I think it is fair enough to say that Kuang Si Falls is the major attraction of Luang Prabang. In fact, I was very excited to visit them as they appear to be beyond beautiful. And they are. They are just like the wonderful pictures I saw about them. No disappointment at all.
Luang Prabang to Kuang Si Falls by shared minivan
Kuang Si Falls is a bit far from Luang Prabang, about 30 km, so going by bicycle was not an option. Many people rent a motorbike to go, but I found cheaper going on a shared minivan. You will see many tour operators selling this service. I bought my ticket for 50.000 kips 2 ways. The minivan took approximately 45 minutes to reach Kuang Si falls. There are many minivans departing frequently so they are a good option, the only disadvantage I see on this means of transport is that you have a scheduled hour to come back to town, otherwise, I would spend much longer at Kuang Si.
Also, the shared minivan didn’t depart on time. First, we went from the tour office to a place next to Phousi mountain. Next, we waited and waited until more and more foreigners arrived and the minivan was full so we could depart. I think we spent at least 20 minutes waiting… this part was pretty annoying!
Once we arrive at Kuang Si Falls, the minivan parks and tells us what time we need to be there again so we can go back to town. The place has several restaurants and many souvenir stalls.
There is an entrance fee of 20.000 Kip, which I found cheap. Once inside the complex, we can do whatever we want. The complex is big and the area too. There is a moon bear enclosure inside either. There are places with tables and seats so people can eat and relax just next to the falls. The facilities are great so you can totally spend a day here, bring lunch and some food and enjoy the view. The place is quite crowded at the biggest waterfall, but things get busier after lunch that’s why I visited in the morning.
Kuang Si Falls is just so beautiful!! I could spend all day looking at them and at the clear blue water that has been filtered by the rocks before reaching this place with this amazing blue tones. A walk along the trails just next to the falls is wonderful. I just wished the scenery was extended for longer. It felt short haha.
Exploring further than Kuang Si waterfall
The Kuang Si waterfall itself is not that impressive but all the landscape around is. I decided to go further and hike to the very top of the waterfall. If the place next to the waterfall is crowded, you just need to go a bit higher to be almost alone. Seems like not many people dare to go further than the Kuang Si Fall. I followed a trek on maps.me that leads to a spot marked as a swimming place. Here I only saw two other people. This place marked as a swimming hole on maps.me is beautiful! The water is clear, nature around seems very pure, and there are only the sounds of birds and insects around me. I feel like nobody is coming here but this place is truly beautiful. It is just about 20 minutes distance from Kuang si Fall but without many visitors… It was worth the hike!
As I have been this far, I didn’t have much time to stop and relax during this visit to Kuang Si Falls, that’s why I say you can honestly spend a day here exploring around and not just going where everyone goes. I would love to stay longer but I needed to go back otherwise I would have to spend more money on a ticket back!