Yesterday we had a bit of a lie in before getting up to see about visiting the Kuang Si waterfall here in Luang Prabang. Every person we have spoken to who has been here has told us they are incredible and the best waterfalls they have ever seen so we were pretty excited about going there.
At reception there was an English guy called James and an American girl called Kate who were also debating whether to book the journey there through the hostel. After being told we would leave at 11.30 and arrive before half 12 and then have until 4pm there we all went for it. We had some breakfast and killed time until the mini bus picked us up. Unfortunately after picking up a few more people and driving round to apparently pick up two more, who never actually got on at any of the stops he kept making, it was closer to 1pm when we got there. When we got out he also told us that we were to meet back at the bus at 3pm, giving us a lot less time than we had thought. We made the most of it though and although it would have been nice to have had more time there we both felt we got what we wanted from visiting the waterfalls.
We started by walking through the ticket station which after a short walk takes you through a bear sanctuary. I always feel a bit uneasy about seeing animals in South East Asia, but these had huge enclosures with loads of toys, swings and pools, you could tell they were well looked after. The sanctuary rescues bears who have been captured by poachers and used for their bike or kept as pets in unsuitable conditions. They were so cute and fluffy and we spent a while watching them play and sleep in funny positions both on the way and on the way back.
Here we walked a bit further and reached the first main pool that come down from it. We split off the Kate and James here and walked up looking at each section of waterfall as we went further and as they got more incredible and beautiful. The final one at the top is a massive one that when the sun came out of the clouds and reflected off of it looked stunning. We took loads of pictures and then headed back to one of the swimming pools which has a tree branch over the water which you can jump off. Shane jumped in for a swim while I was happy to paddle my feet as the water was quite cold! For the last of the time we had we headed up to the tall waterfall at the top to sit and relax while chatting to some Irish girls from the minibus.
We finally headed back down, stopping briefly at the bears, before making the journey back to town.
We had a quiet afternoon in the room and chilled out ready to go and check out Luang Prabangs nightlife. We grabbed a sandwich from one of the street stalls where we bumped into Matthias and Karian, the Dutch couple we met back in Thakhek. We had seen them the day before and they had told us they were doing a Laos cooking class and today they gave us one of the recipes books they had been given as they didn't need two, which Shane was really happy about! We did a bit of shopping in the night market before heading to a bar called Utopia, where everyone starts their night. Here we sat and chatted to random people whilst watching the volleyball game that people kept joining in with. We bumped into a couple of Germans who we had met our first night at the hostel. We sat with them until 11.30 when the bar closed and everyone got in tuk tuks to the only place open past this time, the bowling alley! We ended up with a group that consisted of us, the two from our hostel, another two German guys, an Israeli, and American and someone else from England! We arrived outside this pink building that looks like nothing in the middle of nowhere, but inside is a bowling alley that looks like something from home! We bought a bottle of vodka and some mixers to share between us, which cost under £10 in total! Everyone is here to continue there night and the bowling definitely seems to be a bit of an afterthought! Our game took nearly two hours to finish! Lever home but us and the four Germans left at this point but we stayed until the alley closed just after 2am, before heading back to our hostel. We finally headed off to bed at about 3am, having a well deserved lie in this morning! While my hangover on Laos whisky is pretty bad, the vodka seems to be alright for me, whereas Shane was definitely feeling a bit worse for wear today!
We missed our free breakfast so walked into town to grab some food at about 11.30 where we bumped into Matthias and Karina again, which gave us a chance to say bye before they head north and to Thailand before going home. The rest of today has been a write off with both of us sleeping most of the afternoon! We are going to go out for food and to use up the rest of our Laos kip before our flight tomorrow night to Vietnam!