4/26/18: 100 Waterfalls Trek (Nong Khiaw)

I woke up and had breakfast at the guesthouse: bread with fruit.

During breakfast I talked with Tom, a friend from high school, on the phone. It was really nice and long overdue. I hadn’t talked to him since I left four months ago.

Adrian, Tim, Mateus and I left for the 100 Waterfalls trek at 9: Falko was supposed to come too, but he stayed behind because he was feeling sick.

We got on our boat, which we hired for 300,000 kip (30 euros), and rode for an hour. It was a really picturesque boat ride, with many beautiful mountains all around us.

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Our weird boat seats that didn’t quite fit in

We got off the boat and needed to find a local guide to take us to the falls, but we didn’t know how to find one. We walked through the village but didn’t see anyone, so we walked back to the front. A guy who works for one of the bigger tour agencies here, Tiger Trails, asked us if we needed a guide. We told him yes, and he led us to a young Lao guy who would take us. We gave him the 50,000 kip (5 euros) for his guidance, plus 10,000 kip (1 euro) each for the entrance fee.

Our guide didn’t really speak English, so he just led us through the trail. It started on dry land, walking through rice fields, but then it quickly changed as we got to the river. We began climbing up waterfall after waterfall for about 30 minutes. Now I understood why it was called 100 waterfalls. My feet were soaked in seconds.

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Climbing up the waterfalls

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We went through the rivers and up and through waterfalls until we eventually reached the highest one, where we would stop to have lunch.

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I tried to sit and relax by a bench, but I couldn’t really do that because there were dozens of flies everywhere.

I walked a little further away and stood as I ate my sandwich. It had mayonnaise in it, but I ate it anyway because I needed to eat something and I’ve accepted the fact that I’m not going to be a perfect vegan as I travel.

Once we were done eating, we hiked back to the village. We took a different, waterfall-less route, so the way back was much easier.

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So many buffalo!
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The village

Once we reached the village, we couldn’t find our boat man. We waited on the boat for 20 minutes before Mateus decided to go back to the village to look for him. He found him hanging out at someone’s house. He came back down to the boat and we were on our way.

Once we were back in Nong Khiaw, we all walked to the Nong Khiaw Adventure Tours to learn more about a 2-day trek I was interested in. Falco was interested, but not sure if he could go because of his stomach. Mateus was interested too, but didn’t want to leave the day after; he wanted to chill a day longer in Nong Khiaw. Tim was leaving the next day, so he couldn’t do it. So it ended up just being me and Adrian signing up, hoping that more people would join to bring down the costs.

I went to Delilah’s to work and ran into Quinn, a girl I had met first in Don Det and then again in other cities in Laos as we both made our way north, again.

I asked her if she wanted to join the trek. She couldn’t because she had already signed up for the 100 waterfalls tour, but a French girl nearby overheard our conversation and told me she was interested in doing a trek. I told her a bit about it, and she said she’d think about it.

I went back to our bungalows, where the guys were having some beers. We all chatted and laid in the hammocks till around 6:30 and then went to Deen’s, an Indian restaurant, for dinner.

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Such a beautiful view from our bungalows

I got mutter baigan bartha and the best ginger tea ever. It was super spicy and I really felt like it was healing whatever illnesses I may have had as I drank it.

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Quinn and the French girl were also eating at Deen’s, so we all said hi. The French girl told me she had decided she was going to do the trek and was going to go sign up now. Woohoo!!

We walked to Hive Bar because Mateus wanted to check it out, but it was closed so we went to Q Bar. Everyone had a cocktail, but I didn’t want to drink so I got a banana smoothie instead. I just needed a day without alcohol… I feel like I’ve been drinking way too much beer.

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