Luang Prabang – gardens and waterfalls

Our pictorial walk through Kuang Si waterfall park and the Pha Tad Ke Botanical gardens.

It was an interesting one hour drive to the waterfall which, rather than a single waterfall, consisted of a main drop and then a number of cascading pools that tumbled down the mountainside. The park included additional treats such as; the bear rescue centre, information on the forest that we walked through and, a short distance down the road, a butterfly park.

Getting to the Pha Tad Ke Botanical Gardens involved a brisk walk from our accommodation in Luang Prabang and then a 15 minute boat ride down and across the Mekong river.

Two different experiences which both connected us to nature.

On the trip out to Kuang Si we passed many terraced rice paddies, organic vegetable enterprises and even a buffalo diary farm complete with an ice cream shop.
The local Moon Bears face a challenging life in the wild from poachers. Those ‘lucky’ enough to have been rescued ‘enjoy’ a new life that involves a bit of lazing around in the many hammocks available in their large enclosure.
As you wander further up the track you encounter a series of pools – that you can swim in – if you really want to.
The amazing colour is due to copper nitrate leaching from the limestone that the river tumbles through. It also results in the build-up of sediment that forms the terraced pools (see two photo below)




The boat arrives at Pha Tad Se which occupies former Royal Family land in a quiet location on the banks of the Mekong River – downstream from Luang Prabang.
One of the many trees with spikes on their trunks – not something you would want to attempt to climb. 
An orchid tree
The garden was a collection of themed gardens featuring different plant types. I captured Joe in the Bamboo garden. We have been amazed at the uses of bamboo from bridges to scaffolding to clothing. We have even eaten deep fried bamboo – very tasty.
One of the more unusual Ginger plant flowers
I forgot to note the name of this plant – it was a tree similar to a Paw Paw.
I didn’t have much luck capturing butterflies at the butterfly park but the ones at Pha Tad Ke were far more co-operative which allowed me to snap this one.
Completely unrelated but on our second to last night here in Luang Prabang we were treated to an eclipse of the moon – I managed to get this shot of the ‘blood moon’  – without a tripod.



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