A pretty picture that opens up into a majestic sight – Kuang Si is the must-see of Luang Prabang
Photos and text by Pamela Chow
Photo: Jaclynn Seah / The Occasional Traveller
If there was only one thing you could do when you’re in Luang Prabang – say, if you didn’t have time to try out its smashing French pastries and coffee – be sure to carve time out for Kuang Si Waterfall.
Walk through the forested trail past Free the Bears reservation, and you’ll realise that the air is growing cooler. The sound of gushing water trickles through the trees, and before you know it, you’re greeted by an amazing sight: The bottom of the falls.
But don’t stay here too long; there’s plenty more where that came from.
Climb up and you’ll see an inviting bright blue pool. Go on, take a dip. The water’s chilly, but swim to work up a sweat and your body will get used to it. The water is deep in the middle, but shallows out into a rocky bed near the fall. If you dare, climb up the rocks to enjoy the feeling of the springwater pounding down on your shoulders.
After you’re done soaking, be sure to keep climbing up for different views of the waterfall. At the top, a majestic sight opens up:
Visiting Luang Prabang in November on SilkAir’s inaugural flight to Laos, we got lucky. The falls glowed a light blue, instead of brown and murky during Laos’ rainy season from May to October. November to April marks its dry season.
It may be set in the hills, but this natural wonder is easy to get to. “Kuang Si Waterfall?” is a call tossed around the streets from early in the morning by eager tuk-tuk drivers, who will take you up to the falls, drop you off and wait for you there until you’re done dipping.
Kuang Si Waterfall, Luang Prabang, Laos.