Did those sticks just move?

Trip Start Oct 22, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Sunday, December 4, 2005

Getting to bed a bit earlier we caught up on some sleep and decided to go and check out the Kuang Si Falls. We hired a tuk tuk and after the negotiation on price we were off. Five minutes down the road we stopped for petrol (this is the norm here as they need your fare before filling up the tank) then drove to the local food market so the driver could get some supplies for his partner's restaurant located near the base of the falls.

The road to the falls was very average and it took us about 40 minutes to get there. We paid the foreigner entry fee and went to see the bear enclosure. They had bears that had been orphaned by poachers that had killed their mothers. We got there at feeding time. They were so cute waiting for their food but thankfully behind a high fence. There was also a Bengal tiger being cared for. We donated some money so both the bears and tiger could get their daily feeds.

We then walked up the track to the falls. There were around three swimming holes along the track. The water looked an amazing aqua colour. It looked so inviting and we decided we'd come back for a swim after seeing the falls. At the base of the falls we saw a track that went up to the top. We hiked up the steep, slippery and muddy path half way up where you can walk out into the falls. Both of us were pretty wet at this stage. Completing the climb right to the top and walking out in the water to the edge of the falls we were greeted by a breath taking view.

After climbing back down we then headed straight back to the swimming holes. Megs stripped down the her bathers and waded out into the water. Looking down into the clear water she saw these stick like things swimming around. They suddenly changed direction and began swimming towards her. Leeches! Rick had already got one on his foot at the top of the falls, so they were expected. He'd also never seen Megan move so fast! She jumped out of the water and within 30 seconds was fully dressed and ready to go. We decided to pass on the swim. As we'd been the courier for the local restaurant we grabbed a quick bite of fried noodles and vegetables before getting the tuk tuk back to Luang Prabang. On the way back the tuk tuk spluttered and the engine died. We had to get back to pick up some plane tickets so this wasn't very timely. After 30 minutes of playing around under the hood, the driver finally got it started, though it sounded like a chaff cutter for the rest of the trip.

We picked up our plane tickets and after an Italian dinner with some spring rolls we headed to the main street Night Market. The crafts and wares for sale are great (and cheap). Being pretty early in the night we went to Le Cinema, selected a DVD and then watched it in our 'private' home theatre. It was a pretty cool setup.
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