Kuang Si Falls (Laos)

You know, you teach. You do not know, you learn..”
– Laotian Proverb

Laos is the most heavily bombed country in the history of the world. From 1964 to 1973, the United States dropped more than two million tons of ordnance on Laos to disrupt the Ho Chi Minh Trail and try to stanch a Communist insurgency—more than was dropped on all of Germany and Japan during World War II.

None of this was foremost in my mind while I was dipping around the pools at Kuang Si Falls.

I don’t really have much to say about the falls except they are really beautiful and totally worth the trip, even WITH all the tourists that will inevitably be there. It’s weird that not more pops into my mind, I’ve had these falls on my bucket list for years because I kept seeing these stunning pictures online… But it really is just a great place to visit some beautiful waterfalls and have a swim.

I got a minivan from my hotel, they pick up a bunch of people and set off when we’re all aboard. The falls are about 30 km south of Luang Prabang and the trip is relatively comfortable with good roads a lot of the way there. You have to pay a fee to enter, paid to your driver at some point on the way there (20.000 kip // 2,5 US Dollars) and this is spent maintaining the path and wooden bridges you walk up towards the falls from the parking lot. On the way there you pass by a bear sanctuary too, some enclosures with really lazy bears sunbathing and sleeping.

The falls themselves are easily accessible, just grab your swimwear (or wear it under your clothes like I did) and jump in. Though, don’t jump in too close to the edge, the bottom is riddled with rocks and can be quite uncomfortable to navigate. There is, however, a thick log/branch sticking out that you can use as a location for jumping in if this is your fancy. I was happy to just swim around and enjoy…

Tiny fishies will nibble on you, don’t freak out. Someone should’ve told me that. Just sayin’…

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