Land of a million elephants

Luang Prabang Travel Blog

 › entry 14 of 14 › view all entries
Tad Sae waterfall
after 15 hours of mountain road, Luang Prabang in Northern Laos.  even though it is in the middle of nowhere, the town has set itself up for the constant flood of tourists.  a whole tourist district provides everything you will need on the road, except a night life.  the only thing that is open past 11pm is a bowling alley.  Tuk-tuk drivers usually just sit around and offer rides to nearby waterfalls, marijuana and "Laos ladies". 

the waterfalls near Luang Prabang are very scenenic, with milky tourquoise water flowing over round boulders and around trees growing out of the middle of the stream. 

Kayaking on the Mekong was also very peaceful.  even though it was 30 degree celsius under the sun, our tour guide La, is wearing long sleeve shirts and jeans inside his life jacket.
Kayaking on the Mekong
  i asked him why.  he explained, otherwise his skin would be tanned and "Laos ladies don't like".  i also found out he makes $5 USD a day and sleeps in the storage hut for the kayaks.  for him to get married, he would need a few thousand dollars for the bride's family.  the "price" also varies depending on how pretty the girl is, whether she is from the city or not and other factors.

the only thing to describe Elephant mahout'ing is "primal".  you can't get closer to nature than riding on the neck of an elephant, with nothing to hold onto, in the jungle.  elephants are not very expressive and it is difficult to tell what is going on in their heads.  my elephant did make a loud noise by blowing air out of her trunk when the little kids are bothering her.

there is nothing more fun than jumping off the head of an elephant into the Mekong.  on command, the elephant would also dive under water and shake back and forth with me on the back, sort of Asian mechanic bull trick.

more photos at http://michaelzuo.zenfolio.com/p784765018
dwpwrite says:
Hi Michael,
Looking forward to the next update! Something happened after laos?

Dennis
Posted on: Jan 19, 2009
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Tad Sae waterfall
Tad Sae waterfall
Kayaking on the Mekong
Kayaking on the Mekong
Bathing with elephants
Bathing with elephants
Dragon boat race
Dragon boat race
Luang Prabang
photo by: oxangu2