Since 2014, the Dutch couple Ineke and Olaf Paap have been running a beautiful butterfly garden in Laos, which is about 900 metres from the Kuang Si waterfall of the same name and with its many foothills flows through the park.
Text: Angelique van Os | Photography: Olaf Paap
After a stay of a few weeks in Laos and getting ideas for the butterfly garden in Costa Rica, the couple settle here in 2013. The park of over 6000 square meters consists of a rich vegetation of flowers and plants, height differences, bridges, dams and of course a colorful palette of different species of butterflies that are grown here under a self-built bamboo butterfly greenhouse. The park also serves as an educational center, with the aim of school children and their teachers through practical lessons to provide information about nature with the butterfly park as an example: what happens from egg to butterfly. The idea behind this is that when children know more about nature and ecology, they will treat it with more respect. It is also possible to get a doctorfish foot treatment.
In the Kuang Si Butterfly Park in Laos live between thirty and sixty different species of butterflies, depending on the season. An Indian Dark Blue Tiger feeds itself with a (Blue) Billy Goat Weed, also known locally as Dok ki Be (flower poop goat).
Plain Tiger The process from pupa to butterfly takes about ten days for the De Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus chrysippus). Crawling out of the pupa only takes a few seconds and pumping up the wings during a hot day about half an hour. This caterpillar species eats from the tropical milk weed plant.
Approx. 30 km from the capital Luang Prabang. |Time: approx. 2.5 hours. |Entrance: approx. €4,50
There are guided tours in Dutch. See:facebook.com/Laos.Kuang.Si.Butterflypark/
Tip: take a look at the nearby shelter for rescued, rejected or abused bears; an initiative of the organization Free the Bears. Here live 23 rescued bears.