Tad Houay Sakhaeng
Tad Houay Sakhaeng shoots down a 28-metre rocky mountain flume lined with trees just 6 km west of Ngeun on the Xienghone Road. Locals often go to Tad Houang Sakheng to picnic in the peaceful natural retreat.
Watch the narrow Tad Jao Waterfall plunge 20 metres off a cliff into the Mekong. The experience begins at a small hermit cave and shrine on the stream leading to the falls. The creek feeding the falls once attracted Lane Xang Kingdom royalty, as they believed bathing or drinking from it was healthy and brought good luck. Villagers built a shrine above the cave in 1985, as they consider the area sacred. They have several stories of the demise of those desecrating the site.
To reach Tad Jao from Sayabouly District, drive for about 1 hour to Tha Deua, and stay left at the bridge and Luang Prabang turnoff. The road ends at a trail to the falls.
Energetic, experienced climbers can tackle the steep trail to Tad Ham at the peak of Phou Pha Daeng (Red Mountain) with a view to Thailand. Admire the rocky waterfall cutting a swath through the forest as it steps 15 metres down short, narrow stone stairs into a large, clear pool.
To reach the Nam Ham River’s towering tributary, follow a 3-km road from Boten Town to the path climbing Phou Phadaeng.
Tad Ham marks the end of a legendary search on the Nam Ham River, during which three rapids played a role. According to local lore, Boten housed a captured, 12-nostril serpent, which transformed into a crab, and kidnapped the king’s daughter. People searched the river, and found her red shirt at a deep section they named Vang Sadaeng (deep red water). They continued and stumbled upon rabbits at rapids, and named them Kaeng Kaday (Rabbit Rapids). As night descended, they stopped at more rapids and lit candles at the newly named Kaeng Thian (Candle Rapids). It began to rain, but they continued to Tad Nam Ham Waterfall until conditions became unbearable, and they ended the search.
Just 8 km from Hongsa Town, Inteam Waterfall cascades down forested Nongchong Mountain.
A 1-hour drive north of Tad Inteam reaches Khamsane Waterfall near Tha Souang Pier on the Mekong.