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being a tourist can be real fun


View Laos & Cambodia with an Thai ending - 2019 on Ils1976's travel map.

A good night's rest can do a world of good and as our alarm clock went off at 7 AM, we still had a bit of time for a quick snooze, but after a few minutes, we sadly enough had to get out of bed and have breakfast, which was simple but really filling.

Today we had planned half a day of sightseeing with a few others of the group, so ready as we would ever be, we left the hotel at 8.30 AM, for our excursion to the falls, but not before we first made a quick stop at a small village where you can still find an ethnic group called Hmong.

Whenever a guide proposes to go on an excursion, I get suspicious and it feels like a tourist trap, but seeing we both were very tired yesterday, we agreed to join the group on two excursions for half a day. Both excursions were not situated in the centre of town, so it sounded like a really good deal to us, but as we left our minivan ... that tourist trap feeling was back again!

Firstly we were led to a building up the hill, passing a few stalls where you can buy the obvious touristy things and afterwards we were welcomed by a family who learned us a bit more about their culture and habits. Furthermore we had the opportunity to go inside a traditional Hmong house, which on itself was quite interesting seeing I really like those things, but going back to the bus again, we walked by a long winding path with nothing else but stalls selling loads of tourist stuff that eventually no-one buys.

I must admit that they were friendly people and the many kids running around were more than cute as well as a welcome change while walking through the many tourist stalls ... would I do it again, probably not, but in the end, we spend only half an hour at that hill and we did get to know some interesting facts, so in the end it wasn't a total waste of time!

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Driving further down the road, we ended up a parking lot jam-packed with loads of minivans about half an hour later. It seems that we weren't the only ones here at the falls, but then again, it is the main attraction in the vicinity so who could blame us tourists for coming and see the infamous Kuang Si Waterfalls.

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As we left the parking lot, we first passed a small bear sanctuary where you can still find some moon bears which were relaxing and being their cute selves. Here at the sanctuary they rescue bears from humans and instinction so to speak and as interesting as they were, we quickly waved them "adieu" and went on the move for the falls.

We had a few hours of free time so, the first thing me and my friend did was walk all the way up to the highest level of the falls and admired this beautiful wonder of mother nature. I really loved the blue greenish colors of the water, it was a bit mesmerizing to be honest, but since we didn't had too much time left and we really wanted to go for a dip, we quickly looked for a good enough spot, got into our swimmers and of in the water it was.

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It was really cold and freezing would be a better word, but as soon as we got acclimated, it was fun to go for a swim, only the depth of the falls was at times a problem. It was not too deep and sometimes we had to wade through the mud, which was a more than difficult task since we went in without slippers and even the rocks in the falls were not good for our poor feet, but hey ... looking at the colors of the water, this was better than your average bubble bath!

Sadly enough, after a relaxing swim and some more gazing at the different levels of the falls, it was back to the parking lot again where we met up with the 6 other people of our group. We were the only ones who went for a dip in the water, the other just relaxed near the water or went back to the sanctuary to get to know a little bit more about the bears.

The ride back to the hotel wasn't that long and we arrived back in Luang Prabang at 1 PM in the afternoon.

As soon as we changed into more appropriate gear, we went back to the little eatery we went yesterday because we loved the food so much and after a quick lunch, we went on the move towards the other side of Luang Prabang where we discovered a few temples. It seemed that most tourists go to the centre of Luang Prabang coz we were the only ones at the temples and this meant we had all the time in the world to experience the buddhist culture, as we saw a few people asking some monks to pray for them.

It was but a short walk all the way back to the night market, although not as busy as last night, a few women were already putting up some stalls, but instead of looking at the goods, we opted to visit the palace and the main temple. Since it was already 4 PM, we couldn't go inside the palace, so we just at the admired the beautiful jade temple again and from there it was but a walk across the street all the way up Pushi hill.

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The hill itself is situated 168 meters above the city and is really the best place to see a sunset, but as we arrived, we weren't the only ones. Loads of other people had the idea of ending their day here at the hill and feeling a bit claustrophobic, the two of us just decided to go downhill again towards the Kham river and followed the main street all the way to the Mekong river.

As the sun was setting, we went back to Big Brother Mouse to have a chat again with some students as we promised Collin yesterday and this time around I had a nice talk with a young boy called Tingli, who told me a little bit more about his personal life and his dream of visiting other countries as soon as he grew up and finished school. I am sure that he will one day and I sincerely wish him all the best of luck in succeeding not only his travel dreams, but his work dreams as well as he wanted to become an engineer.

Listening to these youngsters, I must say that we can thank the lucky stars that we have such a good life. I guess people sometimes don't know how lucky they are and for some reason people who have nothing seem to understand what they have. It is hard to explain, but I am just so glad that I got to know this project and after saying our goodbyes to Collin leaving a little gift from Tania we went back to the main street to have a bite to eat.

After yet another delicious meal, we had one last stroll at the night market, went for a nightcap at a small square where we saw lots of other locals and by the time we were back in the hotel it was time to go to sleep.

Posted by Ils1976 03:12 Archived in Laos Tagged landscapes waterfalls sunsets_and_sunrises bridges people flowers road_trip town river walk friends asia viewpoint

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Comments

All very interesting :) We didn't get to the falls, and I have to say that the Hmong village we visited in the far north of the country was far less touristy than you describe (we didn't see a single souvenir stall in any of the three ethnic minority villages we went to there) so maybe it's just as well!

by ToonSarah

I guess that we were too close to the city. I have read somewhere that the far north of the country isn't that touristy, so you were lucky ... but nevertheless the people are more than friendly and in a way ... if there is no "tourist trap", there isn't an income, so sometimes I can understand them. I just don't like the pushing of buying things and the sorts.

by Ils1976

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