In the evening we went to a free showing of the black and white movie ‘Chang’ which was filmed in 1925, depicting life for a Lao family living in the jungle, defending themselves from tigers, leopards and elephant. It was surprisingly impressive, given the very basic technology of that time.
On Thursday, we visited a project called ‘ Big Brother Mouse’ which provides a venue to bring together young Laotian people who want to learn/ practice English with English speaking visitors who can give a few hours to help. All the Laoatian young people were delightful, very motivated and asked great questions. There were several young monks among them. We enjoyed our time there very much and will go back again.
Every day in Luang Prabang, we have been asked ( politely but very, very repetitively) if we would like to visit THE WATERFALL. Every tuk tuk in town provides this tour, supposedly the highlight of Luang Prabang. Worn down by such determined enthusiasm, we decided to hire a small motorbike to drive the 50 minutes to see this legendary destination. We put on our helmets and set out in chilly cloudy weather. 30 minutes later, a sign indicated that we had only 10 km left to go. We were getting pretty cold by this time, so were relieved when, earlier than we expected, there was a large sign, depicting a waterfall, signposted off onto a track into the forest. We drove up to a beautiful garden, sighting at the top of it an impressive waterfall, with pool after pool of milky blue waters cascading down the valley. It was beautifully kept but very, very quiet. A smiling Laotian lady hurried out of the house, welcomed us with enthusism, took a modest entrance fee, and took us to a private viewing platform made of bamboo, where she said we could relax and swim. It was getting hotter and sunnier by the minute, so we gratefully accepted the invitation. There was something strange though. We were the only people there. We knew from other visitors that THE WATERFALL was usually packed with tourists. It was all very odd. We shared the place only with myriad butterflies, jungle flowers, a small puppy and the family who sold us tickets, who did not speak English. It was very hot by now, so we swam in the vivid blue pools, and splashed right underneath the waterfall. We then slept peacefully in the shade. When we woke, we looked at the tickets. It was the wrong waterfall.
At the same time, we agreed that in fact, it had been the right waterfall, and the peaceful day we’d had was far nicer than anything we had planned. So nice in fact that we hope to go back again.