After our returning from Pak Ou, we barely had time to recover from our long boat ride and headed back quickly to the travel agent office for our second part of the tour- Kuang Si Waterfall. We were the last two passengers to get into the battered van. On the way, we saw the aftermath of a collision between two motorcyclist and a crowd of bystanders telling their version of the accident.
The journey took about an hour and when we arrived at the car park, this was probably the largest gathering of tourists that I have seen in this trip to Laos, which seemed to say that the attraction of waterfall seemed to outdo that of temples ? After paying the 20,000kip entrance fee that was not included in the tour package, we started our stroll to the waterfall, it was a long walk, with a bit of a slope but rather pleasant with big trees that provided shade along the tarmac paved road.
Then we saw the waterfall.. …my not so powerful camera can’t do justice to the majestic multi-tiered waterfall
The wooded bridges and emerald pools were quite picturesque
The water wasn’t clear but rather murky, the based seemed to be mud, there were many pools but most of them came with signboards that said ‘Non Swimming area’ , although many seemed to ignore these signs. After walking and stopping at more than half a dozen pools , we finally came to one that said ‘swimming area’.Phewww…
After a refreshing dip, and conscious of time, we headed back to the car park but before that we came to a bear rescue centre- maintained by Free The Bears. Read more about this project by clicking here
The best way to end this activity filled day ? have a lip smacking Laotian dinner !
We walk along the banks of the Mekong and studied the displayed menu in front of each stall and looked for the keyword ‘Orlam’ which is a traditional Lao dish. After speed reading menus from maybe 6 stalls, we finally found one that served Orlam ( and seemed to be at a reasonable price)
We ordered : Orlam ( stew beef in herbs), fried mushroom ( since we saw so many at the market) and deep fried seaweed with cheabong sauce.
The tourist friendly menu
First to arrive was the stir fried mushroom, I don’t think they have enough mushroom to make up the dish, so this seemed like a mixed vegetable dish instead. Apart from the slightly chewy mushroom, we also had baby corns, carrots, black fungus etc, the chef was rather heavy handed with the oyster sauce making it a bit salty but on a whole still rather nice.
Orlam – looked like a slightly gooey dish , apart from the pieces of beef there were also strips of buffalo skin ( if you want to look at what the ‘raw material’ look like, please click here – the photo that you should be referring to is the last pix for that post , the hairs would be removed to reveal a smooth elastic strip and dunno what other processes before it can be used in cooking ) the skin had a rubberish texture, and seemed to emit a buffalo-ish taste with every chew. There were also a lot of unidentifiable green vegetables in it. The dish was cooked with chili and lots of herbs, the distinctive taste of basil was prominent. This was very delicious
The deep fried seaweed sheets were so crispy and light , the ‘sea’ taste wasn’t that heavy to be unpleasant, and plus the generous amount of sesame sprinkled all over them it was just so good. and this was further enhanced by the jeowbong sauce, which tasted a bit like sambal belacan. We tried the seaweed sold at the night market, they were not anywhere near how good these were ! Click here to see how the seaweed are processed
The meal which included 2 plate of rice and 2 glass of fruit shake – came to 670,000 kip ( ~ RM27) . We enjoyed this meal very much and it was a rather reasonable sum to pay too !