One of the main attractions around Luang Prabang is the Kwang Si waterfall, about 45 minutes out of town. We joined forces with a couple of other travellers from the guest house to get a transport out there. The tuk-tuks here are a bit bigger and fit eight people quite comfortably. As much as sitting on benches in the back of a truck can be called comfortable.
Arriving at the waterfall we found out that there is a 20,000 kip entrance fee to pay, the driver must have forgotten to tell us about that when we made our deal with him.
A short walk into the forest brought us to the lower part of the falls, where turquoise water invited to a quick swim.
It was really just a short swim, the water comes down from the mountains and has a temperature more appropriate for beer than anything you want to submerge your body in.
Refreshed we walked up along the countless small falls and rapids until we reached the main fall.
We continued farther up on a short but very step walk until we reached the top of the fall. Or at least the area near it, signs are a bit scarce up there and we wandered around the jungle for a while before ending up at the fall. At the cliff a wooden handrail allows crossing of the river and access to some nice views down the fall and over the valley.
In the afternoon we headed back and our driver stopped at a small village to allow us to see some local folks. The village sees frequent visitors though and the countless souvenir shops made it look more like a makeshift shopping mall. Like everywhere here, children are an essential part of the sales force, telling stories about how buying from them would allow them to attend school.
Tomorrow we’re off to a two-day trekking trip. Hopefully we’ll encounter some locals who are not totally spoiled yet.