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