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Witness the Untouched Beauty of Khone Phapeng Falls in Southern Laos

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Khone Phapeng Falls is one of Laos’ greatest natural attractions.  It is located on the Mekong River in Champasak Province, Southern Laos.   The waterfall is one example as to why it is impossible to navigate up into China on the Mekong River from Southern Laos.

In the late 19th century, the French made numerous efforts to navigate the river into China, but were not successful.  The solution they came up with was to build a railway between the two islands on the falls, thus avoiding the steep rapids.

Khone Phapeng Falls is one of Southeast Asia’s largest waterfalls in terms of volume.  It is 21 meters high and is formed from three emerging cataracts merging into one powerful torrent.   The waterfall and its nearby pool feature numerous islets, rocky outcrops and bedrocks popping out of the water’s depths.  This allows local fishermen to employ their fishing technique by using bamboo ladders to place fishing traps.

Khone Phapeng Falls is home to an unusually large sized catfish species called the plabuck or Mekong giant catfish.  Measuring more than 3 meters and weighing over 300 kilograms, it is world’s largest freshwater fish.  The species however is critically endangered mainly because of overfishing and development.  Because of this, it is banned to fish for this species.

The Khone Phapeng Falls is also a great place to relax and unwind in the Laos wilderness.  The best view is from the viewpoint pavilion, located above the waterfall.  There are also nearby lakes where visitors can swim in, which leads to the pool and cataract.  Having a picnic is another popular activity for both local and foreign tourists, with nearby food stalls providing the meals.  In addition, handicraft artisans have set up shops around the area, promoting traditional Lao products to the masses.

The falls at Khone Phapeng is a wonderful site and a great example of Laos’ beautiful wilderness.  It is highly recommended to visit this site as well as Wat Phou, which you can do on our Wat Phou Cruise tour.  This way, you can get the best of Champasak and experience the province’s best cultural and natural sites, along with other interesting visits in the area.  We also recommend A Blend of Calm in Southern Laos tour if you would like to explore the area further.  On this trip, you will be escorted to the scenic Boloven Plateau and enjoy an elephant ride through the forests.  A stop at Siphandon is also in the itinerary, all cumulating into one peaceful trip.  You may also contact us if you have any questions or would like us tailor a tour to suit your needs.

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