Take a short 29-kilometer drive south from Luang Prabang. Then, you will find yourself at the mesmerizing and visually stunning natural beauty of Kuang Si Falls.
Truly extraordinary of Kuang Si Falls
Take a short 29-kilometer drive south from Luang Prabang. Then, you will find yourself at the mesmerizing and visually stunning natural beauty of Kuang Si Falls. These falls with a vast array of cascades begin in a series of pools on a steep hillside. Also, the pool leads to the largest drop of around 60 meters and into tiered pools before continuing further downstream.
The magic of these falls and what makes them so unique is the color of the water. It is a vivid turquoise blue-green that is simply striking amongst the thick surrounding natural jungle. You can swim in the lower pools, which is the main area.
Moreover, it is a great place to have a picnic surrounding the pools. You can view the main fall from a small wooden bridge above one of the pools from this lower area. The day we visited the falls was one of the most amazing days in all our years of travel experiences. It was simply breathtaking how beautiful these falls were.
We were with a small group of people when we had set up a picnic in the lower pool areas. It was almost like time had stood still, and we were just mesmerized by the natural scenery.
Hike to the top of the waterfall
For the more adventurous traveler, you can access the top of the falls with a 15-minute hike. However, the path is without any railings and can be hazardous with flowing water at certain times of the year. The views are breathtaking and worth the journey for those willing to embark on the hike to the top.
From the top viewpoint, we were able to see the falls below and sweeping views of the surrounding natural countryside. This whole visual feast can be described as being in heaven on earth. The phenomenon that causes the unique color of the falls is the high calcium carbonate content: the falls collect huge deposits of minerals from the surrounding areas, and these minerals congregate in the pools producing the iridescent rich waters.
You are allowed to swim in many of the pools. However, in some of the more sacred and culturally significant pools is prohabited. Most people prefer to take a dip in the refreshing calcium-rich water in the lower pools. During weekends and holidays, many people from Luang Prabang come to the Kuang Si Falls for recreation.
We were well prepared and brought along our swimming costumes, and we were so glad that we did. Laos can be a very warm and tropical destination, and the day we visited Kuang Si was one such day. The waters were so refreshing, and the experience almost felt like a spiritual cleansing.
A wonderful bear sanctuary - Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescued Center
A pleasant stop from the main parking area to the lower-tiered pools is the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Center. This is a project of the Free the Bears organization, an Australian-founded charitable wildlife-protection organization that rescues bears from bile farms in the region.
In 2003, there were 25 rescued bears. Now, there are more than 80 bears living in the center. They have also proudly released rehabilitated wildlife back to the protected forests as part of their work.
The center provides a safe and responsible natural living habitat for these wild bears that were once cruelly and sadly caged. Additionally, they are expanding with new bear houses, wildlife hospitals, cub nurseries, Quarantine House, and Pangolarium preparation for additional rescued and bile farm closures.
Free the Bears also has a sanctuary in Cambodia, where the organization was first established. The Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre has two different bear species: the Asiatic Black Bear (also known as Moon Bear) and the Malayan Sun Bear.
For those wanting an actual exciting bear experience, you can check when the bears are lured into holding areas. The staff can then plant and hide their food throughout the enclosure. They hide food in hollowed trunks, hanging tires, and various bear pay equipment. This mimics exactly how the bears would forage for food in the wild.
We did precisely this, and it made the ultimate day out. The bears are fascinating and to see them so happy and protected was a very heartwarming experience. The Laos project is a delightful addition to a visit to Kuang Si falls and just adds the magical day of visiting this site.
Join us on a trip to reveal the natural beauty and meet the wildlife
The drive to Kuang Si falls is also fascinating and spectacular, just when you thought a natural beauty in Laos could get no better. You will drive through areas of jungle and find the Teak plantations. Teak is indigenous to Burma, India, Thailand, and Laos. Sustainable farming has helped preserve the jungles of Laos and provided a lucrative responsible industry for the local communities.
Khiri Travel Laos offers an excellent half-day tour to Kuang Si Falls. Apart from stopping at Kuang Si Falls and Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescued Center. We also include one at the Living Crafts Centre – a wonderful organization that makes traditional fabrics. You will have the opportunity to meet the weavers that keep this cultural tradition alive.
On the return journey, you will make a stop at the Buffalo Dairy and have a guided tour of the farm and how they work with the local community. Join us on a tour of the Kuang Si Falls and the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre.