A early morning rise to go and see the sunrise on the temple top. We walk along the streets of Luang Prabang while it comes to life, and climb the stairs to the temple that we came down yesterday. Then it’s off to the waterfall.
After breakfast we hang at a coffee bar for a while waiting for noon, at which time we’ll get our laundry back. Hopeless to go to a waterfall without bathing shorts.
We get lunch at the fruit ladies in town. There’s a rather large square filled with “handicraft” and baguettes and fruit ladies. We get lunch to go and a fruit shake.
This is also the best place to hang if you want to go to the waterfalls. It’s the single biggest attraction here and all the tuk-tuk drivers run around to fill up their vehicle. This way you don’t have to get a group together just wait and you will be approached.
We go with to Swedish girls and two Germans. We get along with the girls and hang a little with them when we arrive at the park.
The ride out is brutal. The roads are fine but our driver Peng is a maniac. We survive because most traffic is in our direction, even though he passed most of them – preferably in a curve.
We have paid for a ride and entry to the park to Peng. We have paid what the sign says, but I do believe the park didn’t see any of the money. My guess is they have a deal with the park guard taking half each.
There is a bear sanctuary just inside the gates of the park. The Asia black bear is hunted for medicinal purposes (riiiight!), and this is as place where smaller bears are rescued and have sanctuary. Some even keep bears in cages no bigger than the beast itself, a cruelty it’s hard to fathom.
We look at the bears for a while, but in all honesty – it’s not all of them that takes captivity well. Walking in circles for ten minutes it’s not normal behaviour. Better inside than out? Hard to tell.
Moving in we came to the bottom of the waterfalls. It’s nice, but it’s hard to understand all the fuzz. I test the water and quickly conclude it wasn’t necessary to wait for the bathing shorts. It’s damn cold.
It’s pretty crowded here and lot of people moving upward along the waterside. Following the crowd we get to one waterfall after another. It gets prettier and prettier until we reach the last and biggest one. Ok, I see what the fuzz is about.
This time it’s a Russian guy that really pisses me off. Everyone is standing on the bridge taking photos of the big waterfall. It’s clearly signed NOT to go beyond this area and into the waterfall. If it’s illiteracy or stupidity is hard to tell. Maybe a combination of the two, but a lot of travelers are coming home with a beautiful waterfall with a stupid Russian with a very yellow bathing shorts. Numbnut!
Katja wanted to see the butterfly park that’s right next to the waterfall also. We found Peng and told him to pick us up down there after the others were finished. Walking down the road we were both excited to see the butterflies, but behold – closed. Turns out there’s a seminar in Thai massage going on inside and they closed the whole park. Walk back up? No way. Katja eventually tried to sneak in but was turns around by a baking dog. That barking dogs seldom bites have no comfort and we agreed to just wait for Peng and the others.
Back in town after another Rally Monte Waterfall, we said goodbye and talked about dinner. Not really hungry any of us, we sat down and got a coffee. When they closed shop and threw us out in the street we were still not very hungry. We got us some fresh fruit, a yogurt and went home.
Borrowing some utensils from the kitchen here at the guesthouse we enjoyed something it’s a long time since last we ate. A bowl of fresh fruit, a little yogurt and season 1 of West wing on the pc with split headset for sound. Life is what you make of it.
Suddenly Katja pauses the pc and we hear it – it’s pouring down outside. We sneak a peak and it’s really raining cats and dogs. Luckily we’re here and not coming back from dinner out there in the open. This evening just got better.
Post hoc ergo propter hoc
(after this, therefore because of this)
President Josiah Bartlet, West wing season 1