The Kuang Si Falls, located around 29 kilometres to Southern Luang Prabang, have drawn beholders’ attention to seek the serene beauty of this three-tiered cascading waterfall nestled in a lush tropical jungle.
Kuang Si Falls, spelled Kuang Xi or known as Tat Kuang Si, is considered the most beautiful masterpiece of nature in the whole country.
From a 50-metre height, the vibrant water falls into a series of shallow pools before flowing downstream into the jungle river. Over years of flowing over the rocks, Kuang Si Falls have etched deep lines into the stones which make a beautiful travertine pattern. The harmony between the blue of crystal water and the green of verdant jungle paints a picturesque landscape of swimming pools in the sky.
Three levels of Kuang Si Falls
Spending a one-day trip to Kuang Si Waterfall outside of the city, you will never forget the experiences of unwinding yourself in the turquoise swimming pools and letting the forceful torrent shower your body. The most mesmerizing activity is absolutelytaking a swim in the turquoise poolsexcept some ‘secret pools’ marked by do-not-enter signs. If you are an adventurous people, you will definitely try jumping into the pools by swinging the ropes tied on the tree. Laos has such a conservative culture that you should change into suitable swimming gear if necessary.
Sink in the turquoise swimming pools
Another worthwhile activity to enjoy the breathtaking rustic nature is hiking up to the top despite a bit of difficult terrain. The stunningly unobstructed views from the top give you an opportunities to escape from the noisy crowds and immerse in the peaceful trickle of flowing water, the charming forest and numerous strange reptiles, funguses and flowers on the way. It takes travellers around 20-minute one way to go climbing to the most epic view of Kuang Si Falls. A little hiking trick is climbing up by the left wooden footbridge and going down by the right pathway which is smooth, steep and step-free.
The wooden footbridge in Kuang Si Falls
If you plan to stay one day, packing a picnic at the lower levels is a perfect choice to take a rest before the upcoming explorations. Though there is a restaurant nearby, it’s better to bring your lunch or pick some food and drink at the market outside then enjoy your snack stop at a multitude of picnic tables.
Also, there is Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre, a rescue centre is home to over 20 Asiatic Black Bears saved from an array of dire circumstances, and Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Park, a pretty garden flocked with diverse kinds of butterfly.
Best time to visit Kuang Si
The best time to visit Kuang Si Falls varies from December to around April and May when the monsoon season has ended and the cascading falls begin to settle. However, you are better visiting on a weekday to avoid the crowds of peak season. If you plan to visit in the monsoon season from July to October, hiking and swimming will be dangerous because of heavy rains.
The falls is opened daily from 8am to 5pm with entrance fee of 20,000 kip per person. Due to the busloads of tourists in the afternoon, it’s better to come in the early morning to have a refreshing serenity and take epic shots without the crowds.
Nice weather to visit Kuang Si is Apr to May
How to get to Kuang Si
A wide range of transports is available for different levels of budget and how adventurous you want to be. Shared tuk-tuk, usually fit 6-7 people, is the best option if you pre-organize the number of people in group. Also, public minivan running from Luang Prabang to the falls must be the most economical way but passively depending on a fixed route. For those who want to control their own schedule, there are a rented private tuk-tuk or minivan which is more convenient but costs higher than a shared one.
If you are in search of a true adventure, you can hirea bicycle as well as a motorbike or scooterto travel independently. Remember to contact a reputable agency and keep safe on the way uphill. Last but not least, a one-hour boat ridedownriver is the most novel way taking you through the wild mountains and the tranquil local life.