The star attraction in the incredible city of Luang Prabang, Kuang Si falls is a magical place to spend the afternoon and is sure to be one of the highlights in Laos.
Getting There: Pick up a Tuktuk from town for 30-40,000 Kip each if you are in a group of 3 or 4, if you are solo get a shared minivan for 60,000 Kip or hire a motorbike to drive there yourself
Costs: Entrance fee: 20,000 Kip + Transport
Additional Information: Don’t forget your swimming gear, taking a dip in the refreshing pools is a must!
Suggested Times: dedicate at least half a day to exploring the falls and bear sanctuary, early mornings tend to be quieter and cooler
Kuang Si is a sacred waterfall situated about 20 KM outside of Luang Prabang, it’s a must visit highlight of the area. One of the easiest ways to get there is by motorbike. The ride out there is on well paved roads through small villages where you can experience how locals live in rural communities. If you aren’t a fan of motorbikes a shared TukTuk or Minibus from the centre of Luang Prabang is just as simple.
Once you’ve paid the entrance fee at a small booth on the right of the entrance the first stop is a bear sanctuary. The sanctuary houses 23 Asiatic bears also known as Moon bears. The bears are endangered largely due to their use in Chinese medicine. They are amazing creatures, super cute to watch and it’s easy to spend an hour or two watching them playing with each other, swinging on tyres and generally enjoying themselves.
After spending some time marvelling at the cute bears it’s time to move on to the waterfalls themselves. Kuang Si is a 3 tiered falls situated at the very end of the trail. Before you get to the main event there are a plethora of epic smaller pools and waterfalls which you can swim in. It’s difficult to describe just how blue the water is, it’s almost unbelievable when you are looking at it as it doesn’t look real!
Wandering around the different levels of waterfall, surrounded by cascading water with the sun shining through the lush green forest is magical. Every single one of the pools you walk past looks perfect to swim in, the water is a deep aquamarine and refreshingly cool. Walk the entire trail to the main waterfall so that you can find the best pool to take a dip. If you have the time and patience you’ll be rewarded with perfect photos without a soul in sight.
The main event is a 60 metre waterfall with an incredible legend surrounding it. The name Kuang Si comes from the story that a wise old man revealed the waters of the Nam Si river by digging deep into the earth. Once the waters started flowing a golden deer made his home under a large rock protruding from the falls. The sound of the water smashing against the rock could be heard as far as China drawing people to settle in the surrounding area. This is where the name comes from; Kuang means deer and Si means dig. It’s a pretty cool legend!
The magic of these falls is hard to beat. In our opinion it’s by far the most impressive waterfall in Laos and is an absolute must visit while in Luang Prabang!