Thursday, March 3rd (Luang Prabang Day 1)

  • Slept in and took an easy morning catching up with friends and family back home over FaceTime.
  • Found a street shop that agreed to sell us a massive 5 egg omelette for 20K Kip ($2.50) at a nearby market.
  • Hopped on our motorbikes and set out for Kuang Xi waterfall.
  • On the way we stopped at The Living Land Farm to book a tour for the next day: an interactive rice making workshop that walks you through each step in the production process.  
  • After passing hundreds of rice fields and eating thousands of rice grains, we figured it was the least we could do to learn about the crop that is the bedrock of Southeast Asia.  It is also one of the top rated activities in Luang Prabang.
  • We arrived at Kuang Xi waterfall and had our minds blown.  It is the most spectacular waterfall we have ever seen, and the first waterfall we’ve seen in Asia that was worth the entry fee (20K Kip; $2.50).
  • The water is a deep tourquoise and steps down over many mini cascades as it flows through the jungle.  The trail leads upwards past level after level before revealing the icing on the cake: a 50 meter cascade terminating in a deep azure pool.
  • We climbed to the top of the main fall, then hiked 3km further to  discover a cave and the source spring for Kuang Xi.
  • The cave was a quick side adventure, a deep cavern dotted with Buddhist sculptures and small shrines.  We found our way to the deepest recess with the help of headlamps and flashlights.
  • After, we took a break at a bamboo picnic table beside the spring.
  • The owner of the table (and adjoining restaurant) soon came over, and seeing that we were just resting, posed us a challenge: if we could cross the spring to the opposite bank and back along a narrow fallen tree he would give us free beer and cook us a free meal.  If we fell at any point, we had to pay for the meal.
  • We accepted immediately.  
  • Unfortunately the odds were heavily stacked against us.  We both made it half way before plunging into the stream.
  • However, it proved to be one of the highlights of our day.  We paid for an excellent meal and spent the next hour attempting to complete the challenge, both eventually succeeding after 20+ tries.
  • We returned to our motorbikes and drove back to our guesthouse, arriving just after dark.
  • We paid a quick visit to the Night Market for dinner then returned to the hostel and spent the rest of the night relaxing and chatting with other guests.
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