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With its golden temples, grand palaces, street food markets and the sight of red-robed monks rising early for alms, visitors to Laos often count the magical UNESCO town of Luang Prabang as a highlight of their visit. But glorious nature awaits only a 50-minute tuk-tuk tide from the town at the Kuang Si Falls.
Is it really worth spending a few hours away from enchanting Luang Prabang? Here are five reasons that might just sway your decision.
Laos can get hot, really hot. The aquamarine pool at the base of the waterfalls are perfect for cooling off in. The best times to swim are between January and May (but still pack your swimmers just in case) – the calm waters can transform into muddy rapids during the rainy season.
Note that one of the pools is a designated sacred site, so avoid taking a dip there!
The waterfalls are surrounded by lush foliage; take some sensible shoes and wend 60m up through shaded thickets. The path to the left of the waterfall avoids some of the slippier steps; climb the steep trail to the top of the waterfall for vast views over the surrounding countryside.
3. Wildlife and bear sanctuary
You’ll pass a bear sanctuary on your way in; head to the viewing platform to see these endangered animals (rescued from poachers and traffickers), playing and relaxing in the sun. There is also a butterfly park here and plenty of flora and fauna to spot in the area.
4. Delicious food
Lots of food stalls await just outside the site with fresh fruit, grilled fish, and baguettes on offer, as well as small markets selling trinkets and souvenirs.
5. Photograph fodder
Whether you’re a photography aficionado or you just want a few snaps for your holiday album, Kuang Si is incredibly picturesque. Just be sure not to drop your camera in!
Incorporate a trip to Kuang Si Falls into any of our Fully Tailored Journeys to Laos.