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Scooter loops: rather Thakhek or the Bolavens?

The Bolavens and Thakhek loops both offer great scenery. But if time is short, you may have to choose to do just one. We are here to help you.

Landscapes: Thakhek

Small passes between two karst mountains, expanses of green countryside, sunset at Limestone Peak... In terms of landscapes, the Thakhek loop outclasses its competitor of the Bolavens. Fully charge your camera battery before you leave.

Things to do: Thakhek

The Bolavens waterfalls have a magical side. Whether on the side of Tad Yuang, Tad Champy or Tad Tayicseua, you could spend an afternoon admiring these falls. But Thakhek largely holds the competition with its peaceful caves (Xieng Liap or Tham Sa Pha In for example). And, thanks to the fascinating immersion of 7 kilometers in the dark at the level of the cave of Kong Lor, it wins in terms of activities.

Distance : Bolavens

On both loops you can organize your time as you wish. Three, four or five days. See more. You can also test yourself one day by going to see some waterfalls on the Bolavens or some caves around Thakhek. But to complete the big loop, you will travel at least 100 kilometers less on the Bolavens loop (= more time for the waterfalls and fuel savings).

Cost: Thakhek

After having systematically had to pay for car parks and entrances to the waterfalls on the Bolavens loop, that of Thakhek relieves the wallet a little. The only real expense is at Kong Lor cave (65,000 kips per person, but worth it) while it is possible to visit several caves on the road without spending anything.

Road condition: Bolavens

If some portions of the Bolavens loop were under construction when we passed, in April 2018, the condition of the road was still better than on that of Thakhek. The many potholes will not prevent you from doing the course in Thakhek... they will rather force you to slowly enjoy the magnificent landscapes of the loop!

Accommodation: Bolavens

After a nice stop at Tad Lo, continue your journey on the Bolavens to the village of Captain Hook. And plan to sleep there. In addition to a visit to the animist village of Kokphoungtai (coffee cultivation, presentation of medicinal plants and explanations of Katu culture), you may have the chance to talk about black magic before going to bed! We recommend it 200%.

Duration: draw

In both cases, we covered the loop in three days. Without having the impression of being particularly in a hurry. And, finally, it was a good way to do both loops!

Tourist frequentation: Thakhek

After the Boloven loop where you will often come across the same faces, the Thakhek loop seems almost desert. Much less frequented, it gives a little less the impression of industry that the Bolavens loop from Paksé can give off.

So the winner is...

... Thakhek! With a very tight score of 4-3. On good terms!

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