Kuang Si Falls is another “must-see” attraction in Luang Prabang. The falls are truly spectacular and the biggest waterfall in Luang Prabang. This multi-tier waterfall is about 30km out of town.
To get there, you’ll have to travel by songthaeaw, tuk tuk or by boat and tuk-tuk. The fee varies ranging from around $5- $10 per person and the journey takes about 50 min – 1 hour by tuk-tuk or songthaeaw.
Everywhere in cafes and travel agents in town there are signs advertising group trips to Kuang Si falls. If you prefer to follow your own schedule rather than have to fit in with others, you can hire your own tuk-tuk for around $15 for half-day rental. Most travel agents can help you with this though it could be more expensive than dealing direct with the tuk-tuk drivers. Walking through street you may be approached by tuk-tuk drivers offering their services, if not you can ask your guesthouse or hotel, I’m sure they can recommend someone.
Mini buses: There are two(mini) buses daily, running between Kuang Si Falls and Naluang Mini Bus station (opposite side of the road to LPB southern bus station).
You can board the bus at the station or in town (no pick up fee). If you buy your ticket at one of the many travel agents in town it is usually more expensive, though they arrange a pick up at your hotel or somewhere that is convenient for you.
You’ll go to the falls and come back to town by the same bus. The bus waits at the falls. They usually give you around two hours. If you prefer to stay longer, you’ll have to find a transport back to town by yourself.
Departure time (from the Naluang station): 12:00 and 14:00
Cost: 40,000 per person round trip (more expensive if you buy tickets through travel agents)
You can charter a mini bus for 350,000kip (max 6 people), or 400,000kip (max 11 people). This way you can stay as long as you want at the falls
The road to the falls winds through hills with spectacular natural views, including terraced rice fields, which make the trip a memorable one.
On the way to the waterfalls, there is a Hmong village where the old ladies still wear Hmong traditional costume. It is famous for its hand-woven handicrafts.
If you hire your own tuk-tuk or mini van you can ask the driver to stop there on your way. It’s worth to stop by to see the village, its handicrafts or the way of life of the villagers. If you fancy taking photos of girls in Hmong costume, beware that you might be asked to buy their stuff in return and some can be a little too pushy.
When you get closer to the falls you will feel that the weather cooler and fresher, because the area is high and covered with forest.
To enter the Kuang Si Park everyone must pay an entry fee (20,000kip).
From the entry you can walk through a forested area where there are enclosures housing Asian black bears rescued from poachers.
At the very bottom of the falls there are several blue pools of water and small cascades (3-5 metres high); some of the falls are multi-tiered. Most of the pools are open for swimming (one is closed as being a sacred site) though the water is a bit cold because this area is shaded by big trees. This makes the falls a popular cool-off place among locals and tourists alike during the hot season.
There are small wooden huts to change in. Picnic benches are also available all around the park. The whole park area is shaded and cool that makes it perfect for a relaxing family outing and picnic. Sitting under the shade watching children swimming or jumping up and down in the pools can be relaxing and enjoyable. Jumping in the pool yourself can be fun too.
The site is well maintained with walkways and bridges to guide the visitors.
There are also trails to climb to the top of the falls where there are more natural pools for swimming. The trails are steep and can be extremely slippery, especially in rainy season…so you’ll need proper shoes to climb to the top, but the climb is well worth the effort. However it not suitable for unfit people or small children. Don’t forget to take a bottle of water with you; I’m sure you’ll need it.
If you climb up to the top at the left hand side (of the entrance) trails you’ll arrive at a huge and very impressive pool and its source. At the top you actually cross the top of the falls and this is a great place to get a good view down.
If you want to recharge your energy after exhausting yourself exploring the trails or swimming, there are many stalls selling food and drinks near the picnic area at the entrance to the falls.