160927 Luang Probang

After a little more casual start to the day, we boarded two mini buses for our excursion to the Kuang Si Waterfall. Apparently, I didn’t see much along the way as my head managed to find a comfortable position for the entire journey.

We stopped by a village to wander around to see, and purchase no doubt, scarves being made from the cotton grown in the area. The cotton tree is a high variety compared to the low bushes in Australia. This lady was getting rid of the seeds in the cotton before spinning the thread onto a reel ready to be used in the looms. All this is manual labour and many of the houses in the village have weaving looms set up under their houses. It was handy to know that the purchases were locally made goods rather than the China version brought across the border to the north.

Just close by, is the entrance to the Kuang Si Waterfall. After a visit to the ‘happy room’ (the term used by the tour guides for toilet), we wander through an area set up to protect bears from poachers. They have been rescued from poachers; some with injuries from traps.

Kuang Si (Xi) Waterfall is the biggest in the Luang Prabang area with three tiers leading to a 50-metre drop into spectacular azure pools before flowing downstream. The pools also make great swimming holes and are very popular with both tourists and locals. You can change clothes for swimming at the wooden huts located close to the entrance.

The pools also have cascades of up to five metres high with deliciously cold water due to the shade given by the surrounding lush tropical jungle, if you don’t fancy a swim then you can relax in the shade and watch others having fun jumping in and out of the water.

There are trails allowing you to climb up to the top where you can see the stream feeding into the falls and enjoy some more natural pools. www.visit-laos.com

The falls are in hearing distance, and it is good to have some coolness in the air. We wander upstream past rapids along the way. There are many tourists and backpackers visiting too. The difference between them and Scenic tourists is that we were able to enjoy a prepared picnic just near the falls – another great feature that Scenic provide for their clients.

When we had eaten lunch, we returned to the gate and the ice-cream guy was inundated by us all. He ran out of magnums with one bunch of tourists. I didn’t see much of the return journey to the hotel either; the head found that comfortable position again. However, more relaxation was on the way as 4 of us took a tuk tuk ride into town for another 2 hour massage; one of the best of the six we have enjoyed during this tour.

Our evening meal this evening, was our farewell dinner at the Elephant Restaurant near the Mekong River. Our Vietnam Tour Guides fly back to Saigon early in the morning so there were lots of good wishes to them both before going to bed.

Tomorrow, we fly to Singapore via Bangkok.