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Day 8: Elephant Riding and Zip-Lining in Luang Prabang

Elephant-riding, waterfalls, trekking and zip-lining - all in a day's activities when in Luang Prabang

Today was a slow start. Some confusion over the tour arrangements had me sitting around for a while, but soon enough it was sorted and we were off for a day of elephant riding and trekking!

First stop was a sustainable elephant camp, to take a ride on an elephant, saved from the fate of being worked to death logging trees. It was a very gentle ambling, ponderous pace rocking from side to side as our elephant took us out of the camp, into the river Nam Khan and up through the village back to camp. It was a good speed from which to contemplate and enjoy life. Next was a semi-hard trek to a Khmer village. The scenery was beautiful when you could look up - often had to watch the floor not to step into elephant droppings :) We stopped to have lunch there and watch the village activities. Today, they were all helping to thatch the roof on a house before the rains come.

After lunch we keep going through teak forests and rubber plantations before descending onto a natural path through lush green jungle. After a 1 hour hard slug up and down the narrow pathway, we were close to the promised waterfall. As we came closer, we were all surprised by the concrete slabs and red plastic chairs. We’d made it to the Tad Sae Waterfalls. There was a much easier way to get there, but our tour was a trek, so trek we did in the back way! No regrets, as the trek was very enjoyable, albeit hard work! We just expected more of a natural setting for the waterfall given the natural path we were on to get here.

The waterfall was a collection of pools cascading one into the other. The water was very, very refreshing (ie cold!). There was an additional activity of zip-lining (flying fox for Aussies) for 1km over 18 zip lines. After counting my pennies, I decided I could do it.

It was easily the best experience so far. Talk about adrenalin rushes! At first it was terrifying - the fear of hitting a tree trunk was very real! Then after a few lines, it was exhilarating and I was trying to find more ways to move about and do crazy things swinging through the jungle canopy. The local guides (one on either end) were fantastic and made sure everything was super safe while ensuring I had a brilliant time. It was sad when the last zip line came around. The sensation of flying through the jungle/trees was just wonderful (and very scary when you look down!)! The speed is very, very, very fast sometimes! It was quite a change from the earlier ambling of the elephant.

Back in town, there was just enough time to try to catch the sunset at Mount Phousi/Wat Chomsi. Unfortunately as it was really overcast, the view was a little hindered and the sunset non-existent, but still a great viewing point. Best part was watching a group of Monks doing as we were, taking photos and the touristy things. One had a nice camera and was taking photos of the other Monks; another was going around with his camera phone taking photos on that. It was very amusing.

To top of the day, I found a laneway of cheap food off the night market back in town. 10,000 KIP (about $1.25) to fill your plate with food (choice of 10 or so dishes). It is a very popular laneway full of 5 or 6 stalls of this description. I have no idea exactly what I was eating, but it was all good!

Elephant Trekking in Luang Prabang, Laos

Elephant Trekking in Luang Prabang, Laos

Posted by Teamworkz 18:58 Archived in Laos

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