Kuang Si waterfalls is a popular sight among visitors who come to Luang Prabang. It is about 29 km from the city center and there is also a bear sanctuary on the walk to the falls. The bears are rescued from poachers who often hunt them for Chinese medicine. Kuang Si is the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve seen so far and its turquoise colour is gorgeous. If you cycle, there are some pretty steep hills on the way.
Getting there and tips to have a good experience at the falls (currencies in USD)
From Luang Prabang’s city center, people can get to the falls by bicycle if you’re feeling fit or want to get fit, rent a motto for the day ($15 o $20) or hire a tuk tuk for about $20 and the entry fee is $2.
Tip: many of the agencies around town have set departures at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Try and avoid going with these groups because the waterfalls are best in the morning when it’s quiet. One of my friends simply walked by Joma cafe or the agencies and asked people if they want to share a tuk tuk and was able to get enough people. So they each paid $2 each for both ways.
At the falls
You have two options to walk up towards the falls, but the trekking side on the right has leeches as my friend encountered. They took a wrong turn in the jungle and what should have been a 10-minute walk up ended up taking 2.5 hours! They ran into a man with a rifle who guided them back down the right way. You can stick to a guided path on the left side of the falls, but aside from getting some good exercise for 10 minutes, you actually can’t see the falls from the top.
When you’re walking around forested area around Laos, keep checking for small leeches. Nothing to be afraid of, just pick them off as you go. I got a small bite, but didn’t get sick.
And don’t forget to do the rope swing into the water! Don’t worry it’s deep enough, you’re not going to land on rock.
Once you’re done with the falls, you can have a delicious meal a the small shops by the main entrance. While it may llook simple, the BBQ fish in Luang Prabang is always packed with flavour and better than most fish I’ve had in restaurants.