Motorbike diary – part 1

April 24, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Posted in Laos | 1 Comment

We really weren’t ready to leave Laos so we headed to the less-travelled south to check out some of the more remote areas. The best way to explore is to hire a motorbike, so we set off on a 5 day adventure around southern Laos. our bike was okay, pretty tough really, but getting used to shifting gears was a bit rough.

Our trip involved us touring the bolaven plateau, an elevated area with countless waterfalls and ethnic villages.

I’m standing at the edge of a huge cliff that normally has tons of water flowing over it. Getting here was a bit scary and involved a hike down a steep hill – hudson almost wanted  to bike down the hill.

just a little trickle when we saw it…  but still pretty cool to look over the edge

 This was one of our first waterfalls; we were both desperate to jump in, but when i(hudson) awkwardly simulated jumping in the falls to the locals, they laughed and then shouted other people over and they laughed. we didn’t think it was a good idea. this waterfall was really beautiful and it looked like you could jump in (but maybe never get back out).

our next waterfall, Tad Lo was a mix of river and small waterfalls. a few elephants loved to play in the water -they’re surprisingly agile on those slippery rocks.

The local kids in laos were so friendly and loved to hang around(trying on our sunglasses was a favorite activity). They were also useful in showing us the areas where we could jump in. the water here was pretty shallow, but i could flip into it and the crazy little kids were diving in. only the boys are allowed to really swim around; the girls only get in to bathe (with their clothes on) and wash clothes. Even I wore my clothes because I think the laos people would be shocked by a bikini.

even though the water seemed very clean and refreshing, most rural people used it to bathe and do laundry (with detergent and stuff). we saw this all over laos and one ki at tad lo was shampooing his hair while diving around.

Tad Lo – these falls were so pretty and secluded.

We were told that some pretty mean ‘penis-eating’ fish (im sure i’ts a myth) lived in this pool so i was naturally dubious to get in. These Laotian guys were busy doing their laundry in the water, but were easily persuaded to come and pratt around with us.

a mission impossible shot… yeah the laotian guys showed us where to jump in – the scary part was scaling the rocky wall to get to the top of the falls

hudson and the boys

Tad Hua khon, our favourite waterfall. it was 100 metres long and deep everywhere, so kind of like a huge swimming pool.

 It was great to jump off the top. we drove up on a forest path and discovered this place. it was so quiet with no one around. the water was black and beautiful and I swam around the bottom and discovered most places were really deep. hudson made me check the depth a couple times before he jumped – don’t blame him, it felt really high. the part where he is standing had small pools as well.

After a while a few laotian kids creeped up. they were not used to seeing westerners so they followed us and watched from afar. When we tried to approach them they ran off at first but kelly used her expert children skills (teaching them to give high fives) and befriended them

Would love to have access to this place all the time,, the perfect place to relax on a hot day.

yeah, i really miss this waterfall and would love to go back. we stayed a little ways down the road at someone’s house basically – the only accomodation for miles around. no running water or proper toilet and they only had noodle soup(actually, no, they had some lettuce leaves which i ate with fresh cilantro). i wouldn’t want to stay there too long, but it was cool to see how the rural people live all the time. there is a big problem in southern laos of not enough food; it was pretty apparent. even though the people were very poor and only had the basics (we passed some people who had whole families in one open-walled shack room), they were very friendly and laid-back. they never begged and always were quick to wave and smile – and play in the waterfalls with us.


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  1. Do NOT get on another motor bike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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