Most beautiful thing I've ever seen

Trip Start Jan 12, 2013
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Trip End Feb 27, 2013


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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Monday, February 11, 2013

I think I saw the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in nature today.  It was a waterfall.  It was the stuff of Avatar and Blue Lagoon.  I did not know a waterfall could be this beautiful.  And, if we remember, the lens I would need to properly capture it is still broken.  I was told yesterday that there is no one that can fix it in Luang Prabang...so, it remains a clothes holder in my bag.  The waterfall was multi-tiered leaving several swimming pools at the various levels.  But, the thing that made it so incredibly breathtaking was the color of the water.  It was a turquoise blue and crystal clear at the same time.  It would spill over cream colored ledges to the next pool of almost iridescent blue water where it beckoned eager swimmers.   I believe I could spend hours and days there investigating all the little nooks and crannies of the water's course.  The pictures will fail to justify it but I am sure there are some on the internet that more properly illustrate it's beauty.  It was called Kuang Si waterfall

Then, to complete the day, I saw Sun bears and Asiatic black bears!  That's right...I was at a bear sanctuary.  I had no idea I missed those fuzzy butts until I saw these guys' cute goofy lips and ears.  I believe I might be infatuated with bears.  So darn cute.  They were super lazy, sunning like lizards on their platforms.

One funny thing that happened was that as I was walking back to the minivan after seeing the waterfall and bears, the guy in front of me literally just dropped his empty water bottle along the trail in the greenery.  Now, in Cambodia, I would not be surprised at this because there literally are no trash cans.  Can't find them.  Trash just litters the streets.  It's unbelievable.  But, in Laos, there are actually trash cans around and in this waterfall area, which was a national park, there was lots of trash cans.  It was obvious that there were park keepers maintaining the grounds and keeping things clean.  All of this is why I was so shocked by this tourist's complete lack of respect for the area.  I bent down and picked up the bottle while making a surprised scoffing noise.  The man looked back and saw me picking up his bottle as I looked at him and said, "I think you dropped your bottle, but don't worry, I'll throw it away for you" and walked right past him.  What a turd. 
I made it back from the waterfall just in time to race to the top of Wat Phousi to see the sunset.  But, it was super crowded and I've seen many sunsets recently so I simply enjoyed the city and countryside view from the other side.  After about 3 minutes of really soaking in the sights, lol, I scampered back down to find me some noodle soup! 

I had a great day and am feeling 100% now healthwise (although I'm not sure my stomach will ever recover...I've just learned to live with it...haha).  I still would like to nap, but I think that's just cause I'm lazy.  I'm going to make a confession on here, but I'm not sure if it's a good idea.  Like I said, I had a great day, saw probably the most beautiful natural thing I've ever seen and yet, I'm just like, "eh, okay".  I think of going to Vietnam and seeing that culture and sights and I'm like, "eh, I guess".  I figure I could skip Vietnam and head to Bali...and I surprisingly think, "eh, more beaches...okay I guess."   What I'm trying to get at is I'm feeling apathetic.  But it's weird because there are still things I'd like to do...like watch the monks tomorrow morning receiving their alms and going to the library to help Laotians practice their English...but, I could also take it or leave it.  Today, at morning noodle soup I met two Americans and two Canadians.  The one Canadian guy was hilarious and it reminded me how much I've missed laughing.  All the people I've met have been great, but no one has really been my friend that makes me laugh or knows me.  It's lovely and all to meet new people, but for me, I can't say I really care because in the end, these people aren't really the friends and family that I truly care about.  Sure, I can talk to them and make small talk, but are we gonna be buds afterwards?  Likely not.  And few, if any of my newly made friends make me laugh.  The 'adventure' has worn off now...I know what I'm doing and it's old hat.  There's so much more I want to see, but I may be at Day 5 of a 7 day Disney World package...couldn't care less about Cinderella at this point.  Plus, I think about the things I'd like to do at home...with some extra time I could really enjoy my time making the new apartment home.  I would like to visit my friends in Washington and finally, I'd like to relax a bit before launching right into my job.  Does this make sense?  I don't want to regret anything and it's not like I'm really homesick...I don't really have a home right now anyway (I've only seen where I'll be living once for about 10 min).  I'm going to keep thinking on it. 
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Comments

carla on

Well, I would say that I'm shocked about your change of heart, but I'm not. After having traveled as much as I did this year, I know it doesn't take long
for the novelty to wear off. Aren't you glad you didn't go for a year! Hang in there though. You need to see Bali and all those other things. That's what you set out to do, so see it through. Maybe slow down a bit and don't push yourself so hard. You have been packing too much in and it sounds like you're getting burned out. Hang in there! We'll all be here when you get back!

alan on

It's your dime cuz ;)

Matt on

Carla nailed it. But I could see how taking so much effort to cram all the things you want to do at each stop could take a toll on you. I would be the same way. "I'm only here once so I gotta see this and do that. I can sleep when I'm dead." Although there is some merit to that, you also need to slow down and just chill, kinda' like you did when you got to Koh Rong.

And I completely sympathize with wanting to share your adventures with real friends. Kim and I didn't enjoy Hawaii as much as we would have if we were there with our friends. We said as much. On the one hand you're glad you're by yourself so you're forced to meet new people, but on the other, you can't help but think, "Carla would love this," or "Jonathan would be intrigued by that," or "Matt would be making fun of those." Of course heavy laughter would always ensue.

Glad you're healthy so just try to stay that way with lots of rest and meandering. Keep it in perspective and enjoy it while you can. Bitterly cold North America (and your heart warming friends) await you.

Linda on

I have heard this from other travelers. A couple had gone to Europe and everyday they were seeing awesome castles and churches that were just amazing, but after non-stop viewing for days, there came a time when told by their tour guide they would be seeing some special castles and churches that day - they just moaned and said "Not another one". So I guess shorter vacations keep us wanting more as we never seem to have enough time to see and do all we want, while longer ones wear us down until we are no longer excited by uniqueness. Don't let your vacation become a chore. When it stops being fun and exciting, and more tiresome,(especially if you have weeks left) I think its time to think about how you would rather spend your time left. I think you are smart to see what is happening and make adjustments to your plans so that your time off before starting a new job is fulfilling doing the things that will make you happy.

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