Boom Bolenath! Happy Shivaratri.

Feb 17. 2015

Today is shivas birthday – a big holiday here and everyone who once experiences it will (have difficulties to) remember. Consuming Marijuana and Hash is kind of legal today and its offered everywhere at the temples. We are in the jungle though so get up early, make little sunrise meditation including some mantra chanting for shivaji and after breakfast we make a move towards back to Sauraha.


Today we walk the right bank of the river so we don’t need a ticket for the park for the nearly 20km walk. Sunrise at the riverside is incredibly amazing. In the jungle we see wild boar, lots of deer and again tiger foot prints – this time from a big male. We arrive at the borders of the “guide needed” area around lunchtime. A big big thank you goes to Ram, the craziest guide I have ever seen. He showed me exactly what I wanted to see and that was under the score:


All in all I have seen 10 rhinos (of which two I didn’t see because we bumped into them in the grass maze and had to run away – I count animals within a ratio of 5m as seen here even though I just smelled and heard them), 8 gharials, 3 slot bears, one tiger (within 5m) a tortoise, 7 wild boar, neverending white spotted deer, barking deer, hog deer and sambar deer, a not counted variety of birds of which the pictures show only a small part. It was the first time ever for me to see slot bears, rhinos and gharials in the wild. Before coming here I never hoped to ever see rhinos or gharials as they are both almost extinct.


If you plan to come here and enjoy the thrill of WALKING through a real jungle, give Ram a call and he will arrange all for you. His prices are more than fair and considering I was taking him as my private guide and he was risking his life to entertain me he is really cheap. His number: 981-2114298 – and tell him all the best from me as he doesn’t use internet to read this.


After saying good bye to the guides I still have to walk a little less than an hour to my guesthouse. Everybody is celebrating and just after stepping out of the jungle (dirty, sweaty and wasted) a beautiful girl stops me calling me bhole baba (today that’s ok) and makes pooja for me. I celebrate with the crowd at her family’s chai shop and then fall asleep soon after arriving at the guesthouse.


Second day inside the national park

Feb. 16. 2015

Today in the morning the guys are in time and we are the first ones to enter the jungle. Tonight we will sleep out there at the borders of the national park. A far walk sometimes on jeep tracks, sometimes through the middle of the jungle and sometimes through the grass tunnel maze searching for Balu the bear.


A few hundred meters after the first watchtower Ram turns right into a grass tunnel. He moves very fast in there and I sometimes have difficulties to follow him but at one point, when I am right behind him, I hear a very powerful roar less than 5 meters in front of us. Ram turns around in the second pushing me back running. Tiger he yells which makes me stop. My curiosity and my aim to take a good picture will for sure cost my life at a point. We have a short discussion and then run out of there as fast as possible. At least tigers give a warning – slot bears don’t. A situation just like this repeats twice with a rhino – Ram is just too crazy. He hears noises of obviously very big animals in front of us in the deep grass and without thinking jumps of the track into the grass risking his life to show me the bears.



We make lunch break at a waterhole during which I see rhino number 8 and a pretty big tortoise in front of me at the water – river ecologists water scan view had been activated. The first animal I can surprise my guide with. Until evening time we arrive at a beautiful watchtower viewing grassland, jungle and a long stretched lake in between. A little before, in between grassland with slightly better visibility we see a jeep some 250m in front of us. People inside pointing our direction…. They have seen us I think when Ram tells me a slot bear with a cub is coming our direction.


This time he probably really saves my life when holding me back… Slot bear is hard, nearly impossible to see between the grass. Damn, no proper picture I think. Minutes later we arrive at that amazing watchtower. Other tourists appear and laugh at me because after running through that environment in an orange t shirt I am covered with black stripes of ashes making me look like a tiger myself. One of the guys has yet travelled 74 countries and is just about to publish a book with pictures of faces he made on his journeys. They made a picture of me too which I would really like to get, so if you read this please send it to my email address.


We are lucky some of the grassland has just been burned down offering a very good view of an area that animals moving in the grass have to cross. I am still busy taking pictures of birds and landscape when Ram gives me the “there is an animal” whistle. Slot bear right in front of us – perfect view! I start taking pictures of it when the mother and the cub appear further away between the burned down grass. Suddenly I hear a deep roaring thunder that seems to make the jungle shake. When a tiger roars close to us in the forest behind the lake dozens of deer run out of the jungle jumping into the water to cross the lake, crocodiles either flee into the water (without attacking the deer), birds fly up and even the slot bears search cover.

The tiger roars a few more times but unfortunately does not come out. I guess Shirkhan just killed a deer and will probably not move so far away from its body for some time. Jungle remains quieter than before and soon we move towards the river as we have to cross it before sunset. Accommodation is directly at the bank of the river offering an amazing view… expensive though compared to the guides fee.

First day inside the national park

Feb. 15. 2015

My guides are a little late so I enjoy one chai more in the morning with a guy from Switzerland. Today we walk (!) to the east and will be back at Sauraha at night. It is the first time for me to explore a national park by walk and considering all the animals being at home here this is rather dangerous. Crawling through the jungle, the grass and the bushland we sometimes are caught in a maze of tunnels formed by grass that is more than 5 meters high. We don’t see further than 3-4meters but this is the place where the animals and especially the slot bears are hiding at daytime. I ask myself what we will do if a slot bear or another big animal appears right in front of us but don’t ask. Pray probably….


Until lunchtime we arrive in an area of a dried out riverbed in the forest. All is full of foot prints of deer, tigers, slot bears, leopards, rhinos,….. On the way back we are far of the ways and even Ram, my guide gets lost some times. At one point we have to cross a river but the place where we could do so using a big tree is occupied by crocodiles. No problem we go 200m downstream and wade… I really have fun and Ram seems to be exactly the right guide for me – totally crazy. That day we see 2 Rhinos, 5 gharials a few wild boars as well as neverending birds (amongst them two hornbills flying rather far away from us) and deer.


into the wild

Feb 14. 2015 Today I visit lake 20.000 by bicycle which is not really worth it. I spend more time at the guesthouse (rhino land – recommended for clean and cheap rooms with some of them offering very good birding view!) and at the river. Tomorrow I will explore the National park inside. By walk with two guides (and three wooden sticks for self defense – try that mr. obama!) and surrounded by wild elephants, rhinos, hyenas, leopards, tigers, kobras, krokodiles and so on….

2 days in the jungle

The pictures speak mostly for itself. 600mm rulez. Some of the birds I would not even have noticed without the lens and on the second day it accidentally proves military potential. I accidentally enter the park area by bicycle so somewhere in the jungle two guys stop me telling me to go out. They claim to be park rangers and one of them wears a paramilitary jacket. I ask them for an ID which they don’t have. I believe nothing, turn around and left a few meters later. I see monkeys and some deer before I come back to a fence with cattle and some people on the other side. I have to agree, the area I had passed was very jungle and with the deer (4 of them) jumping out of a bush right next to me I became aware of being aware of nothing around me.
I take the bike on the other side of the fence and myself a rest under a roof. On the other side of the fence one of the rangers I had met before shows up trying to tell me that I am not supposed to be here. He does not speak english and I don’t speak hindi so what to do…? He tries to call somebody to translate and walks of searching for a connection on his cellphone. When he is some 100m away I step on the bike and ride of direction where the cattle comes from. In the cat and mouse game now the lens helps me to make them crazy. I can stand on the open field watching them without them having an idea where I am. A few locals around who look after the cattle see what I do but are on my side as I had bribed them with a cigarette – they have fun.
On the way back from that adventure through the surrounding villages I meet some really amazingly hospitable locals who are proud and happy to show me around. I suddenly realize how low the real local prices are when I get shaved. Face? 20. Head? 30. I like that old barber in his small wooden box next to the road. He has to interrupt his work knitting a fragile net smilingly making an inviting gesture. I really enjoy this second shave in nepal. At the end I give him the 50 rupees he had asked for and get 20 rupees change…


Feb 2. – Feb. 10

We get up early the next morning and do as quickly as possible what we have to do in the touristic center. This means basically we get chai, change money, get more chai (and breakfast) and a bus out of here and it takes until early afternoon. In the suburbs of Kathmandu we meet a friend and Bijays family member from Kathmandu who invites us full of love to stay for the night. It is too late to go to Hetaura, Bijays home, anyway so we happily accept. Food is more than amazing and I eat until I cannot move anymore – Aloo Ghobi, Dhal, spinach, chutney, rise, couscous – neverending. We spend the evening very cosy in a room of maybe 12 square meter, between 10 to 12 people most of them children staring at me and the pictures of my journey which I show to the family. I sleep like at home on the floor sharing the small room feeling happy like hardly ever before on this journey.


While at daytime the temperature is quite pleasant its freaking cold at night and in the morning. After getting up I soon climb the roof top with my camera and a cup of chai in my hand desperatley waiting for the first rays of the sun. After an amazing breakfast and a very warm Good Bye we hurry to get to Hetaura. 40km away drawn on the map in a straight line we have to pass two mountains of 1800 and 1900m as well as getting a bump hole of 150km length behind us. Including (noticing their condition fortunately only) one exploding tire it takes us about 4.5 hours jumping at insane speed between wall abyss and curves. A little before we arrive flashes of lightning illuminate the night. When we arrive in Hetaura its late at night. I am very happy to meet Bijays family for the first time and we soon go to sleep.


In Hetaura we visit a farm of another part of the family up in the foothills. An amazing place but the damp prevents good pictures. Most of the time its hard to see the the opposite mountain even though its sunny.


A few days later I go back to Kathmandu to get my visa for india. When I find out it takes a week I decide to see Chitwan National park – famous for its rhinos – in the meantime. Still I will be happy to get a visa at all as they where not really happy of the canceled leaving stamp from the last time when my car was seized and the Pakistan visas. I am happy though because now the old passport is full and I can get a new one. Border officials are mostly freaking out about the many stamps of axis of evil states.


On the way from Kathmandu to Chitwan (6 hours bus ride) I luckily managed to get a seat in the drivers kabin right next to the driver. Riding through Narayani river valley offers incredible views and I wish to have fishing gear, snorkeling gear, a kayak and a motorbike with me. However I decide I have to come back here to do this all.


Arriving at Chitwan I had talked so much with the busdriver to ask him to get my passport in a week in Kathmandu and bring it for me. He knows a hotel for me too (surprise!) and as the rooms are nice, clean and inexpensive I check in. In Kathmandu I had fallen in love with a 12 string guitar and first time I have a chance now to try it in a quiet surrounding. I fall in love even more when sitting in the garden for more than an hour playing with all the guesthouse stuff surrounding me.


Late afternoon I decide to explore the area. I take the camera with the 35mm lense leaving the other equipement at the guesthouse. 20 minutes later I see my first ever rhino – in the jungle on the other side of a small river maybe 500m away from the village. I enjoy the view but am hopeless to take pictures with the attached lense. Prassan, a young guy from the guesthouse had invited me to join him on the river for sunsetwith the guitar. I quickly walk back to the guesthouse getting the photo equipement instead of the guitar. Coming back to the river the rhino has moved closer to the bank and now I see it’s a cow accomponied by a calf. I sweared on myself many times already for taking the huge ‘n’ heavy 600mm lense but again I am just too happy to be able to have this amazing tool with me. I can nearly make portraits of the rhinos in the sunset.


Halong Bay – Malaysia – Nepal

Jan 30. – Feb 1.

This night I have a real hard time falling asleep. I do so around 4 am and 2,5 hours later I get the wakeup call from the reception. I ask them to move the boat trip to the next day and turn around again. Getting up around 11 I take the camera and go out – first target: coffee. I get one at the seaside and recognize it is cold and foggy – I feel tiny and cold drops in my skin when I leave the coffee and walk towards the bridge to old Halong. On the way two security guys stop me and invite me for tea – we have a little chat too and they recommend to me to cross the bridge to see the old town. I do so, look around the local fish market and the bay.
The landscape is really breathtaking and the fog is just the right surrounding for it. While I watch two guys fishing – I try to but in this method I am hopeless – a woman offers a two hours boat trip in a small fishing boat for 2,5U$. I paid 35 for 8 hours on a tourist boat. I am hungry and decide to search something to eat, anyway the trip tomorrow has to be fucking amazing anyway I think. Looking back I can only recommend to everyone to go to the fish market and get a trip there.
I get a snack and the guys where I eat offers to bring me back to the bridge which is a few kilometers way – for free! Hospitality and kindness everywhere.
After this very long and exhausting walk I make a short stop at the bakery and then go to the hotel. The room is amazing so I make a shanty evening at the there. Tonight I fall asleep early and sleep very well.
Next day I finally get up early enough to make the booked trip to the famous Halong bay by water. We go out with a pretty nice boat to make the first stop at an insanely illuminated cave. Second cave costs extra admission (5$). Most of us are a little pissed becaused having paid pretty much (a quarter of what I spent in Vietnam myself) already. Second stop we can hire bamboo boats to make a boat trip (6$ – 1 hour) who does not take a boat has to wait on a platform in the ocean with ships around blocking most of the view. Here I really start becoming friends with a Californian guy called Jonas. While we chat the hour passes quickly.
Even though the tour is mostly a scam I am happy I made it and if it was only to meet Jonas here – and of course the scenery is breathtaking too. I wonder how this might look like in sunlight under a blue sky. Coming back to the hotel pretty tired I catch the next Minibus to Hanoi. I got a ticket for tomorrow, to Kathmandu. Even though the last days had been mostly covered with great experiences with great people I am still a little sick of those who only recognize a walking dollar when they see me. On the bus I meet a guy from Barcelona whom I had met on the boat already. We chat all the way and take a dorm together in Hanoi.
Next day in the morning I find myself walking to the bus stop at 4.30am. The bus is fast because of the lack of traffic at this time and when I get out about two km away from the airport 5 Motorbike drivers jump on me shouting “One Dollar, One Dollar, One Dollar!” I shout back at them not to have terrorist money and avoid touching it whenever I can. Unfortunately this is my last memory of Vietnam. At the airport I have to pay 72$ to check in any luggage. Already having paid 220 Euro for the ticket I feel a little reminded at yesterdays boat ride. Fortunately I buy two sandwiches and drink a lot of water before passing the security check. Either of it is incredibly expensive at the airplane. Air Asia is a scam even the space between my seat and the next one is less than 20cm. Looking at their homepage they argue the luggage price of 72$ with the fast rising petrol prices. That rise must have been so fast that no one yet heard of it I think.

As soon as I get out of the plane in Kuala Lumpur everything is just great. Being surrounded by Hindus and Muslims the questions “whereareyoufromwhatsyourname” become common again and I feel at home. I pass the immigration and make this most southern place (N02°45’) I have ever been to the 50th country of which I have officially crossed the border. By the way it has the most beautiful money since the old dutch Gulden I have ever seen too. After walking around in and around the airport, drinking coffee and buying more sandwiches I leave the country again 3,5 hours later – and feel a little sad about it. I like what I have seen – Malaysia seems to be great!
Finally I arrive at Kathmandu airport around 8pm being surprised by helpful, kind and joking immigration officers. Everything takes ages though and when I leave the airport after collecting my luggage its nearly 10pm. Anyway my friend Bijay is waiting for me – we hug each other being very pleased to see each other finally in Nepal. We jump into the next taxi, go to the guesthouse Bijay had already organized, and finally I get real amazing proper food. I love Nepal!


Vientiane (Laos) – Ninh Binh (Vietnam) – Halong Bay

Jan 26. – 29.

The following day I spend mostly at the sand bank in the Mekong and enjoy the river. In the evening I am picked up at the Indian restaurant by a minibus a 5pm taking me to the bus stand. Way there takes us an hour because of traffic and another hour we have to wait for the bus to leave. The guys who manage the bus are very rude telling me where I have to sit and what to do but I ignore them as several other foreigners do to (later I find out the guys are all Vietnamese). I sleep not bad in the bus and we arrive at the border to Vietnam (not even half the way to Hanoi) at half past 6 next morning. Border procedure takes 4 hours only and is not very relaxed – bus is a sleeper bus so again we lie down around 11am and continue the journey. Aircondition is blowing directly on my head and I get a bad nausea in the following hours so I decide to jump of the bus at Nimh Binh around 100km before Hanoi after a journey of 650km – at 7pm(!).
After 26 hours shuttle, bus and border. I am done. I get of the bus and a taxidriver tries to convince me that I need him to get to the hotel – my GPS tells me there are 4 hotels less than 250m away one of them being directly opposite side of the street. Thank you but no thank you. I don’t feel like playing games at the moment I need a bed. The first hotel is to expensive and the second one is run by a guy who smile and takes out a flute when he sees I am carrying a guitar. Around 7U$ are within the budget and the room is okish so I just fall over into the bed even though it smells like alcohol in the lobby.
Next day in the morning I start exploring the town looking for breakfast – I can get soup with noodles and chicken or pizza. After running around searching for something more breakfast like for an hour I decide for the pizza…. On the way back to the hotel a guy just around the corner of my place invites me for a tea to his restaurant. He knows a soccer team from Vienna and Mozart – I am impressed. Lonely planet says Tam Kok just around the corners, also called Halong in the rice paddles is a beautiful sight. Kiem Dang, the guy who invited me for the tea organizes a motorbike for me to take me there.
Its really amazingly beautiful. It’s a canyon with rice fields around the river and there are several places where the river flows through caves under the mountains. The entrance fee is high and I either had to rent a boat with an old looking young girl to row it. She rows with her legs like she is in training for the Olympic games in leg rowing. I am pretty sure such a discipline does not exist and after some time I take a paddle in the boat and start braking her by rowing in the other direction which slows her down. Still we pass the amazing sight much too quickly to really enjoy and take proper pictures. A little before the small harbor she slows down two times to point out a dog and a goose for me only a moment before she asks me for a tip. I give her a short laugh and say good bye as we reach the harbor a little before sunset. I walk back to town through the rice fields and enjoy the sight – in the evening I take the guitar and go to my new friend Kiem who is really amazingly kind. I make some music next to the noise street and then we go to his computer to chat using google translate which works amazingly well.
I sleep very well the following night, have pizza breakfast in the morning an jump on the next bus to Hanoi not without having another tea with Kiem. I am lucky to catch a very fast bus so arriving in Hanoi bus station I am still motivated enough to catch the next bus to Halong Bay – a sight I really wanted to see in Vietnam. The bus to Halong Bay takes ages and makes many detours to deliver and collect people. It’s a local bus, scam free, kind people and enough space for me to move my fingers and my toes. When we make a stop after about two hours I am really happy to be able to move a little. The bus driver laughs a lot when he sees me jumping around and invites me to sit in the front where I can really move! Away from the tourist track again, people are incredibly nice again. A little later I get off the bus close to Halong Bay.
There are a few taxis at the bus stand and a guy who speak a little English. 2 seconds later a couple stops asking if they can help to translate. Wat thé phúc? I think and immediately start loving the people here. The taxi to the hotel area is offered to me for 60k Dong and even though the Meter shows 72 I only have to pay 60. Again I am surprised not having seen the hotel rooms yet. When I see them I think “way to expensive” with huge beds really really clean, nice furniture, sat TV neverending very hot water, free WIFI, fridge, a nice view… Well its 8 Euro per night and I accept in the second. Making a little walk through town I recognize everybody smiling and joking with me. I ask a guy who I selling mussels as a snack if he has a coffee. Of course he says, jumps on the bike and comes back a minute later with a great smile and an even greater coffee. Hospitality here seems to be the best. After the coffee I get dinner at a bakery and soon return to the hotel. I quickly book a Halong Bay tourist boat trip at the reception for the next morning before going to bed.

Luang Prabang to Vientiane

Jan 22 – Jan 25

Next morning I leave early to have enough time for the way back to Vang Vieng. Its again cloudy in the morning and I am freezing while moving south on the new road (another one than the one I came on). Soon the sun comes out and I stop at a crossroad to get a little petrol. Two guys from Thailand come rolling down the mountain road I have to take on bicycles. I give them big respect for taking that road on the heavy loaded bikes but they say they have just been rolling down for more than 15km. Sounds interesting and as it is the new road to Vang Vieng they are coming from I head up the mountain. A truck comes rolling down the other directions with all breaks are smoking heavily. Soon it becomes freezing cold again and some time before I reach the pass the GPS shows an altitude of more than 1600 above sea level. I go further up to reach the pass at a freezing cold 1839m.
Going down the other side carefully I find a signboard advertising a cave – I am curious and find, surprise surprise, nobody to collect admittance fee. Too far away from either Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng so it obviously doesn’t pay to sit in the shadow and collect money for doing nothing from stupid tourists. The cave is amazing and when I come back to the bike I have to hurry a little to make it to Vang Vieng before sunset.
The next day is the last day I got the bike so I explore the closer surroundings of Vang Vieng finding a few more nice places. Tomorrow I want to do the famous tubing/kayaking tour. With a group of Korean guys we go tubing on a river in a cave – amazing but I expect more fun from the kayaking! And it is. Not as I thought because the river stretch is rather unspectacular for kayaking but still too hard for the Koreans. After half an hour I ask them what they took the Kayak for if the go swimming all the time… At the best rapid the guide points out a way around it and I am stupid enough to trust him. After the rapid I ask him why he didn’t let me go down the steeper right side of the river. He says no way and I reply I could walk up there – with the kayak. Again he says no way now sounding like he believes what he is saying.
Everybody who knows me knows what came next – even though my right leg is in bad condition at the hip joint I take the kayak and walk up the rapid to take the steeper edge again – no problem, its all about motivation and nothing gives me more than somebody telling me what I can not do.
That was my last day in Laos as I have booked a bus ticket to Hanoi for the next day. The bus is supposed to leave at 1:30 but when it finally leaves around 3:30 (pm) I am transferred to a faster Minibus to catch the sleeper bus to Hanoi in Vang Vieng. No way to do that in 2,5 hours (150km) so in the evening I am in Vientiane (again) and the guys tell me I have to stay one day to get the next bus next morning. I am a little pissed but not so much as I meet another couple of old friends I know from paradise beach in Gokarn at the bus station. I don’t want to change money anymore and spend the night with a finnish couple (travelling overland by train back to Europe passing Bejing) in a dorm – nice!

Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang

Jan 19. to Jan 21.

I spend my birthday this year in Vang Vieng with a motorbike I rented for 5 days. I really enjoy riding the 150cc Hongga dirt bike (Chinese brand). My birthday present is a little bird I find trapped in an evil bird trap in the jungle – an about 10m wide nylon net put over a river. I destroy 5 more such nets on the way back and when I ask my host about it in the evening he says “This is our culture! You want some monkey soup?” Either he tells me that the nets are controlled once a day anyway so the worst the birds have to suffer for 24 hours. People here seem to be as much Buddhist as IS in Syria seem to be muslims – not at all!

Next day morning I jump on the bike to ride to Luang Prabang wich is less than 100km north but at least 190km on the road. I choose to take the longer way going there which is about 250 leading over some mountain passes taking me up to 1500m above sealevel several times – its fucking freezing on the bike. The road is pretty mindblowing amazing – one curve follows the next so my average speed is a little below 50 on the small bike. The battery charger of the bike has a problem and I recognize in the evening I have no lights. I did this one time in the Himalayas on my Enfield and I promised myself never to do it again. Riding mountain roads full of bump holes left hand side a wall right hand side an abyss in the dark without light is not funny!

I manage to get down the last pass and find the first guesthouse after 100km just as the last light is fading. I am freezing like a tiger in the arctic when I discover a huge 25l bucket in the bathroom. The water heaters here only produce a small amount of water at a time so it is not really enough to have a satisfying hot shower (the more water the colder it is). I slowly fill up the bucket with nearby boiling water to have the best bucket shower ever in my life. I love bucket showers but a 25l bucket is enough to heat up the whole body. After showering I go to the restaurant next door to get some food. This is, even though only 25km away from Luang Prabang an absolute not touristic area. The food is spicy as hell and I only get Sticks to eat it. I never had such spicy food before – not even that one time at the Indian highway when the chef wanted to fuck me and made something for me that he didn’t even touch when I asked him to show me that he is eating this. Locals have several good laughs at me sweating like a waterfall and still trying to eat with sticks. After I have eaten a quarter they have compassion and give me a spoon. Still I can only eat half of it as it is just too hot. After food I make a little walk through the village and get the best shave all over southeastasia from a very cute girl. Enjoy!

Next day I go to touristic Luang Prabang but I promise myself to do my best to be back here in the evening. After breakfast and massage (my shoulders desperately need one after the cool bike ride) I ride 25 more km to the Tat Kuang Si Falls. Arriving there I pass a butterfly park 300m before the car park at the waterfall. I am asked to pay for parking at the waterfall so I turn around to park the bike at the butterfly park. The small park is run by a dutch couple who created an amazingly beautiful place here. I enjoy the park a lot, try a fish spa (for free once inside) for the first time as I see fish that are well kept for the first time. Its amazing! Ineke has great coffee and cake for me and even some time for a little chat. When I look at my watch I realize I had spend way too much time here already (not enough still) and hurry up to go to the waterfall. For the first time in Laos I have the feeling the admission fee for waterfall and butterfly park is well invested. The butterfly park is amazing anyway and at the waterfall area they take care of bears rescued from poachers. The waterfall itself is incredibly beautiful with all the blue pools and nice cascade. The main fall is just breathtaking (but no swimming here). I take a quick shower in one of the small cascades and then have to hurry already to get back to the guesthouse in time. After another very hot shower I have another very hot meal and again everyone is laughing about the waterfall that springs from my face. I love this tiny village – here and at the Butterfly park I feel real hospitality not only for the money for the first time after I left Bangkok.