Mr Khamsone knows coffee and the rough roads that reach the best beans on Southern Laos. Armed with an army jeep, his Paksong Adventures now shows visitors the real deal for growing Robusta, Arabica and Typica in untouched areas, unknown by tourists in the far reaches of the Bolaven Plateau.
A tour rumbles through the wilds starting about one hour from Pakse in Champasak Province. The jeep navigates hidden trails to countless coffee plantations, vegetable farms, Laven and Suay ethnic villages, and remote waterfalls, with a bit of trekking in the coffee fields.
During the journey, Mr. Khamsone explains the entire coffee process, from planting to roasting…and tasting.
He takes groups to enjoy a riverside picnic lunch, explore vegetable fields along river banks, take a walk along a path to a remote waterfall, and swim in its natural pool.
Mr. Khamsone and his family have been working on coffee plantations for more than 40 years. He was born on the Bolaven plateau and his extreme passion for the coffee culture highlights the tours.
Paksong Adventures offers 2, 3, and 4-day tours on the Bolaven Plateau’s protected areas all year long. Visitors can always check out coffee plantations, vegetable farms, waterfalls, and ethnic villages, but they all have their own calendar. When is the best time to go?
November to March: During the dry season, coffee plantations’ harvesting process is in full swing, while vegetable gardening (cucumber, cabbage, and chili) plays second fiddle.
April to October: Action at coffee plantations slows during the Green Season, but visitors can see the first steps of coffee production, when the coffee fruit is green. Mr Khamsone delivers a full overview of the coffee production process. Meanwhile, vegetables cover fields, and rivers and waterfalls are at peak performance.
Roads during Green Season are bumpy and muddy. The jeep can go everywhere, but clients should be aware that journeys could be longer and more tiring. Trekking is not difficult, but can be more slippery and challenging during the rains.