If you’ve ever Google searched Luang Prabang, Laos, you most likely saw the picturesque emerald lagoons of Kuang Si Waterfalls. Naturally, this trip was high on our to do list. After spending a day checking out the town (which doesn’t take too long, it is teensie), we set the alarm for 8am (that was later turned off, and we slept in), and debated our options of getting to the lagoon. According to many online reviews, motorbike scams and theft are common. There are multiple documented occasions where the rental place has a spare key, and when you tell them where you’re going (because why not..?) they go and snag the motorbike while you’re enjoying your hike. And, since a passport is required to rent the motorbike, they can charge you any large sum of money to get your passport back. Long story short, we didn’t want to run the risk, and called ourselves a tuk tuk.
The tuk tuk–a tiny truck with covered seating in the back–ride itself was stunning. The drive was somewhere from 30-45 minutes, and took us through the thick, lush jungle. The ride there we barely talked, and just soaked it all in.
Once we got there, we began the short trek by walking through a bear sanctuary. There weren’t any little guys playing around, and we took the ‘trekking trail’ to the main waterfalls. This trip, I’ve really found out that I hate bugs. Put me in a thick, hot jungle with barely a trail, and all I’m going to think about are the snakes and fist sized spiders that are lurking. We made it through, though! And, the reward was astounding.
You know how you often Google images places, and the real thing doesn’t have the contrast turned up all the way, is non-edited, and just isn’t the same? Well, the Kuang Si Waterrfalls may even be more beautiful in person. There are multiple pools of water along the hike (we didn’t see, because we took the trekking route), and the daddy of them all is the main waterfall with a 200 foot drop. The water in the pools are a cool aquamarine color, which is born from the water running through the limestone rich jungle.
We trekked up a bunch of stairs to the top of the waterfall, and were able to see the vast jungle, and the water cascading down to the main pool. After slipping and sliding back down, we splashed around in the pool. The water was chilly, but no where near as cold as a natural waterfall pool would be in the U.S. It honestly resembled something out of a fairytale.
After pruning up a bit and flicking the ‘foot massage‘ fish (the ones that supposedly suck the dead skin off your feet, but actually just tickle and creep me out), we hung out with a couple playful bears at the conservatory.
Continuing the trend of checking off must-dos in Luang Prabang, we made our way to the ‘zen by day, groovy by night’ bar, Utopia. Let me tell you, it lives up to its hype. I’m actually writing this from the bar’s open bamboo deck, plopped on a personal floor cushion. We dramatically got ourselves a beer tour–because it was on happy hour–drank some local Lao whiskey, and chowed some delicious food. I had the caesar salad with mango, bacon, and slow cooked chicken, and it was as good as it sounds. Probably getting it again tonight! Anyway, the open bamboo deck directly faces the Mekong River, and may be the most tranquil place on the planet. Side note–we will be boating down the Mekong River in a couple days… For a couple days. So excited!
Tomorrow, we are off to Vang Vieng for two short days!