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Laos was beyond a doubt my favourite country in Asia.
The fabulous Mekong river snakes all the way through the country and the hilly mountainous scenes were to die for!
The locals were friendly, everything was cheap, the weather was scorching and the Beerlaos were flowing. It was a backpacker’s paradise on Earth, truly.
I met more friends and fellow travellers here than I did in any other country and that’s why it has a special place in my heart.
Most people skip over Laos between Thailand and Vietnam as people say it’s not worth seeing, but that’s such a shame!
If you have considered doing this, hopefully just seeing pictures of the Kuang Si Falls will change your mind!
Laos is full of wonder and you need to experience it as part of your South East Asia itinerary.
Keep reading to experience Asia’s hidden gem that is Laos and the magnificent Kuang Si Falls in Laos!
How to travel to Luang Prabang in Laos
Laos is landlocked between the north of Thailand and Vietnam and can be accessed via both;
From Chaing Rai (clockwise SEA)
You can get the bus after you jump over the border which will take you around 12.5 hours as you’re the quickest option.
If you can’t make your connection or have a little time on your hands, I would highly recommend a night’s stay in Huay Xai.
It is a quaint little village, mainly used as a stopover for the slow boat but has a beautiful temple with monks who would like to meet you.
If you get the boat, it will take you around 2 days and you stop off in a village in between.
If you’re coming from Vietnam (anti-clockwise SEA)
You can get the bus to Laos from Hanoi and will be an equally long ride as with all South-East Asian bus services.
Why choose Luang Prabang?
If you only have time to experience one part of Laos, Luang Prabang is just the ticket.
It is the cultural hub of the country and has plenty of attractions to keep you occupied.
Aside from the magnificent Kuang Si, you have the Pak Ou Caves, the French Quarter, Phu Si viewpoint to watch the sunset and the Utopia bar to visit after hours.
How to travel to Kuang Si Falls in Laos
After you’ve reached the beautiful Luang Prabang and settled into your hotel, you can grab a tuk-tuk over to the falls or catch a bus service organised by a local tour company.
Your hotel should offer such a service and if not, there will be one on the main strip.
The journey will take you around 25 minutes unless there is traffic.
Note that the bus service doesn’t include your entry into the falls unless otherwise stated;
- A ride in a Tuk Tuk should cost you around 30,000kip each way
- The bus services do usually cost around 50,000 kip return but you’re on a time limit. After seeing the colour of the water and the fact we could swim in it, we decided to ditch our bus and take our time!
Kuang Si Falls ticket prices
Entry to the falls is 40,000 kip as a tourist fee and this gives you unlimited entry to the attraction for the day.
Things to do in Kuang Is Falls in Laos
Although the visit is centred around the Kuang Si waterfalls there are plenty of other bits and pieces to get involved in.
It is a huge complex and so make sure you don’t lose your way by going too far off the beaten track.
My recommendation would be to climb up to the top and then waterfall your way down.
Trek to the summit of Kuang Si Falls
Getting up to the top of the Kuang Si waterfalls is not an easy task.
Purely in my opinion, and you may feel differently, but I was literally scrabbling up the hill and clinging to tree branches at points as there aren’t any stairs per se.
It was a hilarious sight I’m sure as my water bottle fell and was quickly labelled a goner as it rolled down the hill to the bottom!
Make sure you have both hands to stop you from falling.
Once you reach the top, however, you will get some great views of the start of the waterfall.
From here, you can either make your descent back down or you can go on a walk round to the springs and caves.
The springs in Kuang Si Falls were wonderfully cool for a swim after the hot trek to the top. It is a fair way but it is worth the visit.
Go Swimming in Kuang Si Falls Laos
When you make your way back down, you can experience the best that Kuang Si Falls has to offer.
The water is so blue, that it will make your heart melt as you see it cascading down.
The best thing about the whole experience, and is still a surprise to me, is that you can swim in the magic.
You can actually swim, in these waters. It was so refreshing too as it had been a hot day.
One of the most terrifying things that I did when I went there was a leap from the tree branch which hangs over the lagoon.
Although it doesn’t look high, it was absolutely terrifying when you climb the tree to the top.
As you plummet back down the water hits you with a crash but it’s the best feeling to have leapt. Make sure you do it and conquer your fear!
Free The Bears in Kuang Si Falls
This sanctuary is located at the bottom of the falls and you can see Asiatic bears who have been rescued here from Illegal Wildlife Trafficking.
I won’t go into details, but the horrific bile farming industry is still a critical issue and the bears are unfortunately the victims under threat every day.
It is completely free to visit as part of your ticket and you can see them feeding the bears around 1 pm for a good look.
You can donate your spare kip to this wonderful cause while you’re there, or buy merchandise to donate.
If you’d like to find out more about the beautiful cause, donate regardless or are interested in being a volunteer, here’s a link to their website.
Where to eat in Kuang Si Falls
If you’re feeling peckish after you leave, there are plenty of restaurants selling Laotian cuisine and those all-important souvenirs.
From here, you can grab another tuk-tuk or your bus ride home back to Luang Prabang for the evening.
So, that’s my guide to Kuang Si Falls in Laos
I truly believe that the Kuang Si falls in Laos is one of the best attractions that Laos has to offer its visitors.
I dearly miss those crystal clear waters and will make sure that I return one day to experience it again.
If you’re heading to South East Asia, make sure you put Laos on your itinerary even if it’s for a short time – you won’t regret it!
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