Coffee with Koffie

Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 18, 2011

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Where I stayed
Simali Guesthouse

Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  , Champasak,
Wednesday, March 2, 2011

We arrived in Paksong after 2 bum bruising trips on a sawngthaew, Laos's version of a minibus. It’s really just a pick-up truck with a roof over the back and 2 benches down the sides. They then cram in as many people and as much stuff as they can. You’ll end up knees around you ears standing on a bag of rice with another 30 sacks, some chickens, boxes of nuts and bolts and even a fridge once. You also get plenty of older women admiring your lovely white skin! It’s cheap and a lot more fun than getting the VIP tourist buses like we got form Vientiane but isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world especially if you are on the side with the sun and the dust is blowing up in your face.

Anyway, we finally arrived in Paksong, which is on Laos’s Bolaven Plateau and famous for two things, waterfalls and coffee. The town is not much to look at as it was mostly flattened by American bombs. We’d read there was a Dutch guy who had married a local girl and moved here and now ran a small coffee shop and tours of the local coffee plantations. We went in search both for coffee and because he apparently has the only internet connection in the area and gives it out free on wi-fi! He turned out to be a very nice guy who’s (nick)name is Koffie, and we spent the afternoon having a few coffees with him and chatting and arranged to do a tour the next morning.

We picked up some breakfast at the market, he serves coffee, no food, and headed over. We had 2 espressos each, really tasty and then did a two hour tour of the coffee fields and then back to his shop to roast and grind our own beans and make the freshest cup of coffee ever. After another two cups we said goodbye and headed off to find a waterfall. It was the first time I’ve ever felt a real caffeine buzz and getting on the bus my heart was racing and was fairly dizzy!

There are loads of waterfalls around the area and Koffie had advised us which one to head to in order to get away from the Thai tourists, so we followed his advice and had a relaxing afternoon swimming in the plunge pool and sitting around reading at Tat Cham Pee. We then head back to Pakse to continue north. A quick trip to Paksong but well worth it. We also picked up some ground coffee to brew a few cups when we’re in the campervan in Australia. Should keep the eyes open for the thousands of miles we have to drive.
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