Pha Pheng Waterfalls

Pha Pheng Waterfalls

The Pha Pheng Waterfalls have become the border between Laos and Cambodia. These waterfalls separate the upper Mekong from the lower Mekong, completely sealing off the two sections for navigation and the transport of goods, and creating a separate history for each.

France annexed Laos into its Indo-China colony in the late 19th century. They hoped to transport valuable goods from Yunnan, in southern China, to Vietnam, for export. The falls of Khone Pha Pheng, and other similar, smaller ones at this point in the river, made that dream impossible to fulfill.

The Mekong River roars over a one kilometre long ledge and drops around 30 metres into the lower basin of the waterfalls. There is a pavilion just above the falls which provide a great lookout over the waterfalls.

The extremely rare Irrawaddy dolphins reside in the Mekong River in southern Laos and northern Cambodia. They can grow to a length of 2.5 metres, are blue-grey in colour and locals believe they are thought to be reincarnated humans, possessing a human spirit. The best time to view these dolphins is when the river levels are low,  around February and March.  Amazingly, the dolphins are able to migrate up the river, past the rapids and waterfalls that defeated all the ingenuity of man.

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