Saturday, November 9, 2013

kuang si waterfalls outside luang prabang

One of the big tourist attractions in Luang Prabong is a group of waterfalls a few kilometers outside the city called Kuang Si. Some people ride bicycles there, but in the back of a tuk tuk, it took us around 45 mins, so it's not a short bike ride.

On the slow boat to the city, we had met a French couple named Julie and Arnaud, who went with us, along with another french girl they met while they were traveling in Indonesia.

The gang, minus Maggie (who is taking the picture), in the tuk tuk to the Kuang Si waterfalls.

You go through many small villages and across many small bridges on your way there. The bridges are only wide enough for one car, so it's a tad bit of a game of chicken when two cars approach them from either side.

Once you get there, a little Farang village sells all the normal stuff with many restaurants to choose from. On a side note about Laos, I don't know whether it's because it's Communist or something else, but everyone sells the same stuff. You'll have ten stores or restaurants right next to each other and they will all be selling the exact same things. It makes you wonder why anyone ever goes to any store or restaurant but the closest one. Talk about location, location, location.

Once you pay your entry fee to the waterfalls, you hike past a bear reserve where they take care of rescued sun bears. I guess there is a big demand for bear parts in the Chinese medicinal trade, so there is a lot of mistreatment of bears in Laos, even though it's illegal.

The bears here have manes like lions and are cute - as bears go.

Once you get to the falls there is a series of them that you can walk along. There is one in the middle that you can swim in and it even has a rope swing that can help you get over tip-toeing into the freezing water. We both opted for the rope swing.

The lowest of the pools was our introduction to their turquoise color.

You got to take those Kodak moments when you got them.

Maggie in mid fall from the rope swing while Andrew watches from below.

The most spectacular of all of the falls is the top one. The water falls from a tall cliff and makes the most amazing series of falls. There is a bridge across the bottom, where you can get a great photo of it. We also heard you can hike to the top if you are up for a stedp climb - we weren't.

The bridge below the largest fall.