No matter how much time you have in Laos, no matter how packed your travel itinerary becomes.. you MUST make time to go to Kuang Si Waterfalls. This was one of the most idyllic spots we ventured through during our entire Asian excursion.
When you arrive in Luang Prabang all tuk-tuk drivers are going to offer you a ride to this wondrous sight. We were slightly hesitant initially because we thought Kuang Si was just going to be an oversold tourist trap.
In the end we decided to take a scooter up to Kuang Si ourselves. This gave us the freedom to stop and stay as long we wanted. The drive alone is absolutely thrilling. Every part of the way takes you through a journey of endless green landscapes.
Kuang Si Waterfalls is not a tourist trap, it is a sanctuary. This protected and preserved area is much more than a couple of overflowing pools. It is a place where flora and fauna, trees and animals are left in their natural habitat.
One of the most amazing parts of Kuang Si Waterfalls is the bear refuge that they have at the entrance of the park. Your entrance to the bear sanctuary is included in your park entry fees.
These bears were rescued from illegal poachers in China and brought to safety back in Laos. In many parts of China they believe that bile from a bear cures cancer. Although this could not be further from the truth, these bears are kept in tiny cages and used and used until they are considered useless.. and then they’re murdered.
It leaves a harrowing and somber feeling in the air but to see what the volunteers are doing to give these bears a better life is simply amazing. Not only can you donate to the cause #savethebears, you can also buy t-shirts or hats to take back home with you.
Pass the adorable bears lounging and playing with one another and you will immediately walk up towards the lower basin pools. These pools are filled with water that appears foamy and green, almost unreal. The water turns this color due to the deposits from the Earth that it runs over.
We decided to hike around and we got lost (don’t we always) but it was absolutely beautiful. Roaming around the Laos jungle, gazing at gorgeous butterflies and looking out for spiders the size of our hands. It was breathtaking.
Once we finally got to the top we could not believe how enchanted this place was. In the middle of this jungle travelers were swimming, spending time with their families and relaxing under the leafy trees. The water was so cold, fresh out of the Earth but this did not stop us from going for a swim.
We swam through the jungle and we’re not gonna lie, we got bruised and banged up from the jungle floor. We let our legs hang off the top of the waterfall (not for the faint of heart) and enjoyed the unbelievable magic that surrounds this place.
Pack a picnic, go on a hike, go for a swim, talk, relax… do whatever you need to do to forget the rest of the world and just enjoy the present. Feel the cool water rush through your fingers, close your eyes and listen to the water as it goes crushing down the mountain and embrace every second.
“Beautiful things don’t ask for attention”
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