The untainted, clear, turquoise waters of Kuang Si falls are captivating. On par with an alpine lake, the water is colder than you would expect. On a hot day, it would be refreshing, but we waded in on a cold December afternoon. It’s easy to get lost in the many pools and nooks of the falls along the jungle path, offering enough seclusion even in a throng of tourists.
Getting to Kuang Si Falls
The three main ways to get to the falls from Luang Probang are by van, tuk-tuk, or motorbike. Renting a motorbike is convenient, but also dangerous, specifically in Luang Prabang. The city has a history of scamming, and the roads are riddled with potholes and wild drivers. In fact, the overall road system is pretty bad, and the way to the falls is no different. From the city, it takes about 50 minutes by bus and an hour or so by tuk-tuk. On a motorbike, I assume it would take even longer because of the poor roads and local drivers. I recommend paying to have a van or tuk-tuk drop you off.
We paid a van to take us to Kuang Si, however, the advantage of taking a bike or private tuk-tuk driver is that you can come and go on your own timeline. When we went, the falls were packed and the weather was. It was definitely beautiful and explore, but not a good day to set up shop to swim and picnic. Even though we were ready to go after an hour and a half, our van didn’t come back for another two hours. So we paid a tuk-tuk driver to take us back early.
Kuang Si Falls Price
The cost of a van roundtrip is 100,000 kip (50,000 kip per person) or 6 US dollars per person. The tourist vans go between all the hotels picking up foreign guests. You can ask your guesthouse where you are staying and they will sign you up for the van. You can pay the hotel normally and the communication with the driver about this. Or, if you want, you can rent a motorbike for the day for around 20,000
Moon bears & forest nature
The path to get to the falls is well marked and begins with a quaint Moon bears sanctuary. Moon bears are smaller than most other bears and can been seen lazily laying on their platforms. While they don’t do much, they are adorable and worth taking a pause on the way of the falls. You can watch them from either the side of their main sanctuary or an enclosed room with glass paneling. Along the path cutting through the lush green forest, there are plenty of benches and tables available making it a great place to spend the day. The real blessing is changing rooms and free bathrooms (very rare in SE Asia). They even provide toilet paper!
Don’t worry about packing lunch on your trip to Kuang Si falls. Even though you take an hour-long trip into the jungle, there is no shortage of street food and restaurants. The local snacks include fruit, chips, salted fish, squid, and much more. For those less inclined to salted fish, there was also a pizza place. The village also has local artisan products, such as baskets, hats, clothes and other souvenirs.