Kuang Si Falls is easily the number 1 attraction in Luang Prabang.
Chances are you saw the this amazing Laos waterfall on Instagram – even before you planned your trip to Laos.
Kuang Si Falls
This famous Luang Prabang Waterfall gets its incredible blue water thanks to the high naturally occurring calcium content in the pools.
The calcium leaves the bottom white and water which flows from nearby mountain ranges is rich in minerals.
The result is the gorgeous turquoise coloured water we are lucky enough to swim in!
If you enjoy hiking and great views – you can hike to the top of the waterfall for lovely views of the nearby mountains.
Unfortunately, you can’t really see the pools cascading down from that vantage point.
Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to swim because these stunning Laos pools are great for relaxing in.
The water is a bit cold but you can enjoy a free fish spa – the fish love to nibble the dead skin on your feet (it doesn’t hurt)!
Tips to get the best Kuang Si Falls Instagram photos
- The best time to visit Kuang Si Falls is early in the morning before 10am or after 4pm to avoid the crowds. Opening hours are from 8am – 5:30pm. The entrance fee is 20,000 kip (cash only).
- There are 3 – 4 falls within a couple of minutes’ walk. Crowds tend to form at the pool with the rope swing – beat the herd by walking to the next pools which may be completely empty!
- A word of warning – during rainy season in Luang Prabang (from May – October) – Kuang Si Waterfall turns brown after heavy rainfall.
- There are changing rooms if you don’t arrive wearing swimwear.
But Kuang Si is not the only beautiful Luang Prabang Waterfall …
Alternative Waterfalls in Luang Prabang
If you are unlucky enough to visit Kuang Si Falls when the water is brown – as we did on our first trip to Laos – check out Tad Sae falls instead.
It will have the same incredible turquoise blue water and is looking its best after heavy rain.
Don’t visit Tad Sae Falls in the dry season (November – May) as it is likely to be, err, dry.
How to get to Kuang Si Falls
Kuang Si falls is about 45 minutes drive from Luang Prabang. There are lots of options to get to this magnificent Laos waterfall:-
- Rent a scooter (and visit Tad Sae Falls too) – you can usually rent one for 120,000 – 200,000 kip depending on your bartering skills
- Jump on a Tuk Tuk or van – leaving from near the night market (unless arranged through your hotel) expect to pay around 60,000 kip
- Private van – team up with friends or family for a private van. Prices range from 200,000 – 300,000 kip. If you are staying at a good hotel they can arrange a transfer for you.
- Boat – we travelled by boat down the river. It was incredibly scenic and very smooth (though the roads on the way back were better in 2018 than previous years). Grab a boat from the river near Wat Xieng Thong and barter with the operator – or better still for this option – organise a tour including the return transfer.
Bear Rescue Centre Luang Prabang
Entrance to the falls also gives you access to Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre.
Here you can see Asiatic black bears – known as moon bears for their white chest – rescued from the area.
In the future you may also find Red Pandas after 3 were saved after being smuggled from China.
The bears are very playful but you will need to get there in early morning for feeding time to catch them at their most active.
You can support the charity by purchasing free the bear clothing or making a donation.
Do you have a question about visiting Kuang Si Waterfall? Were our Instagram photo tips useful? Let us know in the comments below!
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The trip to Luang Prabang was supported by Mekong Moments however, as always, all opinions are our own.