Tag Archives: Laos coffee

Pakse to Thailand with lunch at Sirindhorn Dam

After travelling from Thailand to Pakse, Paksong and then back to Pakse yesterday, I had hoped for a sleep in but unfortunately I was wide awake by sunrise.

I relaxed a little in my room waiting for the Delta Coffee shop to open. I had a meeting with the owner planned for breakfast but on my way my appetite got the better of me and I settled for my favourite Laos street food – a baguette with an Asian twist.

Laos Baguette

I still managed to fit in a bowl of soup at the coffee shop and a delicious Latte made from the best coffee beans around. Delta coffee grows, roasts, packets and sells direct their own coffee beans and they really are very good. They are organic and a lot of their profit goes back into building health centres in the immediate area where they farm and their staff live.

If you live in Australia and are interested in purchasing some delicious coffee beans you can order them from here.

After my meeting I was offered a quick tour of the new and very impressive Athena hotel right opposite Delta coffee. I will blog about that next. From there it was back to the hotel to pack up and hit the road.

Apart from a slight heart attack at the border I made pretty good time into Thailand and arrived at Sirindhorn dam right on noon and time for lunch! I wrote about this place a few years ago when I visited with friends.

The place was quite empty so I had a nice view from my table.

view from restaurant at Sirindhorn Dam

The wind across the lake brought the temperature down a welcomed few degrees. I immediately ordered before sitting back and enjoying the view while waiting for my food. It wasn’t long before I was tucking into some rice, pork and vegetables as well as some delicious baby pork spare ribs.

Pork spare ribs

Thai stir fry

This is outside the restaurant and the next photo is looking south across the dam.

outside restaurant at Sirindhorn Dam

Sirindhorn Dam

It really was very relaxing there but with great reluctance I eventually got back into my car for the final two hour drive home to some very excited kids!

Paksong on the Bolaven Plateau and E Tu waterfall

Following on from my last blog I had just arrived in the small town of PakSong on the Bolaven plateau.

By the time I was arrived I was very hungry so pulled into what looked like a restaurant on the side of the road which was deserted apart from the owner who said he would cook me up some lunch.

Well there was one other person there, his daughter. She climbed up onto the top of my table, totally ignored me and proceeded to empty a full bag of seeds all over the table and the floor one by one.

My lunch time companion.

My lunch time companion.

Opposite my lunch time shack was a building that had obvious French connections. Old and run down yet still quite beautiful in a way.

building with sign

building close

The Bolaven plateau is coffee country and it was gearing up for the harvesting season. Everywhere you look are coffee bushes.

Coffee trees

After lunch I went and saw the man about the dog called Agarwood, picked up a few things and headed back to Pakse. Along the way I saw a sign to a waterfall called E Tu saying it was only 800 metres off the road.

E tu sign

Being so close and having a small amount of time up my sleeve I thought I would call in. 5,000 kip (20 baht or .60 cents) to enter and the same again to park the car is a welcome change to the 400 baht ($13) that Thailand try and charge white people with long noses for far less beautiful waterfalls.

The stairs down were slippery and steep.

Steep stairs down

If they looked like that going down then they looked like this going back up! A good work out but well worth it.

steep stairs up

This is the view of the waterfall from the top of the stairs.

e tu waterfall 1

Down the bottom it was a lot better. You can swim here if you wanted to. I didn’t have time to linger long so gave the swimming and the restaurants a miss and continued on back to Pakse.

e tu waterfall 2

e tu waterfall 3

I checked into the hotel before hitting the streets of Pakse looking for some food. There were quite a few new restaurants since I was last there and I had a nice feed before returning to the hotel for a good nights sleep.

Trip to Laos part II

Trip to Laos part II. Following on from Part I.

Bright and early the next morning we set off towards the Bolaven Plateau and the town ofPaksong. First stop was the farm of Delta Coffee which is where Peppers buys all their great coffee from.

Although no one was there we had organised our visit ahead of time. We had a good look around the farm, this being the first time I had ever seen coffee plants up close.

We had a look around the sheds as well and discovered all kinds of equipment.

Down the hill a little we were delighted to find a pristine looking stream and much to my Dads delight a working mini hydro plant.

After spending over an hour there we heading back into the township of Paksong where I wanted Dad and Des who, how shall we put this nicely…. are addicted to coffee, to meet a man by the name of Coffee and indulge in what he does best, drink and talk about coffee! Unfortunately he wasn’t home so we pushed on.
Apart from coffee the other major reason for travelling around the Bolaven Plateau was to check out a few Agarwood plantations. We came across one major place which had some good looking trees but the rest were just a few scattered here and there. Before we saw any though we stopped and had a look at coffee beans drying on the side of the road.

As well as this nice waterfall. The car park was full of tour buses from Thailand and people were everywhere but it was still a nice place to stop and stretch the legs. I am hoping that Mr Coffee who reads this blog will let me know the name of this place as well as the next waterfall that I am about to write about. *edit* Mr coffee has emailed me and told me that it is called bacheanc (the disneyland waterfall.)

I saw this interesting sign in one of the car parks.

It was then time to find some lunch (and coffee!) Not much luck on the coffee front (this was a trend that was to follow for most of the trip much to their disappointment!) Lunch was also interesting in this small village that we stopped at. A lot of things looked promising but failed to deliver while there were also a few pleasant surprises as well. Whilst there we met an American man who was riding around on his motorbike. Thankfully he had a map as the road we had planned to head back to Pakse on we found out was a lot further then we thought as well as being in very bad condition. It would have seen us arriving home well after dark. He also told us of another waterfall which was only a few kms away which we decided to go and see.

This place was much quieter as well as being a better waterfall to look at and we enjoyed our time here. *Edit* Mr Coffee has informed me that it is called Couple Waterfalls.

From there we drove straight back to Pakse arriving just before sunset. Outside the hotel we saw the aftermath of an accident which Dad took a few photos of.

I really love the second one that he took. Notice the bike coming out of the side street? Five people on board, no helmets and not concerned about the policeman (getting off his motorbike) at all!

That night we met up with some friends of mine for dinner who live in Pakse and are currently setting up a Cafe/Bakery to help train up locals by giving them skills in English, cooking, cleaning, business management, customer service etc etc. It is a great project and I will follow it with interest. Next time I go over there I plan to take some photos and publish more about what they are doing exactly.

After dinner we went and had a look at their business premises before walking back to the hotel for a much needed sleep!

Day Three, Pakse to Thakhek, coming soon.