Day 26 - Sightseeing Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang Travel Blog

 › entry 27 of 69 › view all entries
The main street in Luang Prabang

After having more or less wasted 2 travel days doing nothing and seeing this was our 4th day in Laos so far, today we decided to go and see some of the sights around Luang Prabang. Phil and Caroline were going to see one of the big waterfalls, Kouang Si Waterfall about 30km outside Luang Prabang so we decided to join them and reduce the cost. The tuk tuk was arranged for 12 so we got another nice sleep in grabbed breakfast and booked our bus to Vientienne for tommorrow, before we left and all jumped on the tuk tuk and headed for the waterfall.

 

The waterfall looked to be another touristy type spot with shops setup everywhere around the parking lot that we stopped in, however on entering the path to the waterfall nature returned around us.

A Wat in Luang Prabang with a few monks in the foreground

 

The first thing we came across was a bear sanctuary filled with about 20 young black bears. The sancturary was set up as a home for bears that had been recaptured from illegal bear smugglers who were capturing the bears for 'bear pile'. Seemingly bear pile is a substance used in chinese medicine and other medicines. Poachers would capture the bears from the wild, bring them to a 'bear pile farm' where the pile would be extracted daily from an open wound in the bears abdomen. The bears would go through a very painful ordeal and would eventually die a very painfull death. It was actually so re-assuring to see an undeveloped country like Laos trying to protect one of their national wild animals in this way. All the bears that we saw were very healthy and well looked after and spent most of the time we were there climbing and playing.

 

On leaving the bear sancturary we came across another enclosure.

The steps up to the top of the hill in the middle of Luang Prabang. There's some strange lighting affect from the sun too!
This was protecting an indochinese tiger. The tiger had also been recovered from poachers along with its 2 siblings when their mother was killed for her fur. The 2 siblings didn't survive unfortunately and the tiger, Phet, had lice and hardly any fur when originally brought to the sancturary. Now she was a thriving magnificent looking fully grown Indochinese tiger. Phet looked very happy and extremely curious about visitors. We hadn't even seen the waterfall and already this trip was worth it!

 

We continued up the roadway for another few hundred meters and there it appeared in all its glory, Kouang Si Waterfall. The waterfall looked magnificent. It was probably a total height of about 200 meters  with several tiers. The pool at the bottom was a beautiful looking milky green/blue colour. There was a beautiful cool damp mist coming from the falling water that was so refreshing in the mid day heat.

Farmland along a tributary river to the Meekong
We took a few photos before starting the climb to the next level up.

 

We reached the half way point safe and sound, wet bit safe and sound. To get to the second level you had to walk through a small side waterfall that had pools about a foot deep along the walkway. I was lucky enough as I had sandals and shorts on, but Caroline wasn't as lucky, she had runners and long trousers on. She did take off the runners but the trousers got soaked at the bottom. On the way up there was 1 European man that was lucky not to have killed himself. He was walking along 1 of the pools along the path, and everywhere there was a pool there was normally a wooden fence/handrail along the steep side to allow you to keep your balance. Well this man decided to stop in the middle of the pool and I don't know if he was trying to turn around or rest or wait for someone but he decided to sit ... yes sit on the handrail.

The bamboo bridge crossing the river. I think it cost 1000kip to cross it!
Of course the handrail broke under the weight of the European (it probably wouldn't of broke under the weight of an Asian) and the man fell backwards over the rail. He was lucky that he managed to grip the bottom railing and stop himself from falling down the front of the waterfall. If he had missed this, no one would of been able to help him so he was very lucky. He jumped up, dusted himself down, swore some kind of obscenities at the railing, as if it was the railings fault and he continued on his way. Thankfully only myself and Phil witnessed this, because if the girls had they probably wouldn't of gone any further!

 

We got some more photos at the second tier of the waterfall before heading up to the top of the waterfall. The last section was the toughest with the terrain being almost vertical, but after 10 minutes of climbing, heavy breathing and sweating we reached the top. We had to cross the river to get a good view of the entire waterfall but it was well worth it! Thankfully the path went in a loop around the waterfall and down the other side, along some lovely steps.

A view down the tributary river to the Meekong
I knew there had to be an easier way than the climbing path we took.

 

On the way back down we did find some of the swimming areas where Phil and Caroline went for a swim. It was very cold though so I didn't bother. There were a few locals swinging out into the pool on a homemade swing too and it looked really cool but we were out of time. We headed on back to the tuk tuk though as we had agreed to meet the driver at 3 again and off we headed back into Luang Prabang.

 

When we arrived back we just chilled out for a while before heading to dinner.

They, the indochinese tiger in the tiger sanctuary in Laos beside the Kouang Si waterfall, outside Luang Prabang
We went back to 1 particular restaurant in Luang Prabang where we had eaten before to enjoy our last meal in Luang Prabang.

 

We took a final stroll around the night market and picked up a few things. Specifically a Beer Lao t-shirt before heading to bed early in preperation for our early morning start to get the 8 hour bus to Vientienne.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The main street in Luang Prabang
The main street in Luang Prabang
A Wat in Luang Prabang with a few …
A Wat in Luang Prabang with a few…
The steps up to the top of the hil…
The steps up to the top of the hi…
Farmland along a tributary river t…
Farmland along a tributary river …
The bamboo bridge crossing the riv…
The bamboo bridge crossing the ri…
A view down the tributary river to…
A view down the tributary river t…
They, the indochinese tiger in the…
They, the indochinese tiger in th…
A bear climbing one of the frames …
A bear climbing one of the frames…
A bamboo house just around the bas…
A bamboo house just around the ba…
Phil in front of a tree with an im…
Phil in front of a tree with an i…
One of the swimming pools at the b…
One of the swimming pools at the …
A tree swing out into the swimming…
A tree swing out into the swimmin…
The Kouang Si waterfall in all its…
The Kouang Si waterfall in all it…
The full height of the Kouang Si w…
The full height of the Kouang Si …
One of the first steps at the top …
One of the first steps at the top…
The base of the Kouang Si waterfall
The base of the Kouang Si waterfall
Me in front of the Kouang Si water…
Me in front of the Kouang Si wate…
Caroline in front of the Kouang Si…
Caroline in front of the Kouang S…
Phil looking out over the scenery …
Phil looking out over the scenery…
The view over the edge of the Koua…
The view over the edge of the Kou…
A side waterfall to the main Kouan…
A side waterfall to the main Koua…
The night market in the middle of …
The night market in the middle of…
The common 3 wheel taxi in Luang P…
The common 3 wheel taxi in Luang …
The common 4 wheel taxi in Luang P…
The common 4 wheel taxi in Luang …
Luang Prabang
photo by: oxangu2