This morning we awoke to a torrential downpour outside, which wasn’t the best thing, as today was meant to be the trip to the only really decent thing to see and do in Luang Prabang, and that was the Kuang Si Falls. We had two full days here and the day before was a beautiful day and perfect for the falls, but we all trusted our guide when he said the next day would be better for it. This was another example, and the biggest one to date, of why we feel that Chai is the first guide to start actually negatively effecting our trip with his advice and often lack there of.
We went down for breakfast at 8am, as we were meant to be leaving as a group at 9am, and despite the raining spoiling any chance to swim in the waterfall which is the main reason for going, we still wanted to head along so as not to waste another day, as the day before we weren’t able to do much, on Chai’s advice that most of the local day trips weren’t recommended.
The last thing we wanted to do was spend another day doing nothing. But after eating breakfast Chai told us we were going to put off going till midday, even though the forecast was for rain all day. So that didn’t really make any sense to wait if the weather was pretty much going to be the same all day.
By this stage Mollidy and myself were pretty pissed off that on his advice we may end up losing two full days of this trip, as there wasn’t exactly much do to in this town other than this waterfall trip, and interacting with elephants which he suggested we don’t do till Chiangmai. It’s only the second time on the trip we felt our time was being wasted, and the first time that our money was being wasted, as spending money on food when you’re just sitting around doesn’t feel as productive as spending it on food and activities when you’re out and about doing fun things.
In the mean time we decided to get our washing done, as we had another full day here, but were told that our hotel couldn’t do it because of the weather. The same went for every other laundry in town, which was another thing Chai didn’t tell us about, as many other places in Indo China have an express service you can pay more for as they use dryers, but this town was air dry only. With the next two days on a boat, and next laundry not till Chiangmai, meant for a large amount of us we were going to have to go four full days without any new clothes, except for the last bits we still hadn’t worn.
So yeah, this was easily my lowest point of the trip, as I’ve learnt in my life to only trust myself and the ones I hold close to me, as I don’t like giving up power to people I don’t trust, as often it doesn’t turn out well. For the first time on this trip the guides advice has made us feel like we’ve missed out on things as well as feel kind of trapped, which is very annoying. So all we could do was stay in our rooms and wait three hours, but sadly the internet here hardly works, so it was mostly just lying on the bed watching TV from Thailand.
Finally at midday we were ready to head off, but it was also lunch time though no mention was made of what we would do. This has also often been the case with this leg of the trip as lunch tends to be around 2pm, which is always too late for most of us. So when we jumped on the trucks that would take us to the falls, we were told it was a 45 minute ride and we weren’t stopping for lunch, as we can get it there. We had all eaten breakfast early as we thought we were leaving at 9am, and so we were pretty hungry on the trucks and had to eat snacks we had in our bags, though not all of us had these.
Once at the falls it became very clear that though impressive with lots of more water than usual coming down it, that the 2 and a half hours allocated for staying here was just too long, as you can only look at a waterfall for so long. This annoyed us even more, as this would have been an epic place to come the day before when it was sunny and we could have swum all throughout the area and I’d say for many hours.
Luckily though there was a rescued bear sanctuary that we were also able to check out, and Mollidy and myself also walked off down the road to see a butterfly park, but other than that this whole thing felt a little redundant. Once back on the trucks we headed back to town, and due to the long time at the falls, and the 90 minutes of travel, we didn’t get back till after 4pm. At this time we all went our separate ways to shower, change, and then do our own thing for dinner.
Mollidy and myself headed out at about 7pm for dinner, and the weather had cleared up by this stage, so it was a nice walk and the temperature was really good, so it was one of the few night walks we could do without getting all hot and sweaty. We found a nice restaurant, and had the best meal of the town so far, though during the meal it started to rain again, and this time it was damn heavy.
We waited as long as we could be bothered for it to clear, but eventually we decided to bite the bullet and get massages, which we had promised ourselves the day before we weren’t going to do again in Laos, as their massages have been pretty average as well. But as we didn’t want to walk back in the rain, it was our only option. So we picked hour long foot and leg massages, and luckily this place was really good. Not the best I’ve had on the trip, but it’s in the top three.
At the end of that the weather had also cleared up, and we had a nice gentle walk back to the hotel, and like before, it was nice being able to walk for 10 to 15 minutes and not get horribly sweaty. Once back at the hotel we showered, jumped into bed, and drifted off to sleep, as this had been the most frustrating day of the trip so far, but we hoped to leave that all behind us for the last two weeks of the trip.
Today I’m going to talk about food courts in Indo China, and I’m not talking about food alleys or food markets, but the kind of food courts you might be used to in a western mall. Let’s say you go to your local mall and to the food court, and there might be 8 options, or 20, but most likely they are all unique and serve different foods. Well here it’s very different, so please keep your expectations in check, because if you thought your local food court food was average and didn’t have many options, then this is a step down from that.
Let’s say you had 20 options for food, well most likely you’ll really only have 3 to 5 options max, as most of them just serve the same food with their own little variation. It’s often at these times I actually really appreciate the more multicultural society I live in, as when you get all kinds of people from around the world living in the same place, you’ll end up getting food options from their specific area. Here though it’s either the local dishes, the nearby countries dishes, or their attempt at some western food, which sometimes ranges from bad to just ok.