Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Marvellous Waterfall Near Luang Prabang

It's actually a pity if you can't discover this beauty-spot. Sited nearly 29km south of Luang Prabang, Kuang Si waterfall appears splendid and fanciful like in fairy tales.


Kuang Si waterfall is considered as one of the best attractions in Laos located in the outskirts of Luang Prabang city.


Kuang Si is settled inside a nature reserve next to the Bear Rescue Center. This tier fall flows over white limestone rocks and empties into a series of gently cascading, aquamarine pools surrounded by tropical trees.


When Kuang Si became an attraction, it was reformed into a vast national park. It is well-maintained with wooden walkways and bridges in harmony with nature.


The fall originates from head-water streams and brings along an enormous volume of algae that makes the water is green all year round. The weather here is mightily cool making it a really great place to escape from the heat.


In the dry season, the fall has little water. The greatest time to explore Kuang Si is when it’s full of water and immensely majestic. The fall is devilishly fabulous and incredibly soothing. The turquoise blue pools are great places to swim, splash and jump. However, at least one is closed as being a holy site.

There is a wide selection of adventure activities for travelers in Kuang Si waterfall nature reserve, such as trekking deeply inside forest and discover nature and bathing under mighty cascades.

With trekking, travelers can follow trails and climb up to the peak where you can see the stream feeding into the falls and enjoy some natural pools non-touristy. Nevertheless, the trails are quite slippery so to ensure safety, let bring appropriate footwear.

To travel to Kuang Si waterfall, there are several ways: by tuk tuk, bus, boat, motorbike and bike, or by an easier option - booking a tour.

Tuk tuk is a great choice for a free group.

The mini-buses depart daily from Naluang Mini Bus station with two trips per day. The ticket can be booked at hotels, hostels or travel agencies.

To free travelers, you are able to hire a motorbike or bike to approach the fall. By this way, you can behold some scenic villages en route, especially be pedaling, travelers can be slow down and enjoy authentically rustic views of Laos. The roads however are hilly, beaten and rocky. If you choose cycling, you may need a good bike with gears and if it’s a hot time of year, let depart early. Also beware of the dusty and smoky roads during hot-dry season (February to April). To save energy, travelers can cycle one way and vice-versa by tuk tuk.

An unusual alternative is to hire a boat and ride down the Mekong River before catching another boat to reach the fall.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

10 Adventures in Laos

If you aren’t interested in familiar and much touristy spots like Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng, let take 10 itineraries following to immerse in wild nature and enjoy peace.

1. Kayak in Si Phan Don

Si Phan Don (4,000 Islands) is surely a promising spot for kayaking thanks to the calm and gentle course, majestic natural scenery and beautiful villages along the Mekong river. This bunch of islands lies on the mighty Mekong River, includes superb Khone waterfall and a chain of reef that paralyze navigation of any boats. Threatened Irrawaddy dolphins can be found at the basin of the fall. Among islands, Don Det, Don Khone and Don Khong are largest, where focus rustic rest houses perfect for an escape from noise and bustling.  


2. Discover ancient Khmer relics

If you are keen on Tomb Raider movie shot at Ta Prohm temple in Cambodia, or Indiana Jones adventure franchise, sure you will be excited when reaching Champasak province to explore vestiges of ancient Khmer temples dated the 11th to the 13th century and used to be a part of Angkor Empire. Wat Phou complex of shrines and palace isn't as large as Angkor, but it is quite deserted, silent and extremely occult with cluttered rubble, swamps, crocodiles crawl higgledy-piggledy and broken trunks. This construction was inscribed on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

3. Zipline through jungle

Zipline is definitely suited for daring travelers. At Bokeo nature reserve in northern Laos, flying over the old jungle and the valley on a 500m-high cable and it’s able to enjoy freedom among a vast, green space. This jungle also offers chances to sleep in tree-houses and observe endangered black-cheeked gibbons once in a lifetime. It is even home to many other rare species such as elephant, bear, tiger, water-buffalo and various birds. 


4. Climb karst mountains in Nong Khiaw

Climbing mountains in Nong Khiaw, the area on the bank of Ou river in the northern country, has been permitted since 2002. After defeating the craggy karst peaks, climbers can have panoramic view to primitive and tranquil landscapes of imposing mountains and streams. 

For ones adore caving, let explore Pha Tok cave located 2km from the backward but serene Nong Khiaw village. It used to be the refuse of the locals during the Indochina Wars.

rock-mountain-climbing-nong khiaw-laos

5. Row boat over a limestone cave

Tham Kong Lo cave is obviously a star in Laos travel. Situated in the heart of the wildest area in the country – Phu Hin Bin national park of Khammouane Province, this limestone cave stretches 7km, with some its parts are 91m high, and features a pure beauty of the green river and miraculous stalactites inside. It has a reputation of one of Southeast Asia’s greatest geological wonders.

A green, precious lake in the cave is deified by the natives as they suppose that the water surface reflects the skin color of Indra, a deity in Hindu culture. No one reaching Tham Kong Lo is without an incredible boat trip through this spiritual cave.


6. Trek through jungles in “the land of hundreds of waterfalls”

As the name it is, the northern Laos owns many hundreds of small and big waterfalls pouring down like white silk pieces. With a trek through Nong Khiaw jungle, travelers can stop at peaceful Nong Khiaw village adjacent waterfalls.


7. Explore Vieng Xai caves – where thousands hid from American bombs

This gigantic system of caves is one of the most important historic relics in Laos. In the war, over 2,000 people took refuge here to avoid bombards. Laotian people established sufficient infrastructure inside the cave, with bedrooms, offices, hospitals, elephant enclose, bakery, a market, a theatre, a printing press and even a bank.


8. Learn to become a mahout

Riding elephants through jungles is a diffused activities in Laos. However, it’s more impressive if you can join in a mahout course training how to control an elephant. This class is hold at elephant camps around the famous city Luang Prabang. >> See Luang Prabang adventure


9. Discover the country by bicycle

Laos is an amazing place for ones indulge in exploring new regions on two wheels. Cycling is the best way to sightsee scenery along the ways, talk with locals, and especially find out authentic things, exotic things, or less-known things that you may be hard to see if on a car or bus.


10. Trek in Phongsali and encounter exotic tribes

One of most fascinating treks in Laos is to Phongsali, the northernmost province sharing its same border with China. Sited high on a small ridge-top plateau, this destination offers breathtaking panoramic views and a cool climate that can swing from pleasantly warm to downright cold in a matter of hours. Enjoying a trek in the surrounding hills, it’s easy to encounter ethnic groups with diverse and unique cultures.