Kuang Si Waterfalls, Luang Prabang - All Of The Things You Need to Know
The Kuang Si is one of the most amazing waterfalls in Laos. It is very popular for day trips and half-day trips with locals and tourists. Especially on weekends and holidays, it can get really crowded there. Please go with us to find out a reason why it is special.
- General information
- Best time to visit Kuang Si Waterfalls
- Experience at Kuang Si Waterfalls
- How to get to Kuang Si Falls
- Location: 29km South of Luang Prabang, Laos
- The height: 50m
- Opening hours: from 8am until 5.30pm every day.
- Entrance fee: 20,000 kip (2.5 USD)
Best time to visit Kuang Si Waterfalls
The best time to visit Kuang Si falls is from November/December through to April/May. During this period, the monsoon season has finished and the cascading pools have settled again. The water flows over the limestone rocks more slowly, collecting traces of limestone as it goes that creates beautiful turquoise colour you see in the photos. The waterfall gets busy during the weekend. Besides, this is also the peak tourist season, so try to get there early on a weekday to avoid the crowds.
In Laos’ monsoon season from July to October, heavy rains transform the falls from the calm, picturesque scene to thundering rapids that makes muddy coffee colour instead. Hiking is quite dangerous due to slippery trails. You can still make the trip over, just adjust your expectations slightly as you’re probably not going to get beautiful shot of the sky blue pools.
Experience at Kuang Si Waterfalls
Swim at turquoise swimming pools.
It is the most mesmerizing activity at Kuang Si. The water at Kuang Si has so beautiful natural color thanks to limestone. The water flows over many limestone rocks on its way from the springs, to the main waterfall and then down the cascades. Limestone particles in the water which contain high levels of calcium carbonate that reflects light, making the water appear a stunning turquoise-blue colour.
There are a few pools you can swim in at the main area, as well as at the top. Be respectful when you see the signs saying no swimming in certain areas, as some pools are considered sacred by the locals. The pools near the picnic area have changing rooms. Laos has such a conservative culture, so you should wear suitable swimsuit. There are rope swings and a tree you can jump into the pools from.
Hike up to the top.
If you are adventure lover, you should try. Although the waterfall is not too high, it requires a bit efforts. People will go up from the left side of the wooden footbridge where there are steps. The terrain is quite tricky and steep because water partly flows over it. Also, there are no railings. It will take about 15 – 20 minutes of you to reach the top. In return for your efforts, you will get stunning view over Laos countryside and get out of the noisy crowds at the falls below.
Enjoy picnic lunch.
If you plan to spend one day at Kuang Si Waterfalls, it is good idea to pack a picnic and enjoy it among nature after immersing yourselves in cool water. There are picnic tables serving tourists at lower levels.
Visit Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre
It is home to more than 20 Asiatic Black Bears. The Centre is operated by Free the Bears Organization. The bears have been rescued from an array of dire circumstances and now have happy life at the Centre. The bears freely play within their area with pools and hammocks. You can donate something for the bears or buy a t-shirt and support the Centre with that.
How to get to Kuang Si Falls
With the distance of 29km from Luang Prabang, getting to the falls is easy with plenty of transport options available. Depending on your budget and traveling style, you can pick up one of these:
By Tuk Tuk
Tuk tuk (songtaew) is very popular mode of transportation in Laos. You can hire a private tuk tuk at cost of 180,000 – 200,000 kip (22 – 25 USD) for 1 day. The driver will wait for you at the falls in few hours to take you back into town. One tuk tuk can fit 4 – 6 people.
Although it’s easy to see a tuk tuk in town, you had better check with your hotel to get contact details of reputable drivers they normally work with.
Probably, it is the most economical way to get to the falls. You can buy return tickets between Luang Prabang and Kuang Si waterfalls at local agents or your hotels. Price is 60,000 Kip (7.5 USD).
This option helps to save money in case you travel alone or in a small group but still makes sure the comfort. Normally, one minivan can fit about 10 people. A driver will pick up and drop off at your hotel. He leaves you at Kuang Si Waterfall in 2-3 hours before getting back. Depending on number of passengers on minivan, the pick – up may be late. Besides, as the e schedule is fixed, you cannot extend your time if you want.
By Private Vehicles
Hiring a private car or minivan is the most comfortable option. With this option, you will have flexibility in time. You can decide what time to depart, what time to leave or how long to stay there. You no need to share with strangers.
Private cars / mini-vans generally start from 45 USD.
If you love to do things independently, you can rent a motorbike in town and find the way yourself to the waterfall. This should cost around USD $20/day + petrol and parking fee at the Kuang Si Falls (2,000kip).
Please be kept in mind that the roads around Luang Prabang are quite bumpy and windy. The local people do not speak English well. So, you should have driving experience in Asian countries beforehand.
This option is not very popular but still interesting way to try. Actually, the boat will not take you directly to the falls as the one to Pak Ou Cave. It will stop at nearby village where you continue the journey by tuk tuk or car. The boat ride will take one hour, passing through wild and rugged mountains, jungles. You can see glimpses of peaceful and authentic local life along the Mekong river.
By guided private tours
Many people prefer to travel in guided tours as they will have a guide who shares the secrets of the local area. In addition, guided tours will help to maximize the experience within the limited time you have. If you’re keen to see as much of Luang Prabang and its surrounds as possible, let Laos Travel help you with planning. With experienced team, Laos Travel will consult the best schedule for your time and budget.