Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Undertaking the 100 waterfalls trek with children

The "100 waterfalls" is a popular one-day guided trek, starting from the village of Nong Khiaw, in Northern Laos. The tour involves a 1-hour boat ride on the Nam Ou river down to a village, where the actual trek starts with an easy and pleasant walk across rice fields. One hour later, you reach the bottom of the waterfalls. Now it's all about walking and climbing upstream. Tour guides will serve lunch at the top of the waterfalls, then it goes down along a steep forest path, back to the village. A wonderful hike with beautiful views!

Can the trek be attempted with children? 
Here’s our return on experience.
The trek includes a moderate 3 to 4 hours walk; the only minor difficulty is the ascent in the water. The rocks aren’t very slippery and when a passage is too difficult for a child, there’s an alternative way on the side.
Our 7-year old jumped up the waterfalls like a salmon. Our 5-year old followed quite easily with the support of an adult (ou local guide was very helpful in this matter). Our 3-year old was safely secured in a baby carrier on the back of her dad. Walking up the stream would have been too difficult for her, as she would have had water up to the waist. All five of us surely enjoyed our day!
Walking up the stream

In short:
The guided trek costs between 250000 and 350000 kips (30 to 45 USD) per person, we got a 50% discount for our children aged 5 and 7 and our 3-year old went for free (we booked with Tiger Trails).
  • Children aged 7 and above will love the refreshing experience of climbing upstream!
  • Children aged 4 to 7 will also enjoy the walk in water if you can lend them a hand to help them in difficult passages.
  • For children under 4, you will need a good baby carrier that also keeps your hands free.