Luang Prabang has two main waterfalls to visit, one being the bigger Kuang Si waterfall, which we had seen, and the other the Tad Se waterfall that was smaller, but they had elephants, which you could take for a ride around the area.
Once again, the cheapest way of getting there was by tuk-tuk, but this time we knew the tricks, so we went to find the driver we used to Kuang Si and arranged a price with him with the promise of finding more people to take on the trip.
Raquel and I then started looking for people willing to join us. This consisted out of stopping random people on the roads and asking them whether they were interested in joining our trip. We had several rejections until a couple (English Matt and Dutch Nicky) who had just arrived in Luang Prabang, accepted our offer and we agreed to meet the following day.
We met up with our driver and picked up Matt and Nicky from the arranged location and made our way to the Tad Se waterfall. Having only Matt and Nicky the previous day, we spent the drive getting to know each other.
To get to the waterfall you need take a little boat across the river, which is simple enough. The boat driver will also wait for you until you are ready to cross the river again to go back.
We arrived at the waterfall and immediately decided to go for a ride with elephant. We chose a 30-minute ride, which actually seemed a lot longer as the Elephant walked around a predetermined route at quite a leisurely pace. They even climbed into one of the pools of the waterfall, which the seemed to enjoy quite a lot.
After the elephant ride, Raquel and I went into one of the other pools to simply enjoy the water and relax. Tad Se was substantially less crowded than Kuang Si and there was also obvious alpha male competitions going on. We stayed for an hour before deciding it was time to head back to Luang Prabang.
Having enjoyed the company of Matt and Nicky and asked if they wanted to join us on a trip to the Pak Ou Cave, otherwise known as the Buddha Cave, thereby saving money on the tuk-tuk ride, they agreed and we met up the next day for the caves.
The next day Matt, Nicky and the tuk-tuk driver and the same place and made our way we met towards Pak Ou. Once again, this was another place, which required a short boat ride to get to the cave. This was one place, which I did not read much about to my own peril, as this was probably the worst of the Luang Prabang sights…
All it really is, is two cave, one upper, one lower, filled with tiny Buddhas. There is nothing, and I mean nothing interesting about this. As I said only statues in two caves… That’s it. All of us agreed that it was not worth the trip, but oh well, we were so might as well take advantage and photograph a little.
We quickly made our way back to Luang Prabang having not enjoyed the sight (for the first time in Laos).
This post was based on our days of the 10th and 11th of October 2012.
Tuk-tuk to Tad Se = $4.50 per person in a shared Tuk-Tuk of 4 people
Tad Se Entrance Fee + 30-minute Elephant Riding = $ 17 per person
Boat ride to Tad Se = $1.25 per person
Tuk-Tuk to Pak Ou = $6 per person in shared tuk-tuk of 4 people
Boat ride to Pak Ou = $2.50 per person
Entrance Fee to Pak Ou = $2.5 per person