Visiting Kuang Si Falls (Tat Kuang Si in Lao) is pretty much synonymous with visiting Luang Prabang. This gorgeous waterfall sits about an hour outside of the town of Luang Prabang and will blow any nature-lover’s mind. I’ve seen literally hundreds of waterfalls in my life and this is my very favorite thus far. I actually visited Kuang Si Falls in 2015, but I didn’t make it to the top portion because I was wanting to take a dip and on a time-crunch. I didn’t make that mistake this time, but I’m so glad that I did this time.
KUANG SI FALLS QUICK TIPS
✈︎ Entrance to the park is 20,000 kip (about $2.50 USD).
✈︎ Get to Kuang Si Falls as early as possible. The park actually opens at 8:00 a.m., we arrived early and they allowed us to go in about 15 or 20 minutes early. I don’t know if this is normal, but worth a try.
✈︎ Wear or bring a swimsuit. This is an awesome place to take a dip!
✈︎ Plan plenty of time here. You can climb to the top of the falls, swim in the falls, check out all the different levels and even see the Kuang Si Rescue Bears!
Because we got to enter the park early, we were literally the only ones in the park for over a half an hour.
Kuang Si Falls have multiple levels. The path into the park leads you up to the top which is the most impressive and falls almost 200 feet. The lower levels make the best swimming holes and it looks totally different from rainy season to dry season. When it’s dry season it’s easy to sit in small “bowls” carved by the waterfall and let the water crash on you. In wet season, there are many sections that say it’s too dangerous to swim. Heed these warnings as you would anywhere else.
One of the things that make Kuang Si Falls so striking is the vivid teal color of the water.
While the levels are all so beautiful on their own, the top 196-foot cascade is the highlight.
Seriously, this is why Kuang Si Falls is my favorite waterfall! I love the lush flora that surrounds the falls. I love the way the water hits the rocks and creates so much texture and beauty. It’s just one of those places that really and truly take your breath away.
We didn’t get to swim this time because I still had a broken arm and Matt felt bad diving in without me (even though I said he could). However, I would still 100% recommend this stop been if you have no intention of swimming.
OUR KUANG SI FALLS BREAKFAST SURPRISE
While Matt and I were marveling in the beauty of Kuang Si, we finally saw other people in the park. It was a sweet British couple who were on their own Southeast Asian adventure. They were staying at a very nice hotel and part of their Kuang Si Falls tour was to have a 5-star picnic breakfast. They had their breakfast all laid out for them and unexpectedly, they came up to us and asked us to join them on their picnic because the hotel had packed so much food! This was such a sweet surprise and it was so generous of them! We sat, talked travel and feasted on breads, cheese, fruit and more. This is one of the joys of travel: the people you meet. Moments like this make memories you’ll never forget.
TAT KUANG SI BEAR RESCUE CENTER
When you walk to Kuang Si Falls, you first pass through the Bear Rescue Center. This is a habitat created and maintained by the organization Save the Bears. These bears are rescued Asiatic Black Bears, which is an endangered species. These bears weren’t captured for the pleasure of tourists, instead they were rescued from horrid zoo enclosures, poachers and more. Many bears have been relocated here to a much larger, open enclosure filled with toys and hammocks. They don’t receive any money from the Kuang Si Falls entrance fees, so this rescue organization relies on the donations made by visitors.
The bile from the gallbladder of this species of bear is used in traditional Chinese medicine which makes them the target of poaching.
Kuang Si Falls is a must on any trip to Laos, but especially if you’re in Luang Prabang. It’s the perfect place to relax, swim, learn about + observe an endangered species and be awed by nature.
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