We at Wagoners Abroad really like to visit nature stuff, so it was fitting that while we were in Luang Prabang, we were very close to the best waterfalls that Laos has to offer. I speak of the Kuang Si Waterfalls. Also known as Kouangxi, these waterfalls are truly beautiful, and if you’re in the Luang Prabang area of Laos, I’d rank this as the top nature thing to do. There are a couple of other well-known waterfalls in the area, Tad Sae and Tad Thong, but they do not stack up against the falls at Kuang Si.
The Journey to Kuang Si Waterfalls
While the 5 of us were interested in going, our new friends Jeff and Georg were also interested. Heidi did a bunch of research on how much transportation would cost, and the scheduling of said transportation. As it turns out, she worked out with a driver that it would cost 200,000 Kip (about $25) for the entire group of 7. That covers getting us from our place to the waterfalls and back, and the driver will wait a few hours for us. That works out to a little bit over $3.50 per person for transportation. The journey takes about 45 minutes, so that’s a good deal!
At the appropriate time, Jeff & Georg showed up, and we all piled in the taxi and made our way to the falls. The driver requested that he get paid in advance as he needed to get some gas. Heidi told him that we would pay half now, and half when he took us back. He didn’t seem overly happy about that, but I could be wrong about that. After a tank fill-up, we were on our way!
During our journey, we saw a parts of Luang Prabang that we had not seen before. This included many street vendors, rice paddies, villages, and open air markets. We were waved at by many school age children, and returned their waves with big smiles.
If you’re susceptible to car-sickness, I’d recommend taking something prior to the trip as our taxi driver was not only going fast on corners, but was zig-zagging to miss the numerous Beetle-sized potholes. Throw in the occasional near-miss with an oncoming truck, taxi, or moped, and it was a very bumpy ride. I now know what James Bond’s martinis feel like. (Shaken, not stirred!)
Fortunately, no accidents transpired, and nobody was sick, so it was a good journey there. Once we arrived, the taxi driver parked, and told us that he would be parked, and that he would wait for us. It was a bit strange to just trust that he was going to be there upon our return, but we had to trust. Off we went to buy our tickets.
We passed many food and souvenir stalls, and paid the entrance fee at the main gate approximately 50 meters from the parking lot. The price was 20,000 Kip ($2.50) per person over 8 years. Fees paid, we started our journey to the falls.
This isn’t Kuang Si Waterfalls
The first part of the trail had enclosures with rescued Asiatic Black Bears (Moon Bears). These are very interesting looking black bears with white tufts their chests. They seemed much thinner than any other bear we have seen, in a zoo of course. There were several different enclosures and groups of bears. It was interesting reading all of the signs about them and it was a great added bonus to the falls. They pretty much ignored us and dozed, so we made our way further up the falls.
The first set of falls we saw were gorgeous. The light blue water made for a very scenic view. This was the first designated swimming area, with small falls gently cascading under a bridge, and into the crystal blue water.
Next up the path was the second swimming area and even bigger falls. There was a tree that has some steps carved in a branch, and there were several brave tourists climbing up and jumping into the pool. I urged Lars to give it a shot, thinking that he wouldn’t do, but lo and behold, my man jumped! Way to go Lars!! I couldn’t let him take all the glory, and decided to jump in as well. It was refreshing! Not too cold, but cold enough to wake you up. We have video, so remember to watch!
We jumped a few more times, and then made our way further up the falls. I wish the video captured the majestic beauty of the waterfalls as we were jumping. You will just need to watch other parts of the video below to see all of the falls. It was a fantastic trip, and again, a Must Do trip while in Luang Prabang.
Video of Kuang Si Waterfalls and Jumping from the Tree
After a bunch of jumping in, it was time for us to head up further. What do you know? More falls and pools! So beautiful, and I love the sound too.
Further up we walk, and we get to the main falls, and it’s just incredible. I don’t know why the sights and sounds of falling water are so hypnotic. The falls are actually pretty large. You can see Lars in his blue shirt for scale. Not only can you walk along a bridge (from where these photos were taken), but you can get right underneath the falls.
One thing that surprised me is that you would think that the rocks in the falls would be very slippery, but you can easily walk on them without slipping.
This is a popular place for a reason. Heidi was taking some video, and just happened to catch Bev enjoying the falls.
Bonus Video of Kuang Si Waterfalls – Gma Bev having her “moment”
That pretty much sums up the experience. If you spend any time at all in Luang Prabang, you owe it to yourself to take a few hours and experience the beauty of the Kuang Si Waterfalls.
If you like waterfalls, where is your favorite place to see them?
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Adventure333 (3 Generations, 3 Months, 3 Countries)
Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia
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