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Xayaboury waterfall offers visitors a trip on the wild side

Welcoming Visit Laos Year 2018, Vientiane Times is publishing a series of feature articles and
photographs inviting you to experience the authentic nature, culture, history and hospitality of
South-East Asia’s Simply Beautiful Laos.

Xayaboury province boasts many scenic attractions to entice visitors, along with exciting activities for the more adventurous traveller.
One of the province’s highlights can be found in Meuangharm village in Botaen district, in the shape of the Tad Harm waterfall.
This splendid waterfall lies 4-5 km from Botaen town centre and while road access is tricky in the rainy season, the waterfall is a good spot to enjoy the wildness of nature and forest walks.

Tad sanaen waterfallin Namdan village, Botaen district, Xayaboury province.              
--Photo Botaen authority

The waterfall is situated in pristine natural surroundings but Botaen district authorities have plans to create facilities at the site in hopes of drawing more visitors.
A private company has carried out a survey of the site and is expected to embark on developments there in the near future, according to an official from the district’s Information, Culture and Tourism office.
But if you want to enjoy the waterfall and its surrounds in their natural state, now is the time to make a visit and take a hike through the dense green forest and take in the beautiful views along the Nam Harm river.
You can also see local fishermen perched on the rocks as they catch fish and shrimp in the river. Look closely and you can see how they collect fish from the shallow water. It is a fascinating pastime to observe how people in the area make a living and pass their days.
The waterfall is not only visually attractive, the sound of the cascading water and birdsong, along with flowering trees in the area, are a delight to the senses.
The water plunges down from a height of about 30 metres over a rock face also estimated at about 30 metres in width. The pool at the bottom is about 15 metres deep so it makes a great spot for swimming as well as picnicking, and is popular with locals at weekends.
During the rainy season, the huge cascade is truly spectacular. In the dry season the water flow is unpredictable but it’s still a beautiful place to unwind.
When you arrive there, you will be entranced by the scenery and the swimming possibilities, and there is also a perch on the rock face from which you can jump into the water. After a refreshing dip you will soon forget any tiredness following your walk to the waterfall.
You can bring food with you if you want to eat, and remember that there are no shops nearby, but be sure to take your litter home with you to keep the area clean.
With plans for development in the offing, while preserving its natural beauty, local authorities believe the waterfall is set to become a major tourist drawcard.
It is also anticipated that the installation of visitor facilities will be a boost for the local economy and create jobs for people living in the area.
Xayaboury authorities are also busily planning activities to attract visitors during Visit Laos Year 2018, according to the provincial Information, Culture and Tourism Department.
Highlights include the annual Elephant Festival in February and the boat racing festival in Xayaboury district which takes place the day after Buddhist Lent ends in October.
According to the Tourism Development Department of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, in 2016 the province had 48 officially designated tourist attractions, comprising 29 sites of natural beauty, 12 of cultural interest, and seven historical sites.
In 2016, a total of 197,628 people visited Xayaboury province, according to official statistics.



By Phomphong Laoin
(Latest Update October 6, 2017)

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