Best of Laos: Bolaven Plateau and Plain of Jars
Tourism is becoming the fastest growing sector in Laos due to a diversity of beautiful landscapes. This article shall provide you with a brief visit to the two most visited attractions in Laos, Bolaven Plateau and Plain of Jars.
The Bolaven Plateau is an elevated region in Champasak Province of Laos, which is situated in the nation’s Southern area. The plateau’s elevation ranges approximately from 1,000 to 1,350 meters above the sea level. Thanks to the fact that 95% of coffee production in Laos takes place in the particular area, Bolaven is considered as the “heaven of coffee”.
The coffee field in Bolaven Plateau
One of the main reasons that facilitate the coffee growing industry in the plateau is its climate. During the year, the weather is temperate with a fresh atmosphere and a stable rainfall. Meanwhile, the fertile soil created by the volcano here offers such ideal conditions for farmers to grow coffee.
By the year of 1975, French brought the particular plant from Vietnam to the Bolaven. In the following years, Lao families started to take coffee growing as a primary method to make a living. Various ethnic groups including Laven, Katu, Alak have chosen this method and inhabited this plateau.
As a result, they gather together and create such a cultural diversity in the area. In the trip visiting Bolaven, it is recommended for tourists that they should spend their time discovering the unique features in each ethnic group including traditional souvenirs or special ways of tasting coffee.
It cannot be denied that coffee has become such an important part of local life there. It provides visitors with a better understanding of the culture in the plateau. However, this attraction is famous not only for this feature but also for the beautiful landscapes.
A beautiful view of Taat Fang waterfall
The famous attraction in Laos also possesses a diverse geographical condition including both mountains and waterfalls. The most wide-known water fall is Taat Fang, which is the combination of many smaller waterfall systems.
It is suggested by the natives that tourists should rent a motorbike in Pakse city and take a tour to Taat Fang to enjoy the stunning landscape, then head their way to Wat Luang Pagoda, a critical Buddhism destination of the city.
Plain of Jars
Plain of Jars is a megalithic archaeological landscape, which consists of thousands of stone jars scattered around the upland valleys. According to an official government report, it is estimated that the site is dated to the Iron Age, which took place from 500 BC to 500 AD. The primary materials used to create these jars are sandstone and granite, which allows them to reach the weight of two or three tons.
On the other hand, the height is reported to be approximately three meters and most of these creations possess lip rims that were created by a cylindrical shape with the bottom always wider than the top. Despite the similarity in shapes and sizes, the jars seem to be different in terms of decoration.
Jars of stone at the Plain of Jars
As mentioned, the creation of the Plain of Jars took place in such an ancient time, yet, its shape and appearance were so unique. Except from some general information that can be found, these jars left scientists with little clue upon their purpose of use. This fact has led to a variety of opinions as well as theories in order to explain the plain’s origin.
According to the native legends, these jars are created to preserve and produce rice wine. This particular type of wine was used to celebrate the glorious victory of their King, Khun Jeuam, over the enemy, The Chao Angka King.
However, scientists hold completely different ideas by assuming that the plain was built to keep the rainfall during the windy seasons. Recently, a group of French and Japanese archaeologists have brought up their theory as the jars were associated with prehistorical burial practices due to the discovery of human remains, burial goods and ceramics around the jars.
A closer look of a unique stone jar
Nevertheless, none of these theories have been officially recognized and the origin of the famous attraction in Laos still remains mysterious. If you are an adventurer, it is highly recommended to pay this destination a visit.
It cannot be denied that the two tourist attractions in this article are able to provide visitors with an enjoyment of stunning landscapes and an excitement towards Laotian history and culture. In case that you are planning a trip to this Southeast Asia country, you can't miss Bolaven Plateau and Plain of Jars.