Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Waterfalls, Haoles, and Leeches...Oh My!

Today was another great day. We started off the day at a cultural museum called the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center. It showcases the diversity of Laos' people. There are four distinct linguistic groups and within those four groups there are dozens of unique ethnicities. This small museum highlighted the dress and other handicrafts of seven of these ethnicities.

Our guide was a Malaysian girl who went to school at Vassar. It's a small world after all.

After our museum visit we went to the Kuang Sii Waterfalls, which are inside a protected area about half an hour outside of the city.

Luang PrabangThere are several things to do at the falls. There is an Asiatic Bear and Indochina Tiger rehabilitation center, several hiking trails, swimming pools, places to eat and shop, and, of course, the falls.

Since we arrived in this part of the world, we've been told over and over that we should be modest in our dress. When we go swimming, we should cover up. Women should not wear bikinis; they should wear shorts and a t-shirt.

So what did we see? You guessed it:

Laos Bikini Girlsbikini girlThank God they weren't American!

The girls were swimming in a waterhole downstream of the waterfall. I brought a bathing suit, but I wasn't planning on going for a swim...until I saw the rope.

Laos Rope SwingI swung in four times, Ian swung in once, and Ian's 60 year old mother, Cloe, swung into the cold water twice.

The waterfall was huge. I think it was the biggest I've ever seen. The water was really high, too. A lot of the stairs and walking paths were covered in rushing water.

There were paths leading up both sides of the waterfall, towards the top. The one on the right was underwater...rushing water...so we opted to climb up the left side. The hike was steep and slippery at times, but we made it up and back safely.

At the bottom I decided to do a leech check. I had one on my left leg and my right leg and Terry had one between his two toes.


...and Jeff, have you noticed that the Yankees are out of the playoffs?


...and I backposted a few pictures of Bangkok. I'll be adding pictures to these posts from time to time, so keep checking back through the archives. I'll try to make a note each time I do so.


Jeff said...

Focus on the Temples, not the Red Sox. Go Indians.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Nice leeches.

Bryan said...

Nice bikini.