Kuang Si Falls: A Must Visit In Luang Prabang, Laos

Visit Kuang Si Falls in Luang Prabang, Laos | Beautiful Waterfalls | Luang Prabang | Laos | Backpack South East Asia | Travel | Backpacking | Must Visit | Do Not Miss | Amazing landscapes | Photography | Backpackers Wanderlust |

Visit Kuang Si Falls, Laos

I had seen numerous photos and video of Kuang Si Falls in Luang Prabang and I knew it was somewhere I wanted to visit when we were in Laos. The beautiful turquoise waters following down the numerous waterfalls seemed like a picture perfect site. Though, thanks to Luang Prabang being such a popular tourist site with not too much to do during the day I knew it was bound to be busy.


How I Book Cheap Transport In Laos: 12Go Asia


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How to get to Kuang Si Falls

There are two main options to get to Kuang Si Falls, either making your own way there on a scooter you have hired or paying a tuk tuk to take you there.

Hiring A Scooter

I only really recommend this option if you are an extremely experienced rider. The roads in Laos are definitely the worse I have seen in South East Asia. Though, there was plenty of roadworks going on while I was visiting so hopefully this will change soon. Be prepared for dirt, crazy drivers and plenty of pot holes between the town center in Luang Prabang and Kuang Si Falls. Parking your motorbike will cost about $0.25.

Hiring A Tuk Tuk/Pickup Truck

The other option, and the one that I used, was to hire a tuk tuk to take you there. The tuk tuks in Laos and basically just pick up trucks which legally can only fit six people in, but drivers will squish in more. If you are in the main square in Luang Prabang, at the top of where the night markets are held it is super easy to find a tuk tuk to take you. Though, it may be a lot harder to find one which will give you a decent price. If you are wanting to save money the drivers will usually round up a group of people to share the cost. They should charge somewhere between $3.50-$6.00. Alternatively, you can hire a private tuk tuk for $20 with some haggling.

After leaving our beautiful hotel, called Phanhthasone Guesthouse, we found a group of people in the middle of the town and a driver who was willing to charge $6 each for a return trip, entry fee and four hours exploring the waterfalls. As there were more drivers wanting to take us to the falls than there were people wanting to visit, so we used this to our advantage to get a decent price.

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The Bear Sanctuary at Kuang Si Falls

After a very bumpy drive to Kuang Si Falls and me trying my hardest to avoid being car sick we finally arrive. The car park is full of tuk tuks and the surrounding buildings full of the drivers. We are directed past the ticketing box and onto the path towards the grounds. Meanwhile our driver stays behind giving money to the ticketing person. They are obviously getting it at a discounted rate.

The path is well trodden up towards the falls and soon we are greeted by a bear enclosure. They are enjoying their days lazing about while another one who happens to be missing an arm itches himself on a log. There is a viewing platform higher up which gives the perfect view over their enclosure. This sanctuary is not funded by the government, rather by an Australian charity. Many of the bears had been rescued from poachers as their bile is used in Chinese medicine. It is well worth supporting their conservation efforts by donating or by purchasing a souvenir tee-shirt during your visit.

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What To Expect At Kuang Si Falls

Lower Pools

The lower pools are where you can swim at Kuang Si Falls. Further up the lower pools you go the less people there will be. There are numerous jumping points from trees and rocks, just make sure to double check the depth to avoid getting injured. There are no lifeguards to help you if something happens. Though, you will know which pools you can jump into as it is well sign written. So please don’t ignore these rules.

The water itself is quite chilly, providing the perfect relief from the hot Laos temperatures. While swimming little fish will come up and started nibbling on your feet. They are like the ones at a fish spas. Can’t complain about a free foot treatment.

Visit Kuang Si Falls in Luang Prabang, Laos | Beautiful Waterfalls | Luang Prabang | Laos | Backpack South East Asia | Travel | Backpacking | Must Visit | Do Not Miss | Amazing landscapes | Photography | Backpackers Wanderlust |

Visit Kuang Si Falls in Luang Prabang, Laos | Beautiful Waterfalls | Luang Prabang | Laos | Backpack South East Asia | Travel | Backpacking | Must Visit | Do Not Miss | Amazing landscapes | Photography | Backpackers Wanderlust |

The Main Waterfall

Further up the path you will find the main waterfall. Trust me it is hard to miss and extremely beautiful. A bridge stretches out front of it over the main pool allowing you to see it from either side. Unfortunately, you are not able to swim in it. Though, I could just imagine how dangerous this would be as the water looked deep with a strong current. The waterfall is three tiers and you can access both the top tier and middle tier aka the secret pool through a very steep hike up through the Laotian jungle.

Visit Kuang Si Falls in Luang Prabang, Laos | Beautiful Waterfalls | Luang Prabang | Laos | Backpack South East Asia | Travel | Backpacking | Must Visit | Do Not Miss | Amazing landscapes | Photography | Backpackers Wanderlust |

Visit Kuang Si Falls in Luang Prabang, Laos | Beautiful Waterfalls | Luang Prabang | Laos | Backpack South East Asia | Travel | Backpacking | Must Visit | Do Not Miss | Amazing landscapes | Photography | Backpackers Wanderlust |

The Secret Pool at Kuang Si Falls

If you continue right along the bridge and into the jungle you will come across a very steep path/climb. We had to take our shoes off  as it was just so slippery to climb up. Though, about half way to the top, there are two options. Continue on the path up or to go left towards the ‘do not enter’ and bamboo fenced off path. To get to the secret pool you need to ignore all warning signs and jump over that. I personally did not do it myself, though you can read Nomadic Matts adventure on exploring the secret pool.

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Hike To The Top

Continuing the hike up the waterfall is not for the faint hearted, especially when it can be so hot. It is extremely steep, the ground is uneven and covered with tree roots. It is easy to tell this climb is a challenge by comparing the amount of people at the top with the massive number of tourists below. Seriously there were maybe ten people at the top while I was visiting!

Unlike the lower pools, at the top the pools are not as bright of gorgeous blue color. This may be due to all the shade up there. Though, there is an awesome view point which looks right over the Laotian jungle.  There is also some swings and to get across you have to balance on bamboo lengths tied together.

To get down continue to follow the path to the other side of the waterfall and you will see a track that descends. Just like the walk up the walk down is equally as difficult. I may have fallen over a few times. Remember to watch your footing!

Visit Kuang Si Falls in Luang Prabang, Laos | Beautiful Waterfalls | Luang Prabang | Laos | Backpack South East Asia | Travel | Backpacking | Must Visit | Do Not Miss | Amazing landscapes | Photography | Backpackers Wanderlust |

Visit Kuang Si Falls in Luang Prabang, Laos | Beautiful Waterfalls | Luang Prabang | Laos | Backpack South East Asia | Travel | Backpacking | Must Visit | Do Not Miss | Amazing landscapes | Photography | Backpackers Wanderlust |

Dining At Kuang Si Falls

By the time you have finished swimming, climbing and playing at Kuang Si Falls no doubt you will be hungry or at least thirsty! In the parking lot there are so many eatery options and plenty of juice stalls to keep you going. Though, I was certainly not brave enough to try the fish pictured!

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Important Details

The entry fee into Kuang Si Falls is $2.50.

It is located 29 kilometeres south of Luang Prabang

Open every day from 8am until 5.30pm


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    Your typical New Zealander, now discovering the world one country at a time. With a high-end backpacking style I prefer to glampack across the globe by embracing the best of each destination. All of which I share right here on Backpackers Wanderlust. 

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  • 68 Responses

    1. Although I haven’t been to this part of Asia yet, your photos of the waterfalls really do inspire me to make it a priority. How can there be this much beauty in one place? Also, I’d love to do the hike to the top and try all the local eats. Southeast Asia eats make me so hungry when I watch Anthony Bourdain traveling around and read blog posts.

    2. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. These are the most beautiful falls I’ve ever been to and I’ve traveled the world. I still can’t believe this place is real.

    3. You’re photos are so beautiful! This reminds me a bit of Plitvice, but more calm and secluded. That dinner at the end looks really yummy too. What an awesome adventure.

    4. Wow, gorgeous photos ! Love hearing about new places like this. The water color is unreal.You probably had to reach out and touch the pools of water to even believe they were real, let alone a naturally-formed gift from nature 🙂

    5. Wow!! This is amazing! These photos are all to die for! I am so blown away!! I am glad that you shared this, I have officially added it to my list of places that I have to see this year!!!

    6. Great post! The photos are absolutely stunning. I never made it here when I was in Laos ten years ago but this post is totally making me want to go back!

    7. I love Kuang Si Falls – it’s such a beautiful place, you’ve captured the ethereal magic perfectly! I actually took a completely different option of hiking for 3 hours through the jungle and fields, visited the cave and spring waters until reaching the top of the secret pool that way! Totally agree about watching your footing too, the swim is welcome after being covered in mud!

      1. Wow! I did not know this was an option. Sounds amazing! Did you do it with a tour company or by yourself?

        1. Sort of both! We were accompanied by a local who helped us out and came with us who was from our hostel in Luang Prabang – couldn’t have done it without him as the route through the jungle is unmarked of course!

      1. Thanks, I shoot on my Nikon d3200 (super cheap DSLR), and on this adventure I just brought along the kit 18-55mm lens. I use photoshop to edit my photos with a few different presets depending on the vibe I want my photos to give off

    8. I absolutely love the way you are editing your pictures they all tie so well together. It looks like an amazing destination.

    9. This looks amazing, and stunning photos!! So adding it to my list of things to do when we’re in Laos next year, and booking marking this for all the great tips when we do! 🙂

    10. aww I have always wanted to consider laos as a travel destination especially because i live in SEA and your photos definitely sealed the deal for me! one more reason to go! <3

    11. OK fine I will definitely have to do my own region again next year after ranging further afield in recent years.

    12. The waterfalls are stunning, especially the main waterfall. Such a shame you can’t swim there! Your photos really capture all the beauty.

    13. Wow. These falls are stunning! That colour is unreal. I’d love to go to Laos to see them. Those photos of the bears are heartbreaking though 🙁

      1. The falls are amazing. The bears are well looked after and have been rescued. Unfortunately they would not survive in the wild though which is why they live here.

    14. Oh my! If there’s something I love more than anything when travelling it’s waterfalls and hikes! Your pictures are everything! Get me to Laos now!!

    15. Every time I see a picture of Kuang Si Falls I just have to laugh! When I visited I had images of this beautiful waterfall, but it was absolutely flooded. Like the tables around the falls were under water and most of the trails were shutdown for safety reasons. So, I love experiencing it through your photos!

      1. Oh wow really! Guessing you visited in the wet season then? I visited in February and it was full of tourists! Like the Chinese tourist buses, though they only seemed to be at the lower pools, and the higher up you went the quieter it got, thank goodness.

    16. Laos is somewhere which I am desperate to go to one day – I’ve been to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand but didn’t get there on that trip. This has reinforced it all the more – it looks stunningly beautiful, really interesting and your waterfall photos are amazing!

      1. Oh you will defiantly have to! Its actually one of my favorites, I only spent 8 days in the country, and I need to go back and do more!

    17. Never been to Laos but this just adds another reason to visit. Will definitely rent a scooter and try to find the secret falls! Also I’ve been to a bunch of animal sanctuaries in SE Asia but people have told me to not actually go and support them… I wonder if it’s the same one for the bear one hmm. Your pictures are absolutely STUNNING the water looks so so smooth!

      1. Yeah if I go back I will definitely scooter, though when I was there I was not a confident driver so decided to tuk tuk. Yeah that bears are all rescued from the bear bile trade. I usually feel a bit iffy about zoos and ‘sanctuarys’ in asia, though this one was different. The enclosure is HUGE and the bears were all a little special eg the one missing an arm, they wouldn’t be able to survive in the wild

    18. Stunning photos absolutely amazing the place looks totally unworldly. Love the fact that the Bear Sanctuary is a charity since I have heard so much about the bear poaching industry.

      1. Yeah totally and I probably didnt do a good job in showing it in my photos, but the enclosure is HUGE

    19. This looks amazing and your photographs are beautiful! I’ll definitely be checking Kuang Falls out next time I’m in Lao.

    20. Your photos are stunning! I enjoyed my visit to Kuang Si Falls but definitely enjoyed reliving my experience through these photos!

    21. Kuang Si Falls is literally the only place I know in Laos, but I’ve often read that it’s a beautiful country. 🙂

    22. wow these pictures are beautiful! anywhere with a hike and waterfall is on my list of places to visit, so now I guess I’ll need to add Laos. Looks great!

      1. The long exposure shots were hard to take without a tripod so appreciate your comment <3 Totally put it on your bucketlist!

    23. I love the slow exposure of your photos!!! It’s absolutely stunning and shows off the beauty in this little piece of the planet!

    24. Oh my gosh this looks so unreal, how beautiful! Laos hasn’t really been on my radar before, but I need to see these places in person.

    25. Another way to get to the falls is by minivan. Our hotel arranged it for us and for two of us it cost $13.50 (USD). We had a great time there and also made the incredibly difficult, treacherous climb to the top! You captured the scene up there so well.

      1. Oh thats a good idea as well. I did like the travel agencies advertising that. That climb is horrible isnt it!?

    26. I’ve never been to Laos before, but your photos from your trip look amazing! The waterfalls look so magical, and I love that they also have a bear sanctuary. Thank you so much for sharing your experience – I definitely need to visit Laos!

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