30 kilometres south of Luang Prabang in northern Laos, enshrouded in the jungle is a beautiful cascade of small turquoise waterfalls and dozens upon dozens of bright blue lagoons called Tat Kuang Si. Consisting of many different levels, the upper begins as a huge 60m waterfall broken up by large golden coloured boulders. This then disperses throughout thick enshrined jungle in which the sun penetrates only occasionally to lighten up the many turquoise pools that cascade down the steep sloped mountain. Along side these stunning pools are little dirt trails that infiltrate parts of the jungle and give you an entire day of adventure and exploration.
Thanks to the beautiful weather in this area of the world, you can also dive and swim in these stunning pools. So don’t forget to bring your bathers/togs/board shorts/swim suite (or what ever you call them in your area of the world).
Tat Kuang Si Falls is also home to the charismatic Asiatic Black Bears (Moon Bears) and the Sun Bears. These gorgeous, intelligent and playful animals have been rescued from Asia’s illegal bile extraction trade. Bear bile is sold as traditional medicine throughout many parts of Asia, claiming to treat a range of illnesses from headaches to diseases of the heart and liver. Thousands of these bears are currently being kept in small cages throughout various regions of Asia and sadly endure a lifetime of painful extractions from their gall bladders. The reality of this idiotic and inhumane tradition is that the bile extracted can potentially be harmful to humans, and is able to be replaced by herbal and synthetic medicines that ACTUALLY work. These alternate solutions are cheaper, safer and more effective. Which means the inhumane and torturous trade of bile extraction is completely pointless! To find out more, visit Animal Asia’s End Bear Bile Farming page.
Putting the sad reality in which these bears have endured aside. Here at Tat Kuang Si Falls rescue center, they live out the rest of their lives quite happily in great conditions. There is quite a large area for these bears to roam, with a large amount of play equipment for them to climb over and amuse themselves. The care takers also ensure that they’re regularly entertained with different toys, games and ways to ‘hunt’ down their food. Funny thing is, the moment they saw us arrive, they immediately jumped up and decided to come down to put a show on for us. They started play fighting, rolling and tackling each other on the ground right in front of us, and even going crazy splashing around in the little pool they have setup for them. These bears definitely knew how to be the center of attention. Hilarious!