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26 In Animals + Wildlife/ Hiking + The Outdoors/ Laos/ Travel

Kuang Si Falls – Luang Prabang, Laos

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.

The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored!

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!

The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored!

Because we got to enter the park early, we were literally the only ones in the park for over a half an hour.

The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored! The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored!

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.

The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored! The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored! The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored! The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored! The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored!

One of the things that make Kuang Si Falls so striking is the vivid teal color of the water.

The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored! The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored! While the levels are all so beautiful on their own, the top 196-foot cascade is the highlight.

The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored!

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.

The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored! The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored!

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.

The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored!     The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored!   The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored!

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.

The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored! The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored! The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored! The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored! The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored!   The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored! The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored!

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 beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored!

The bile from the gallbladder of this species of bear is used in traditional Chinese medicine which makes them the target of poaching.

The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored!

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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The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored! The beautiful Kuang Si Falls of Luang Prabang are meant to be explored!


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26 Comments

  • Reply
    The Natural Traveller
    January 21, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    Great write up of a place I haven’t as yet visited Paige. Very nicely captured slow shutter speed pictures of the falls as well! Thanks

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 26, 2018 at 10:20 pm

      Thank you very much! If you’re ever in that area, you’ll have to visit. Kuang Si is a natural gem!

  • Reply
    Kalyan Panja
    January 22, 2018 at 1:04 am

    Nice reading about your experience in Kuang Si Falls. Lovely captures too.

  • Reply
    Vibeke Johannessen
    January 22, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Wow this looks like heaven. I don’t know too much about Laos but have seen pictures of these falls before. I love waterfalls especially wide and big ones. It is fascinating to photograph as well. Looks so cool with a long shutter speed 😀 Thank you for sharing 😀

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 26, 2018 at 10:25 pm

      Thanks for reading. When you make it to Laos, this can’t be missed! It’s so stunning!

  • Reply
    Jenn and Ed Coleman
    January 22, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    Ah, what beautiful bears. They are so cute. What a great tip to go early and have the place to yourself too. Jenn doesn’t do well with heat so she would appreciate getting a jump on the hike. The travertine dams are gorgeous. It reminds me of Havasu Falls campground before the flood.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 26, 2018 at 10:27 pm

      They are cute little bears aren’t they? We really lucked out that we were able to get in there without anyone else there! Jean would love jumping in here for sure! I agree that it looks a bit like photos I’ve seen there (I’ve only been post-flood, but there were a few small ones left there when I was there).

  • Reply
    Chantell Collins
    January 22, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    Luang Prabang has been on my list since 2015 when I traveled to Laos but didn’t have enough time to go to the north. I am super excited about the falls so I appreciate your tips about arriving early. I had no idea about the rescue bears and am pleased that they aren’t there for the tourists.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 26, 2018 at 10:29 pm

      Oh, you’ll have to go back, and I’m sure you will! I loved seeing the rescue bears, and truly rescued. I hope that enough people donate to help keep these bears thriving after all that they’ve been through.

  • Reply
    Debra Schroeder
    January 23, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Love your waterfall photos! I love a good waterfall. Laos is on my bucket list, hoping to make it there this year and will add Luana Prabang to my list if I do. It looks like a great spot to spend the day.

  • Reply
    Cat
    January 23, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    Paige, I love your photos of the falls! It is so beautiful – I can see why it is a must see in Luang Prabang. The black bear on the hammock is so adorable. It’s sad that those bears had an unfortunate past.

  • Reply
    PurplePumpernickel
    January 25, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    These are such magical water captures! I am amazed and in awe!
    What a terrific place to have brekkie – it is so nice to meet generous people on our travels!
    Thank you for sharing an incredible slice of your travels!

  • Reply
    Danial
    January 26, 2018 at 12:56 am

    I was at Kuang Si Falls a few days ago and I do share the same sentiment as you – the smaller falls are all picturesque and pretty until we saw the main falls which was mind-blowing!

    Kudos to the folks at Save the Bears too for setting up this center. We saw one bear missing a forearm using his remaining forearm to climb the stage. It’s unimaginable how horrible some human beings can be.

  • Reply
    tenzenmen
    January 26, 2018 at 9:57 am

    I went here a few years ago and your description captures it well. When I got to the top fall, sun streamed through and white butterflies were flitting about, just like an idyllic fairy tale. I hope to go back again sometime.

  • Reply
    Kavita Favelle
    January 27, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Wow, just wow, these falls look stunning. I love all your photos, they really show off the beauty, and make me long to visit. I’m particularly grateful for your tips about getting there early for some quiet time before the hoards arrive, always great to know when and where that’s worthwhile. Also loving the story about your sweet breakfast invitation, what a lovely encounter indeed!

  • Reply
    Agness of eTramping
    January 27, 2018 at 8:22 am

    I’ve never been to the Kuang Si Falls and your post was truly inspiring, Paige! This place seems like a perfect place to explore and like a piece of paradise!

  • Reply
    Danila Caputo
    January 27, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    2,50$ to get in is SO cheap, I can’t believe it! The area looks awesome (great pics!), and should we visit, just like you we’d definitely go early just like you. The crowds spoil all the fun!

  • Reply
    Marvi
    January 28, 2018 at 3:01 am

    Oh wow! I can totally see why you love this waterfall! The teal colour is just inviting and I love the layers of rocks and how the water flows on it.. A gentle massage from those water is what I really need right now and you photos just want me to be there at this moment! And I love that couple who shared their breakfast with you, too. Such an awesome thing to do, that is sharing what you have even with strangers.

  • Reply
    Danik
    January 28, 2018 at 5:00 am

    oh wow! oh wow! and oh wow! What amazing waterfalls. I never knew about this place before I would put this on my list when I get out there which I hope is soon. Loving your photographs.

  • Reply
    Lauren
    January 28, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    I can see why this is your favourite waterfall. There’s like…. many different waterfalls in it! It is one of the most beautiful ones I’ve seen, too. Your photos are lovely.

  • Reply
    Nathalie Caty
    January 29, 2018 at 10:09 am

    The park is so beautiful. I can’t believe it is only $2.50! The waterfalls are just breathtaking. I bet you spent several hours in the park admiring its beauty

  • Reply
    Alli Blair
    January 29, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Your photography of the falls is truly spectacular – amazing job! Love how soft the waves look in the photos, and the colours are gorgeous. Brings back some wonderful memories of my time there 🙂

  • Reply
    AllGudThings
    January 30, 2018 at 6:35 am

    Great post and pictures. We are actually planing a trip to Laos this year and i found this post. Kuang si falls are really beautiful as well grand. I am going to add this to my list. thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    TravelTheGlobe4Less
    January 30, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Sadly when I was in Laung Prabang we never made it to these falls. we hired a cycle one day and I was convinced we could make it there but we never did. It looks stunning though.

  • Reply
    Medha Verma
    January 31, 2018 at 3:04 am

    I must know how you took the pictures, with that sort of smooth falls effect? They’re gorgeous! The falls look lovely, a lot like Plitvice Lakes in Croatia. I’d love to visit Laos (and Cambodia too) sometime, and I plan to do that soon because I’ve heard such amazing things. I can see why!

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