Search for the Hidden Falls

Remember the best place in Laos to get stuck in? I told you about how wonderful that river town was and how friendly the people were. But that wasn't the full story. One other reason why we got stuck was that we decided to go trekking to a nearby village and stay there for a night. I know right, how does a city girl like me get into situations like this?

I blame it on my super energetic,athletic and intrepid boyfriend.

Hutch coerced convinced me to do a 5 hour trek with him. (Which I'm sure he could have done in 2 hours on his own.) Don't judge me. I'm pretty athletic myself. I play tennis, surf and swim. But I have to confess, there are some fitness activities that I dislike namely: jogging, brisk walking or trekking. But if you've read this guide, it's best to compromise when traveling in twos. So off we went to Huay Bo Village. The trek was pretty easy, not a lot of rough terrain. But I was still huffing and puffing even just halfway into the trek.

Search for the Hidden Falls
I wasn't acting this time. That's real sweat!

There's nothing like a hillside landscape to remind you that you're out of shape!

I felt rewarded when we got to the village. Life was even more quiet and simple here. The children were spinning cotton by hand. The women were bathing with water from a makeshift bamboo shower. They peeked at us from their wooden houses.

Search for the Hidden Falls
He wasn't sure what to make of our visit

Search for the Hidden Falls
The owner of the guesthouse we stayed in and her granddaughter

Search for the Hidden Falls
Children spinning cotton and having fun

Search for the Hidden Falls
Feeling like a local while trying out the village shower

 We were surprised to learn that they had electricity 24/7 here! Whereas Mouang Ngoi only had 4 hours of electricity a day. And this little village was even further inland. How could that be? We found out that there was a hidden waterfalls that powered the village. This got us excited and we decided to look for it. We were told it was only an hour's trek.

On our way there, we met Irene from Ibiza and she was also looking for the waterfalls. Although we didn't have a map or a compass, we decided to follow the shallow river and hope it would lead us to the source. When we started the trek, a small brown dog followed us and we wondered where it came from.

After an hour, we got hopelessly lost.

The water was going in several directions and we didn't know which way to go. Thankfully, we encountered a guy with a rifle who was hunting for birds. We asked if he could help us find the hidden waterfalls. He smiled widely and agreed in broken English. He lead the way and we followed. After half an hour, we finally made it to the hidden falls.

Search for the Hidden Falls
Hutch wasn't sure if you can actually bathe in it

And what a big disappointment it was. It was a pathetic excuse for waterfall.

There was hardly any water! Even the bathroom shower seemed more powerful next to this pitiful puddle. We took pictures anyway and laughed at our prior excitement. We were told it was going to be huge. It did power an entire village after all. It almost made me book the next boat ride to Luang Prabang to see the Kuang Si Falls!

Search for the Hidden Falls
Irene was just happy we found the Hidden Falls

When we started to leave, our accidental guide suddenly turned businessman and asked us for money. We were shocked as we thought it was a simple act of kindness. We gave him a few bills and he quickly walked away. "Good riddance", we thought and started to walk back from where we came.

Search for the Hidden Falls
Our lucrative guide and Irene who was still happy

Until we realized that we were hopelessly lost for the second time that day.

We must have taken a wrong turn because suddenly everything looked unfamiliar. It was disconcerting to wander in the forest without knowing if we were going the right way. And to make matters worse, it was close to sundown. Nobody wants to get trapped in the wild without as much as a torch.

It was little brown dog to the rescue!

Search for the Hidden Falls
My hero!

Now I am a believer that dogs can sense human emotions. He quietly lead the way and stopped for us when we walked too slowly through the small streams. He never grew impatient and just barked when we could no longer see him. He brought us back to the village before it was completely dark and then just disappeared. We didn't even find out whose dog it was. What an amazing creature!

That day was peppered with disappointment and awe, in equal portions. But the latter event made a lasting impression. A dog that lead you home definitely makes for a great story.

Have you ever had a bad experience on the road and was saved by an unexpected 'hero'?

Still a reluctant trekker,
Sole Sister Lois
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23 Responses so far.

  1. yhun says:

    wow!! great story lois! :D and i just don't understand why some people simply hate dogs.

  2. tina says:

    Nice story! :)

    Funny ng big waterfalls :)

  3. Jonna B. says:

    Beautiful story! Animals really are amazing creatures :)

  4. I've been to a trek where a dog guided us, the last one he was so insistent. The first one is when we lost the trail, although I hiked the area before, there was a landslide that wiped the road trail. Me and a companion managed to find it, while the rest who were following us were guided by a dog, who then disappeared after.

    On the second instance in a different occasion (some 6 months after but same area), a dog thought that we were lost and was trying to find our way out. We were actually looking for potable water on our way down from the road. The dog is leading us up to the road. He kept on waiting for us, and he kept on barking (not hostile) as if telling us to follow him. We just smiled at this "feeling-hero" dog and went on our way. He kept looking and waiting for us until he realized we're not keen on following him. =D

  5. Flipnomad says:

    goosebumps Lois... amazing story!!! la ako masabi... i believe in what you've said about dogs sensing human emotion...

  6. Sheila says:

    What an amazing story.  It makes me  believe in guardian angels.  Good to know you found your way back safely.

  7. Ah that's such a cute sotry about the dog. I don't like dogs usually, I have been bitten twice by them so I think I have a valid reason to dislike and be scared of them, but this one sounds incredibly friendly! What an amazing animal!

  8. Fliptravels says:

    WOW... i want to hug that dog!

  9. Awww, that dog is amazing! Great story Lois!

  10. Lem says:

    Great story, and even greater storytelling! Got goosebumps near the end and couldn't help but comment. hehe (lurker here... *waves*)

    BTW, there's also a similar "waterfalls" in Baler near Cobra Reef. Diguisit Falls, I think. Good thing it's only 15 mins. trek from the main road.

  11. just hearing the dog story gave me goosebumps - suddenly he appears to be your guide back to the village the disappears after you guys found the way. :) Amazing!


  12. Lois says:

    I know right. Well, I was not really a dog lover before. But now, I am. Thanks to all the dogs we've met on the trip (stray or otherwise!)

  13. Lois says:

    Big nga talaga siya Tina. BIG DISAPPOINTMENT.

  14. Lois says:

    Thanks for dropping by lurker Len *waves back*. Too bad you didn't go to the Dimatubo Falls in Baler. That was a really big one. And worth the 30 minute trek. Here's the link:

  15. Lois says:

    Oh yes, that was a bit strange. I never got to ask whose dog it was. At first I even thought he was the dog of the hunter we met..

  16. beautiful story Lois! :) speechless ako.

  17. Lois says:

    Oh yes they are Jonna, I absolutely agree.

  18. Lois says:

    Wow, what helpful creatures! No wonder dogs are commonly used for rescuing people. They really have a sense of danger and they care about people.

  19. Lois says:

    Oh yes Flip. I wasn't a believer myself until this dog rescued us.

  20. Lois says:

    Thanks Sheila, You're right about that. We were getting panicky at some point. Who knows what could have happened if this dog didn't lead us home..

  21. Lois says:

    Oh no, that must have scarred you Ruth. Hope I was able to change your views somehow about dogs.

  22. Lois says:

    I wish I did too. But I never got the chance.

  23. Lois says:

    Thanks Kim and MJ. Great things always happen to us when we travel.

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