Going Bear at a Turquoise Waterfall in Luang Prabang

November 23, 2011 by | Filed Under: Laos, News, Responsible Tourism


The spectacular Kuangsi waterfalls outside of Luang Prabang are a must-see when visiting this part of Laos. The multi-tiered waterfall cascades off the limestone rocks, giving the water a picturesque turquoise blue hue. The series of cascades and pools that flow from the waterfall make for some great swimming opportunities, rope swings and jumps included.

Kuangsi Park is also home to the Free the Bears Sanctuary – a safe zone for a handful of sun bears that have been rescued from traders in the region. The large bear compound, complete with bear hammocks, information displays and viewing platforms, brings children and adults up close to these fascinating animals.

Building upon these natural wonders, Khiri Travel Laos is developing a great new day tour specifically aimed at families with children aged eight and up. Starting the day, you will first of all visit a local market, where your guide will introduce you to local delicacies and specialties, before purchasing the ingredients for your lunch.

From here you head up to Kuangsi, stopping in the local village below the falls. We walk through the village, before arriving at Ms Vandara’s family home, a dwelling perched on the edge of the stream that flows down from Kuangsi. A veranda overlooking the water’s edge allows parents a great spot from which to watch their children playing in the stream at their feet. Local children love to play in this spot as well. The setting provides a great opportunity for children form different cultures to get to know each other.

And guess what? Ms Vandara is a great cook. With her help you will prepare your own lunch, Lao style. Children can learn how to create their favourite fruit juices. Or if feeling more adventurous, they can help with the main meal created from the ingredients you collected from the market in the morning. Depending on the season we may also pick some herbs and vegetables from Ms Vandara’s garden. As parents, you can be as involved with the cooking experience as much as you would like, from using it as a cooking class, to ignoring it completely and relaxing on the veranda overlooking the water. Your level of involvement is flexible so you can adapt to your children’s needs.

After lunch, we take a short walk through the local temple, and up to the waterfalls where you are free to explore this protected area. Take your children on a short trek to the top of the falls, watch the bears, and spend the afternoon swimming. Whenever you are tired, the guide and minibus will be waiting to take you back to your hotel.

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