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Explore the stunning turquoise waters of Kuang Si waterfall in Laos

Explore the stunning turquoise waters of Kuang Si waterfall in Laos

Table Contents
  • 1. Where is Kuang Si waterfall located?
  • 2. The Legend of Kuang Si
  • 3. The beauty of Kuang Si Luang Prabang
  • 4. The Kuang Si Waterfall Trek 
  • 5. The Best Time to Visit Kuang Si Waterfalls
  • 6. How to get from Luang Prabang to Kuang Si waterfalls

Nestled amidst the lush landscapes of Laos lies a natural wonder that beckons adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike: the breathtaking Kuang Si waterfall. Cascading gracefully over tiers of limestone formations, these mesmerizing falls boast waters of an exquisite turquoise hue.

1. Where is Kuang Si waterfall located?

The Kuang Si waterfalls are situated near the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang in Laos. Luang Prabang, a charming city positioned on a peninsula along the Mekong River, comprises 58 adjacent villages. Renowned for its meticulously preserved French colonial architecture and a plethora of stunning temples lining its streets, Luang Prabang is a popular destination in Southeast Asia. The Kuang Si Falls are approximately 28 kilometers away from the center of Luang Prabang, near the night market.

The beauty of Kuang Si waterfall
The beauty of Kuang Si waterfall

These waterfalls are a highlight of many tourists' itineraries when visiting Luang Prabang. Visitors can ascend the falls via a trail to the left of the cascades. Below, the water forms a mesmerizing turquoise pool, with multiple tiers of cascades and pools intertwining in a breathtaking display.

2. The Legend of Kuang Si

According to legend, Kuang Si waterfall originated when an elderly sage dug deep into the earth, revealing the waters of the Nam Si. As the water cascaded, it formed the majestic falls, and soon after, a golden deer sought refuge beneath a large rock protruding from the waterfall.

The resonance of the water striking the rock produced a captivating echo that began to draw people from around the globe. The name "Kuang Si Tat" stems from this tale: "Tat" signifies "waterfall" in Lao, "Kuang" translates to "deer," and "Si" denotes "to dig."

Unfortunately, the significant rock is no longer visible today, having fallen during an earthquake many years ago.

The place you should to explore in Luang Prabang Laos
The place you should to explore in Luang Prabang Laos

3. The beauty of Kuang Si Luang Prabang

The main attraction of Kuang Si waterfall lies not only in its captivating beauty but also in the opportunity to immerse oneself in its layers of vivid turquoise pools. However, it's essential to be aware of the designated swimming areas and to steer clear of any zones marked off-limits, as they hold sacred significance for the local community.

The waterfalls with clear blue water
The waterfalls with clear blue water

It's worth noting that the water doesn't maintain its stunning turquoise hue throughout the year. During the monsoon season, the powerful streams and thundering rapids often turn the water a muddy brown color.

Similarly, there's a spot known as the "secret pool of Kuang Si waterfall," which is also popular among the travel community. Exploring this hidden gem requires guidance from locals to avoid inadvertently trespassing into restricted areas associated with spiritual and cultural beliefs of the waterfall's residents.

Most visitors gather around the pools below and the picnic areas, or venture onto the charming wooden bridges for picturesque photo opportunities. Following the trail to the left of the wooden staircases, it takes about 15 minutes to reach the top of the waterfall, with caution advised at sections where the waterfall flows over.

Nevertheless, the rewards of conquering the summit of Kuang Si Falls are well worth the challenge. On clear days, you'll be treated to panoramic views of Laos' stunning rural landscapes. While the crowds bustle below, atop the falls, there's nothing but the serene trickle of water and a few tranquil pools, surrounded by lush forests with winding roots and a designated picnic area for relaxation.

4. The Kuang Si Waterfall Trek 

This tour offers walking trails on both the left and right sides of the main waterfall. If you're a brisk hiker, you can complete a circuit around the waterfall in about half an hour, but it's recommended to take your time to pause at various viewpoints and appreciate the surrounding landscapes.

Upon reaching the top of the waterfall, you'll discover a charming resting area and additional picturesque swimming pools accessible via wooden footbridges. A swing positioned above the water adds to the recreational opportunities, and this area serves as the departure point for a wooden raft excursion to the waterfall's source.

While the source itself may not be particularly remarkable, the overall scenery is so captivating and tranquil that the nominal fee of 10,000 kips for a half-hour ride upstream is well worth it.