I had one of those moments this morning, the kind where you suddenly can't process anything, you can't believe where you are, what you're doing, what you're seeing. We hired a driver to take us out to the Tad Sae waterfalls, which are these flat limestone tiers with turquoise/aqua-colored water falling over them. Really gorgeous, from what we'd seen and heard. And while yesterday was kind of overcast and slightly cooler - perfect for walking around town, which is what we did - today is cloudless and hot. So the idea of taking an open-air drive up into the mountains to see waterfalls sounded just right.
This is as good a place as any to comment on the sheer beauty of Laos. At least in this part of the country, the landscape is dominated by forested mountains that must be karst, given their shape. I love karst mountains, so this landscape really makes me happy. And there are often clouds clinging to the tops, which make me remember being in the countryside around Machu Picchu, another place that made me so happy. So anyway: gorgeous, gorgeous countryside. The trip was lovely.
When we got there, turns out we had another journey to get to the waterfalls.....by boat. We weren't expecting that, but it was the surreal and amazing part. There we were, in a flat-bottom boat driving up some river in the mountains of Laos, under a sunny sky. There were people tending their gardens on the riverbanks, naked little kids playing at the river's edge (this river wasn't muddy at all), and the breeze was blowing my hair off my face. I was just boating up a river in the mountains of Laos. Me. And Marc. Unbelievable.
The waterfalls were truly lovely, but my camera died so I post someone else's photo and know that it looked exactly like this: