The Thousand Year Tea Forest

Located about 30km from Pak Beng center-town, through a very steep and unsealed road climbing from an altitude of 350m to 1500m on 22km of unsealed road.  This road is actually a district road connecting to Pha-Oudom District Bokeo and on to Houei Xai.  This tea forest site is near Ban Mok -Khe and has some indigenous tea trees (Thea sinensis) within the forest.  Beside the road a tea tree with a trunk diameter  of about 35cm is easily seen.

The forest is on two sides of the road and is said to contain more specimens of tea tree that are larger than that seen on the roadside.  It is unknown how old the individual tea trees are, but they are likely to be very old.  This has given the name of the forest as “Thousand Year Tea Forest”. Plans to upgrade this road are in the District’s Socio-economic Plan (2009), so, if the road is widened, one of the tea trees located beside the road may have to be cut down. This provides an opportunity for the tree to be measured, and the annual growth-rings counted so that estimates of the age of other tea trees can be made by comparing trunk diameter.