Kuang Si Waterfalls, Laos

Kuang Si Waterfall
Kuang Si Waterfall at the top of the walk.

On one of our days in Luang Prabang, we rented a songtaew to take us to breakfast, then the local market, and then out to the Kuang Si Waterfalls. These falls, with their gorgeous turquoise water filled pools, are one of the most popular tourist sites near Luang Prabang, popular with both locals and visitors.

Tuk Tuk Truck in Luang Prabang. Our chariot for the day.
Songtaew in Luang Prabang.

Above, our chariot for the day. There are parallel benches in the back to sit on and you hold on to the grab bars to keep from sliding around. The falls are 29 kilometers south of Luang Prabang and it took about half an hour to get there. The driver waited for us in a local parking lot while we visited the falls for a couple of hours. The cost for the day was about 200,000 Kip, so for four of us, it was very affordable.

Stalls on the way to the waterfall area and Bear Sanctuary
Stalls on the way to the waterfall area and Bear Sanctuary

As you walk up to the entrance (pictured below) there are lots of food stalls and places to eat like the one above. You can buy food and drinks to bring inside and there are plenty of picnic tables from which to enjoy your snacks.

Entrance to the waterfall area and Bear Sanctuary
Entrance to the waterfall area and Bear Sanctuary

The entrance fee is 20,000 Kip which as of this posting is $2.33 USD. They are open daily from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.

On the way into the waterfall area and Bear Sanctuary
On the way into the waterfall area and Bear Sanctuary

As you walk into the park after buying your ticket, you will walk through the bear sanctuary. These bears have been rescued from poachers and “bile farms” and cannot live in the wild. They appear healthy and well cared for. The center is not supported by the fall’s admission fees but survives on donations. The organization’s website is https://freethebears.org/

Bear in the Bear Sanctuary
Bear in the Bear Sanctuary
Bear in the Bear Sanctuary
Bear in the Bear Sanctuary
Kuang Si Waterfall
Kuang Si Waterfall

As you walk up the forest path you will start to see water and natural pools where people swim. Bring a swimsuit, there are very basic changing rooms.

Kuang Si Waterfall
Kuang Si Waterfall pools.

Some of the pools are considered sacred, so please be aware of the “no swimming” signs and be respectful. From what I’ve read, this includes the “secret pool” which a lot of travelers are determined to find. I’d rather be respectful of the local culture.

Kuang Si Waterfall
Kuang Si Waterfall
Kuang Si Waterfall
Kuang Si Waterfall

At the top are the highest falls which have a 50-meter drop. There is a walking bridge across the water and several viewing platforms but when we were there, swimming was not allowed in the top pool. Near the largest falls is a restaurant which has restrooms out behind it.

Mom and me on the bridge in front of the main waterfall

On the walk back down we decided to go into the pools. I hesitated but I could hear my husband in my head saying “When will you ever be able to say you went swimming in a waterfall in Laos?” I changed my clothes and jumped in, happy to do so to escape a few minutes of the heat and humidity.

Proof I actually went in the water!
Video of the falls.

For more of this trip to Laos, go here.

Have you been here? Would you like to go? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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How to visit the Kuang Si Waterfalls near Luang Prabang Laos
How to visit the Kuang Si Waterfalls near Luang Prabang Laos

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