Did you know that coffee is grown in Lao? If the answer is no, don’t worry, neither did we before arriving here. Yes, coffee is grown in Southern Lao, on the Bolaven plateau. It seems that, together with French baguettes and petanque, coffee plantations are another legacy of Indochina’s French colonial past.
We wanted to spend a couple of days exploring the plateau (which is not only known for its coffee but also for its beautiful scenery and waterfalls). We chose Pakse as our hub to visit the plateau. But before getting there, we stopped at Savannakhet for one night to break in two the long journey between Vientiane and Pakse. Savannakhet, or the Luang Prabang of the south as they call it for its calmed vibe, is very local, with barely no accommodation and with still a few signs of its colonial past. It is just another Lao town, but it is where we spent Valentines day so we will for sure remember it.
The temperatures were rising as we were heading south, and in Pakse we could really feel it! Five minutes after leaving our chilled hotel room we were sweeting like pigs… We don’t know if it was because of the heat or not, but Isma developed a nasty mouth ulcer that took a few days to heal. It wasn’t until he started taking some Chinese pills for cooling down his body (that is what the pharmacist said) that he felt any improvement. Natural Chinese medicines are not a myth, they do work!