Kuang Si Waterfalls - Luang Prabang

My bike was still being fixed, I hoped.   So today we had the whole day to see some of the local sights.  Just 35 Km from Luang Prabang are the Kuang Si Waterfalls and forest reserve.  Taking the bike so we could stay as long as we wanted we were not disappointed at all.  First you have to walk through the forest, lush green and thick with life.  The first bit you come to is the Bear sanctuary.  These are rescued young black bears.  Further along the forest trails you come to some of the smaller water falls and the swimming area’s.  What a sight to see, the water a turquoise blue and surrounded by natural beauty.  From a tree jutting out over the lagoon like are a knotted rope swing hung and proved the first step into the cooling water.

I could hardly wait to jump in, today had not been as hot as the day before or as sunny but the air was dry and still hot and the roads in Luang Prabang are dusty at the best of times.  So the cool refreshing water here was too much a temptation to waste.

Taking the rope swing as my initiation as the other travelers around were doing I climbed the tree and swung out as far as I could before letting go.  After days traveling on the bike through dirty dusty towns and villages and the ride in the back of the truck with the not too accomodating chickens this was the perfect place to relax and unwind.  Many of the travelers we had spoken to were on their way to Vang Vieng, a popular place for travelers with its dope bars along the river you get to by ‘tubing’ along.  It is on our itinerary for our next stop.  So long as the bike was fixed we would be joining them there tomorrow.

We ate lunch in the village next to the reserve and then headed back for another hour enjoying this natural beauty spot before calling it a day.  We had met a lot of people here and found out the night spots to visit and hopefully catch up with them again. 

From here we headed back into Luang Prabang and to the mechanics to see the progress on my bike.  To my surprise the bike was working again and the engine even sounded better.  He had replaced the busted up piston with a new one.  He showed me the old one to assure me, and having seen it myself before I knew it was mine.  Finally something was going right for me.  This would be our last night here and we will be leaving for Vang Vieng in the morning.

Luang Prabang is a nice place to visit although a little expensive I thought in the touristy places.  The city was formerly a capital of a kingdom of the same name until the communist takeover 1975.  Around the center of the city and in the tourist area you can see lots of temples still used by Buddhist monks and around the city there buildings of french architecture.