IntroductionThe pride of this province in southern Laos, 300 mi/485 km southeast of Vientiane, is the Bolaven Plateau, a scenic area of waterfalls, forests and coffee plantations. The indigenous Bolaven (Phu Thai) tribes, who live in houses arranged in circles, hold water-buffalo sacrifices annually. Because of its proximity to the Ho Chi Minh Trail (the North Vietnamese supply line that traversed Laotian territory), the provincial capital, Saravan town, was almost completely leveled during the war—little of historic value remains. There is a nice market that sells some of the local cash crops (coffee, fruits and cardamom), as well as the occasional snake and monkey. Saravan should be seen as a day trip from Pakse, because accommodations in town are limited.
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