 6 days. That's ALOT of sweetness!
He showed me the inside of one of the boxes. Bees galore! In total, he manages to harvest around 400kg of honey every 6 days. That’s ALOT of sweetness!
Searching for the queen bee.
Searching for the queen bee.
One of Daryl's workers pointing out to me where the royal jelly was.
One of Daryl’s workers pointing out to me where the royal jelly was.

Daryl also gave me a tour around the farm area. They had avocado trees, durian trees, coffee plants, jackfruit trees, macadamia trees, lychee trees, papaya trees, and probably some others I missed. It’s almost like a fruit farm here. But these aren’t commercial-scale, and they’re mostly for local villagers’ consumption.

He invited me to stay for dinner. I wished I could, but it’s about 40km from Pakse, and I had to make my way back to town before it gets dark. Thanks for the tour, Daryl!

 

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