Less than an hour from Sofitel Luang Prabang and situated inside a national park is one of Luang Prabang’s most stunning landscapes. A thirty kilometer drive from Luang Prabang brings you to the shallow azure pools and cascading tiers of Kuang Si Falls. This 50-metre cascading waterfall drops into three tiers of turquoise pools with an otherworldly hue before continuing on downstream. The pools make excellent swimming holes and are surrounded by lush tropical jungle. The pools have cascades up to 5 metres high, with trails leading to the top of Kuang Si Falls that take you to where you can see the stream feeding into the falls, and from here you can even stand inside the waterfall. For the most epic view of them all, this one from the very top is the one. There are also rope swings and a tree you can jump into the pools from.
For those who aren’t into getting their feet wet, the verdant green forest surrounding the aquamarine pools offers plenty of cool shade for perfect picnics or wistful reflection. The series of gorgeous cascades and emerald green waters rushing through stepped falls makes this place a unanimous favorite for both Sofitel Luang Prabang guests and locals alike.
In the dry season the water at Kuang Si Falls takes on a bluish hue, owing to the presence of minerals like copper. In the wet season the water is a deep green color and you can hear the sound of the waterfalls long before you get there. You can change into your swimwear and back into your dry clothes at wooden huts close to the Kuang Si Falls entrance before the trip back to Luang Prabang.
Bear Rescue Center
Located nearby is the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Center, which began in 2003. The bears at Tat Kuang Si have plenty to be happy about, since they were all rescued from poachers looking to harvest their body parts. The Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Center caters specifically to the Asian black bear, whose bile from the bear’s gall bladder is a common component in traditional Chinese medicine. Now safe, the bears at the rescue center lead a fulfilling life in the open enclosures that provide enough space and stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.
2014 saw completion of a Bear Discovery Trail to educate the 200,000+ tourists who pass the Bear Rescue Center on their way to visit the famous Kuang Si Falls. Additionally, the first bear house opened at Luang Prabang Wildlife Sanctuary in 2017, as well as facilities for other rescued and endangered wildlife, including macaques, leopard cats, tortoises, birds, civets, and even red pandas intercepted after being smuggled from China into Laos.
How to get There
Tuk tuks from Luang Prabang run about 60.000 kip/person, or Sofitel Luang Prabang can arrange a van for about 250.000 kip/group. The journey takes approximately 45 minutes.
Open daily 08:00am – 17:30pm
Tickets: 20.000k/person (children under the age of 12 get in for free).