One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Laos, Tat Sae Pha, about 40km from Attapeu, is way off the beaten track and pretty well impossible to access in the rainy season, but in the drier months it's well worth the journey. Cascading down 20m in a broad horseshoe shape, the falls form a spectacular sight. It's possible to get close to the water and there are small pools for a refreshing paddle.
Contact the Attapeu tourism office for an update on current travel options.
A guesthouse and restaurant had been built here and access roads improved in preparation for opening it up to tourism, but the 2018 Attapeu Dam collapse effectively washed away everything that had been constructed and put the project back to square one. At the time of research rebuilding efforts were underway. The falls are destined for a much higher profile on the traveller circuit once the infrastructure is improved.
To get here, take Rte 18A to Hua Se Pien village, then take a right on Rte 9005 to Paksong. This route will take you through the villages that were devastated in the dam collapse, namely Hinlat, Ban Mai and Ban Samong, before reaching the falls, about 9km past Samong village.