For those of you who follow us on Instagram (@Alexandra_Carson and @Michael_J_Gallagher), you have likely seen us both post a number of photos from our trip to Kuang Si Falls just outside of Luang Prabang, Laos. This natural oasis is a must for anyone traveling through Laos, and might even be a must for anyone in Southeast Asia. Laos is small, and Luang Prabang is even smaller. “Modern” isn’t really a thing in Luang Prabang, so be patient. This blog will provide you solid tips on how to get to Kuang Si Falls in Laos.
Our time in Laos was short, however, we felt it was adequate. the entire reason we went to Laos was to take a trip to Kuang Si Falls. Travelers arriving from other regional areas such as Thailand, Vietnam, etc. will arrive at the small airport in Luang Prabang. From here, you’ll likely want to head to your hotel and check-in.
Communication was a challenge for us. Most people in Luang Prabang do not speak English. However, most of them (especially those at the nicer hotels) know about the Kuang Si Falls. If you can communicate well enough, let your concierge know that you would like to book a taxi to visit the falls.
We are not huge fans of large tour groups and generally tend to opt for the private option when possible. As such, we opted to have our hotel concierge arrange a private taxi for our trip to the falls. Our driver agreed to drive us to the falls, wait for 3 hours, and then drive us back (all in all, about 4 hours) for $50. We thought this was a great deal for everyone involved. $50 for him was a great rate, and $50 for us is merely a 30-minute Uber in LA.
For those of you who care less about privacy and don’t mind a tour group, talk to your hotel about arranging a tour, or speak with one of the companies in town/at the airport.
From the center of Luang Prabang, Kuang Si Falls is about a 45-minute drive. We departed from our hotel in our taxi and arrived right at the 45-minute mark even with a quick stop added for water.
Exploring the falls was easier than we anticipated. Although we had a bit of rain, we were able to explore the lower and upper falls with ease. You’ll arrive at the first falls just a few minutes after walking through the nature park (where you’ll see a number of bears….yes, bears!). The lower pool and falls provide a great swimming opportunity. Watch out though, the little fish tend to nibble. It won’t hurt, but it might catch you off guard.
Be sure to walk all the way back to the large water fall to get the full experience. An hour should be a sufficient amount of time to explore, although, if you plan to climb atop the main waterfall, be sure to allow more time. Should you choose to climb to the top of these falls, do yourself a favor and do a bit more research. We opted not to as it was raining and slipping was a huge concern as we only had running shoes.