KUANG SI WATERFALL – LUANG PRABANG, LAOS
Kuang Si Waterfall is a short drive from Luang Prabang and is one of the most amazing if not the most amazing waterfall I’ve ever laid eyes on. It is the biggest waterfall in the Luang Prabang region in Laos.
HOW TO GET TO KUANG SI FALLS
From Luang Prabang a van or tuk-tuk will drive you there for 30,000 kip or $4 USD. The drive takes about 40 minutes, passing small villages and winding through the hilly terrain. The Kuang Si Falls entrance fee is 20,000 Kip or $2.30 USD.
KUANG SI BEAR RESCUE CENTER
Before you experience the Kuang Si Falls, there is another Luang Prabang Attraction awaiting you at the entrance. The Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre is home to more than 20 Asiatic Black Bears, which have been rescued from dire circumstances. The enclosures are large and provide a positive atmosphere for the bears. As we walked past a huge bear was actually lying in a hammock and seemed quite content. The Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre doesn’t receive any of the admission fee and relies on donations and t-shirt sales.
Once you have finished gawking at the bears, a short walk will soon lead you to the first pools. Small cascades flow into azure waters, deep enough to swim. I was impressed already but knew bigger things were in store.
The second cascades are incredibly relaxing to look at. Huge pools of water cascade down several 1-foot drops. This was a stunning natural formation I had never seen in person.
KUANG SI WATERFALL
After only 15 minutes of walking (not including our stops at the previous pools) we turned a corner and walked across a small wooden bridge. All of a sudden out of nowhere the giant Kuang Si Waterfall too center-stage and blew me away. A 50-meter drop, cascading down multiple levels against the yellow stone was undeniably breathtaking. The foot-bridge keeps tourists far enough away from the falls, which I thought was a great example of high-volume sustainable tourism. It also meant that everyone get a great photo with unobstructed views of the natural beauty before them.
From this point you can trek up 15 minutes to the top pools. The view from here is quite good with mountains in the distance but trees seem to obstruct most of the vantage points. A chill-out area with picnic tables and a rope swing make for a great spot to have a rest and enjoy the atmosphere before making the climb back down.
There is also a butterfly park attached to the Kuang Si Falls but we decided not to visit it as we were pushed for time and preferred to spend more time mesmerized by the majestic waterfalls.