coverage from a couple of days ago when we went on a trip out of Luang Prabang city…

Tuk tuk/taxi out of town for $6NZD each and the 6 of us were on our way to check out some waterfalls and whatever else the jungle had to throw at us! The crew being, Jono and I, Kelly and Jeremy (a kiwi couple who we’ve got to know really well, into fishing and all round top people) and Steve and Gary (a couple of British guys who are great value, chilled and know how to have a laugh).

We arrived at the entry into the national park area, paid our way in and were surprised that the first stop was a bear rescue sanctuary. There were a good 6-10 sun bears in a spacious enclosure that had obviously been rescued from certain situations and relocated here. Bit of a bonus to what we thought was a ‘waterfall’ trip!

Kouangxi Waterfall

Jono, Steve and I playing our role as tourists

 

Luang Prabang Bears

One of the sunbears in the sanctuary

 

Next stop was the waterfalls, as we were walking to the falls both Kelly and I mentioned that the bush and the scenery was about as close to NZ that we’d both seen in SE Asia. The first fall we arrived at was magic, not only did it have a rope swing it was also perfect for us to partake in our new found hobby ‘waterfall jumping’; definitely the bluest water I’ve seen in SE asia too
Luang Prabang Kouangxi Waterfall

Me making good use of the rope swing – just before the drop

 

Luang Prabang Kouangxi Waterfall

The new found hobby – waterfall jumping

 

Luang Prabang Kouangxi Waterfall

All the lads lining up for a sync jump

 

Luang Prabang Kouangxi Waterfall

Launching

 

Luang Prabang Kouangxi Waterfall

Thankfully no injuries

 

After a good our of chaos in the waterfall pool, we decided to grow up and take the much talked about nature walk up to the top falls. The pools above were again pretty amazing, some great scenery and spots to try our hand at artistic photography…it was pretty hard to stuff it up. Once we reached the top of the fall – after quite a climb that came close to a half marathon in terms of effort, we saw a sign that said springs and caves…may as well check that out and get our money’s worth. So stinking hot and dripping we walked for 40 mins across the tropical forest, although the track was amazingly uncovered by bush leaving us to get scorched…

 

Luang Prabang Countryside

Putting in the hard yards…

 

We arrived at the cave and spring, jumped into the cave for a nosey, a few pics and the chance to try and freak each other out. Then out into the spring which was crystal clear and refreshingly like Lake Taupo – good to remember a bit of the motherland.
Luang Prabang Countryside

A group pic in the cave

 

Our exit out of the national park was expertly guided by Steve and myself – no one thought we were going the right way but we were sure and a bet was placed for a Beer Lao in the carpark when we got back…if we got back. Sure enough the track we’d chosen was the most efficient route down and Gary and Jono begrudgingly paid out on the bet – one of the better Beer Lao I’ve tasted. Saw a few interesting sites on the way home – a dude carrying his dog in the front of his motorbike (Weasel this one is mainly for you)
Luang Prabang Countryside
That night we all headed out to a bar that is perched on a hill by the confluence of the Mekong and the Nam Khan. A interesting bridge crossing – the bridge is made of bamboo and doesn’t look entirely like it uses modern day engineering, but it held us well enough. The bar is a great spot to chill soak up the sunset and chat about the days events. The Beer Lao tasted damn good out there too
Nam Khan River Bridge

Making the cross of the Nam Khan on the stick bridge

 

Luang Prabang Mekong Bar

The bar with us up there somewhere

 

Luang Prabang Mekong Bar

The lads and their Beer Lao

 

That night we went out to a local restaurant and on the way stopped to have a bit of a sing along with some locals who had a drum and that was about it. Our part was clapping; turns out their idea of a song is about 10 mins so we were left with bloody sore hands, but another good experience. A few beers at Eutopia and it was called a night.
Luang Prabang Buskers

The 6 piece band – clappers playing the main part

 

We’re off to Vang Vieng tomorrow to go tubing and explore the area a bit; have booked flights to Vietnam on the 28th April.

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