24th & 25th April 2016
Sunday evening we headed down to check out the night market – it’s open daily from around 5pm-10pm and is located down on the Sisavangvong Road which stretches for around a kilometre.
It is a beautiful market, one of the best I have been too so far. A lot of the stalls are selling handmade products and you can buy anything from paintings, tea and coffee, clothes, beaded bags, spices or shoes and these are just only a selection of what’s on offer. They also have some incredible street food which you have GOT to try. They do a lot of vegetarian buffets for as little as 10,000 kip (less than a £1) which is what we chose. As well as the buffets they have lots of little stalls selling pancakes, fresh fruit smoothies (to die for), meats and traditional delicacies such as sticky rice, larb and a variety of meats.
When we got back to our guesthouse we went to reception and a few of us booked a minibus to the Kouang Si Waterfall for the following day. Whilst we were down there a massive thunderstorm broke out leaving us all stuck in reception for a couple of hours as the rain was so bad!
Monday morning we got the minibus to the waterfall and had 3 hours to explore. The Kouang Si Waterfall is a three tier waterfall which begins in shallow pools on top of the hillside and leads to the main fall with a 60 meter cascade. Not wanting to waste a single second we set to climbing the trail just right of the waterfall up to the top. It was a hard climb but once we reached the top it was so rewarding as the views were incredible. After taking lots of pictures we started to climb back down but a different way as we had seen some people in a pool about a quarter of the way down which none of us wanted to miss out on.
Eventually we managed to find it and it did not dissopoint! It was a beautiful turquoise pool and even more amazing than being at the top as you could get in and swim right over to the egde like an infinity pool – don’t worry it wasn’t a straight drop down, there was another couple of ledges on the other side (which I may have climbed over to in order to get an insta worthy picture). We spent about an hour here taking in the view, swimming and getting lots of pictures. Eventually we dragged ourselves away and started to climb back down so that we could explore the lower levels.
The lower tiers of the waterfall were just as beautiful so we spent about an hour exploring these. You can swim in most of the pools but be warned they are cold!! On the way you also go through a bear sanctuary – it wasn’t very nice to see so many bears in such small enclosures but then again it is probably a lot better than where they had been rescued from.
That evening we decided to walk up to the top of Mount Phousi to watch the sun set. We were soooo hot when we got up there but it was well worth it, although we did miss the sun set as we were talking to someone we had met on the slow boat… whoops!
A group of us walked down to the night market to get dinner – we found a vegetarian buffet for only 15,000 kip – I had no idea what any of it was but it tasted good, although now we think it might have given Daniel food poisoning… not so good.
After dinner me and Daniel went for a few drinks at a bar called Utopia which had been recommended to us. We had been there all of 5 minutes when the biggest thunderstorm I have ever witnessed in my life began… I’m talking thunder, lightening, force gail winds and rain falling like bullets. I literally thought the bar was going to fall down, the electricity cut out and everything was soaked! We couldn’t leave though as it was a 10 minute walk back so we waited for the storm to ease and then we RAN! We ended up going back out with the group of people we had got friendly with from the slow boat and met them in a little bar. As all the electricity was still out they had lit loads of candles, it was such a lovely atmosphere.
We then decided to go bowling… basically in Laos all the bars shut around 11pm and the only place that stays open is an old bowling alley so naturally this is where everyone goes to get drunk and boy did we get drunk…