Visit Kuang Si Waterfall

A ‘must do’ when visiting Luang Prabang (and yet somehow something I missed during my first trip) Kuang Si waterfall is a fun half day trip. Not wanting to travel all that way just for half a day, we also visited Laos Buffalo Dairy (more on that in another post!) 


This photo doesn't do the falls justice, but it still looks pretty good!

 How to get there: The best way is to go via songthaew. There are lots of prices shown online, but as we wanted to go for the whole day. We paid 20usd to hire a driver for the day, there are plenty of them around town, and they often wait outside hotels. I wouldn’t recommend booking through wherever you’re staying as we found there was a 50%(!) markup.  

Don't be fooled by this smile.  This hurts.

How long does it take: About 45 minutes depending on the speed of your driver. It isn’t a comfortable ride as the roads aren’t exactly smooth and songthaew suspension leaves much to be desired. That said, the breeze is wonderful and the views interesting.

This view is from the top of the falls...is it worth the 30 min climb?  You decide.

How much does it cost:
entry is 20,000kip. The tickets say 10,000, the sign says 20…who knows.

How long should you spend there: if you’re just swimming, I’d say two hours max, if you want to do the ‘trek’ add on another hour.

Slippery steps!

The trek: You go up the left side and then down the right. It took about an hour in total and wasn’t particularly difficult. However, some very steep parts require you to hold onto bits of tree/touch the ground. 

Mum is in her 60s!  She managed it so I'm sure you can too

If you enjoy treks, go for it, it’s pretty pleasant. There isn’t much in the way of a ‘reward’ at the top. Looking down the view isn’t particularly good as much is covered by trees. There's a somewhat stagnant looking pool with a swing over it which makes for a nice photo. It’s pretty hard to get onto though and I fell in while trying to turn around!

A gymnast I am not

Laos Bear Sanctuary: There are a bunch of bile bears who have been rescued and are staying at the sanctuary here. They’re super cute and you’ll pass it on the way through. It’s completely free so I would recommend buying one of their shirts to support the sanctuary!

They're very playful!

Other than that, there aren't exactly a huge number of things to do…you can look at the waterfall, take photos of the waterfall, and swim in certain sections of the waterfall. 

Word of warning, it’s deep in the middle and there are some surprise sharp rocks. I certainly wouldn't recommend this for non swimmers! You should be prepared to get some cuts/scrapes on your feet/knees during your swim. For this reason, I’d bring along some sort of disinfectant. 

It’s also SUPER COLD. And not in a ‘swim around and you’ll get used to it’ way. It’s just straight up freezing.

Clear pools - you can't swim in a lot of the falls.  The parts where you can are very crowded!  Also it turns out that I'm a terrible blogger because I didn't even take any photos of the crowded part...

Other info: There don’t seem to be lockers to store your bags in. I’d be wary of leaving them on the side unattended so one of our group sat with them while the others swam. 

No the buffalos aren't at the waterfall, but they're on the way and deserve a visit!

As I mentioned before, this is at most a half day trip. On our way back we stopped in at the Laos Buffalo Dairy. It’s a social enterprise whose aim is to improve the prosperity, welfare and nutrition of the local people/area. You can read more about it on their site here, and check out my write up here!

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to drop me a comment here or on Instagram. 

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