There are few places left in the world where you step into what looks and feels like a fairytale realm. Kuang-Si waterfalls in Luang Prabang is one of those places. Clear turquoise water flowing down in never ending eternity pools. Your brain can’t compensate for it’s beauty and an endless “oh my god”, “wow”, “it’s so ….” is all you can manage to say, with the biggest grin over your face. Is it worth the trip? This must be one of those beautiful places overcrowded with visitors. YES, YES, YES a thousand times over, YES. Pictures, videos, stories and articles can’t justify it’s beauty, it can only be experienced. Know when to beat the crowd, get your bathing suit ready and strap on those hiking sandals, because Kuang-Si waits for no one.
One Norwegian, one French and one American girl agrees to meet at 7.30 am Monday morning, to experience this magical place firsthand. We met at Joma café in the middle of Luang Prabang, located right next to my guesthouse. The more the merry, or the more the cheaper is the slogan here in Luang Prabang. We split a tuktuk, paying 200,000 kip for a roundtrip, 5 hour tour. When haggling a tuktuk, you agree on a price and the amount of time you would like to stay at your destination, if it’s a roundtrip. Depending on the driver, some will charge you extra if the wait is long. Gasoline is very expensive and taking a trip in between waits will cost too much. You pay another 20,000 kip in entrance fees, and off you go. Remember to go early as your chances to explore and enjoy will be bigger, than if you come here later in the day. But don’t let that scare you off from coming here, as I’ve said, it’s worth it.
On the way you will pass a bear sanctuary, with bears rescued from those who believe the bear bile will increase male virility and sexual prowess. I mean, we live in the 20th century.. Time to pack up those superstitions (China and Vietnam I’m looking at you). If you want to read more about it, you can read about it here. Warning: it’s very graphic, but informative. It amazes me how someone can hurt these furry creatures. My mind experienced cuteness overload when watching these adorable bears eat with their cute little faces. I just wanted to run up to them and cuddle (which I would never because they are wild, and wild belong in the wild), but you know, that’s just me, crazy right?
After you’ve had your dose of cuteness overload, you walk up another 5 minutes. The moment we heard the distinct sound of water falling down we all started smiling and doing a quiet squeal, like the girls we are. Reaching the waterfall is one of those experiences that’s too hard to explain in words, I’ll let the pictures speak for itself, even though pictures don’t do it any justice. We got to caught up in the beauty of it, wanting to reach that area you see in the pictures, and forgot to actually explore the lower part, which is the first part of the waterfall. As you cross the bridge there is trail you can take that will lead up to the middle part. For some reason there were a no entry sign, by the looks of it a tree had fallen down blocking the way. Like the other visitors passing by trying to warn us, we so cockily ignored, climbed back down to hike up the other trail.
So I’m not lazy, I consider myself quite sporty. But when you travel long term working out becomes less of a priority, there is just a lot more fun stuff to do, then spending time in the gym. The hike up was hot, slippery and I felt like I was going to die. I started with being first, but after 5 minutes I let my fellow travelers surpass me as I was trying to catch my breath. That’s how out of shape I am right now. The hike it self isn’t that bad, but when your body is in hibernation from workout, you will deff break a sweat, unless you are one of those weird people who don’t sweat. I’m looking at you Anadora. 45 minutes later we reached the top with a breathtaking view. Once again my brain couldn’t cope with the stunning view and I was left in awe. The top of the waterfall is worth the hike. While you soak in the view, you can swim around in the many many pools to cool off, enjoy a lao beer or go for a boat ride. Just remember bug repellent because it is the jungle after all, and those pesky little suckers are everywhere. There you have it, now it’s time for me to shut up and let you scroll through my pictures. Enjoy!