We booked to go on a day trip to see some caves and a waterfall so were very exciting. The only down side to these day trips is that you have to get up early as it takes so long to travel anywhere. So up we were at 7am.
First was the caves. We got on a small slowboat for the 2 hour ride to the caves. On the Mekong river for the 3rd day. This slowboat was a lot smaller than the others, had car seats as the seats and not a life jacket to be seen. The engine was right behind us as well so it was really noisy. Not to mention when sat down the roof was only just above our heads so had to almost crawl to reach our seats. Asia does not favour the tall(ish).
2 hours later we arrived at the caves and had to pay the entrance fee, 20,000 kip so 80p. Not much but it seems as though anything they can charge tourists for they will, even using the toilet at religious sites. I thought religion was about being charitable?
Anyway, we climbed around 200 steps to reach the upper cave which in 34 degree heat was tough. We entered the cave which had 1000s of Buddha statues that had been donated to the cave by Buddhists. The cave was one large 'room' which was pitch black so we needed the torch on our phones to look around. We looked around the lower cave as well which was much of the same. Back on the boat.
We arrived at the port and a minibus took us to a local restaurant or lunch. We sat on the same table as a couple from Korea and got talking to them. I'm still useless at using chopsticks but even worse when sat opposite experts who make it look so easy. Thankfully most restaurants provide a fork and spoon.
After lunch we got back on the minibus and headed to the waterfall. I have never really had car sickness until I came to Laos. The roads are awful and the driving is reckless so a lethal combination. When I was younger, I often felt a little sick when in my dads car (not that he is a reckless driver), I think it's the lack of fresh flowing air and awful car fresheners that set me off. I realised this in the minibus, the air con was low and we weren't allowed to open the windows so that teamed with magic tree fresheners, pot holes, sharp bends and hills was not ideal. 45 long minutes later we arrived at the waterfalls.
Another entrance fee, we entered the national park. The waterfalls were truly beautiful. It was strange to think that in between all these mountains is something so amazing. Nature really does provide some great scenery.
The water was freezing!! But as we won't be visiting Laos again we got in, very slowly. Well I did. Mark found a log and did a few backflips into the pool. There are some videos on the camera.
The best parts of our trip so far have been when we are surrounded by nature. So we've decided we are done with temples and to focus on the nature side.