Tat Kuang Si Monks on Falls

Tat Kuang Si Monks on Falls

I checked out at Levady GH soon after my visit at the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong. When I got to Thony II they were still cleaning up my room at the upper floor. While waiting, I saw a small poster where it says that they can take me to Tat Kuang Si Falls for 50,000 kip round trip. It was pretty cheap than taking a sole tuk-tuk on your own which is around 150,000 kip. I booked to be included on the afternoon tour.

Tat Kuang Si Base Pool

Tat Kuang Si Base Pool

I left my bigger bag at the reception while they clean the room. I went to the nearby internet station to get updated on my mail and had a quick lunch at the nearby resto. As soon as the room was ready I got my stuff in and changed for the tour. I hear a knock informing me that the van is already here.

I knew from the start that taking this tour means sharing the van with several people. While I liked to go to Tat Kuang Si Falls on my time, I can no longer afford to pay for the vehicle myself. Joining tours like this is the cheapest way to go. It’s not even a tour as the Van would just drop you off at the site, wait there and go back to the city.

Tat Kuang Si Mid Tier Cascade

Tat Kuang Si Mid Tier Cascade

There was a great mix of people in the Van, from America, Australia, Thai, Israel, Russia and Britain. We made a few rounds around Luang Prabang in search for that Russian Girl before we finally got out of the city. As expected all seats were full but still has that comfort and we go into that usual traveler small talk of “Where you guys from?” and other stories you would expect from other travelers.

Tat Kuang Si Crater Pools and Cascade

Tat Kuang Si Upper Crater Pools and Cascade

There was this American guy with a distinctly Thai woman with her. She actually thought I was Thai but told her I am Filipino. Then a curly haired guy that seems to be dozing off at the front row said “Filipino ka? Ako Filipino” in an accent typical of those Filipinos who have lived in the US for so long. I was surprised and excited at the same time that I get to meet another Pinoy during my travel.

Tat Kuang Si Monks on upper Cascade

Tat Kuang Si Monks on upper Cascade

It took almost an hour until we reached Tat Kuang Si Park. There’s an entrance of 20,000 kip to get inside the forest park and follow an easy trail going to the falls. While walking I struck a conversation with Ronald, the Filipino-American guy. He has a thick curly hair, somewhere about 35-45 of age if I’m not mistaken. I learned from him that he’s doing a 3 months tour of Asia and has been around 54 countries already throughout his years of travels. Like some Americans I know, they work for several months then take several months off from their work and travel. How I wish we could do that here.

Tat Kuang Si

Tat Kuang Si main pour

He says that Filipinos should travel more. In his travels he rarely sees Filipinos so he was quite surprised as well to see me. Sadly he hasn’t been back to the Philippines for many years now and I told him that he should find time to explore the country he was born since he’s already missing a lot. We made some more chit chat on updates on the country and more about his family while we explored the falls.

Tat Kuang Si Snapping Monk

Tat Kuang Si Snapping Monk

On the trail before the falls we passed by the Bear Conservation Center. There were a few black bears in the area but it pretty hard to take pictures of because of the poor lighting condition. We continued towards the trail until we got into the lower level of the waterfalls with a real scenic aquamarine waters.

Tat Kuang Si Falls Pour Video

Tat Kuang Si Falls actually has numerous layers going up towards the main falls. And from the main falls there is even another trail towards the peak of the falls. I actually liked Tat Kuang Si. It has beautiful cascading layers which also resembles several craters and the color is a clean aquamarine.

Tat Kuang Si Siblings

Tat Kuang Si Siblings on the village

There were several monk tourist there as well which we had fun taking pictures of. With them there, the falls looks much better since it adds a story distinct to the place. Ronald has a Nikon D200 camera which seems to have gone through a battlefield. The LCD screen has a large crack and the body and lens were full of scratches. I wouldn’t think of it as functioning if I wasn’t able to use it to take his photos which he seldom does.

Tat Kuang Si Family on road

Tat Kuang Si Family on village road

By 5pm we headed back to the city but made a brief stop to a small village where we went through this trail of vendors. Some guys bought some stuff while we just enjoyed looking and talking. Everyone seemed to have a great time. This one English girl was clicking proudly on some rice terraces as she doesn’t see that often. I thought that we had better looking rice terraces but kept it to myself. By the time we got to the city, everyone parted ways. I bid goodbye to Ronald and told him that he should try to come back to the Philippines. The rest of the guys went on different directions. As like any travel companions it was a brief moment of company but enjoyable one still.

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Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.

17 Responses to “Laos: Meeting a fellow Filipino at Tat Kuang Si Falls”

  1. dong ho

    uber beautiful falls. this is something that was not featured in the travel show that i watched featuring luang prabang. amazing shots of the falls with those monks ferdz. the cascading level falls is enchanting. are you allowed to swim there?

    good for ronald i really hope he gets to visit some of the newly found travel spots of the philippines.

  2. barok

    i love your shot with the monks. sayang, walang monk when we went there. had fun shooting this falls though. it was the only thing “different” from the all the places we’ve been to last holy week.

  3. Ferdz

    Thanks Dom! I really like this falls as well. Maybe because it’s an hour away from Luang Prabang center that’s why they wasn’t able to feature it. Yup, people are allowed to swim but on ly on the base level.

    Thanks Allan! I know you love waterfalls.

    True Barok! It kinda breaks the monotony of all those “temples” around indochine. Yup those monks do add some interest to what might be a usual waterfalls shot.

    Thanks Fortuitous Faery! It’s more breath taking when you see it for real 😀

  4. Waaaah! Nakaka-miss ang Laos! I get what you mean about meeting Filipinos on the road. Iba rin talaga ang feeling kasi napaka-rare maka-meet ng Pinoy in non-shopping cities.

  5. lagalog

    wow, to meet a kababayan is such a sweet opportunity. beautiful captures of the falls amigo. and the saffron robes of the monks make a nice contrast with the falls.

  6. bertN

    It is always a good feeling when you are traveling solo and you run into a kababayan who is traveling the same way lalo na kung hindi maere yung tao.

  7. what a nice coincidence to be meeting fellow kababayans in some other parts of the world. ‘no? that must be pretty exciting. love the capture with the family best though it made me sad seeing the little children barefooted.

  8. Ferdz

    True Nina! Most Filipinos are hardly seen in non-shopping cities so it’s a real delight and surprise whenever I see them during my backpacking travels.

    Thanks Og! I think the presence of those monks at the falls really made the pictures a lot more interesting than having just the falls in the picture.

    Haha. Yeah Pao! 🙂

    Thanks Tere! I’m sure you’re gonna enjoy the place.

    I agree bertN! It’s one thing to meet a fellow kababayan, but it’s another to look into their attitude.

    Thanks Bing! Those family came from an indigenous tribe vilalge on where we came. I though it was a picture perfect moment of a family walking on the road.

  9. Andrea

    i really appreciate all your travelogues, and i always feel envious of your travels. Sana pwede ako sumama sayo in one of those travels. Saan ba ang sunod mong punta sa mahal na araw, pasama naman! Kasi ako mahilig mag travel pero wala ako makasama, tapos yung nakakasama ko naman hindi ganyan ang gusto. Ayaw ko ng mga shopping-shopping! hehe.

    In your posts here, i laughed at your description of the Filipino’s camera, i can relate to your feelings.

  10. FriskoDude

    Lovely. I’m surprised you found some fellow Filipinos in such an isolated place. I’ve traveled around SE Asia quite a bit, and have rarely found a Filipino backpacker anywhere.

  11. such is true…i’ve been to luang prabang and i have never seen filipinos in my travel there. though i saw 50 peso bill in one of the collections inside one of the wats there. i do not know the relevance of the 50 peso bill there.

  12. true. not so many filipinos are found in this place. i’ve been in luang prabang but i have never seen fellow kababayans there. but you would bump fellow filipinos in the metropolitan like bangkok, KL, singapore, HK, Phnom Penh but not in the pyrenees of Laos.

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