Kuang Si Falls: A Complete Guide to The Secret Pool
Yes, get excited because it does exist! We loved Kuang Si Falls but it can be a bit overwhelmed by all the people. Thankfully, there is a secret pool at Kuang Si Waterfall that allows visitors to find some peace at with beautiful views. Sounds pretty good right? Yeah, that’s what we thought.
Get our guide to all things Kuang Si falls below as well as that secret pool we promised you about.
Kuang Si Falls: A Complete Guide to The Secret Pool
Kuang Si Falls Facts
- Entrance Fee | 20,000 Kip per person ($2.50 USD)
- Kuang Si Waterfall Height | 50 meters (164 ft)
- Hours of Operation | 8:00am – 5:30pm daily
- Other Names/Spellings | Kuang Xi or Tat Kuang Si
- Where Is Kuang Si Waterfall | 29 kilometers (18 miles) south of Luang Prabang
How To Get To Kuang Si Waterfall
Depending on your preferred mode of transportation, there are several options on ways to get to the beautiful Kuang Si falls. Regardless what option you choose, you can expect the ride to Kuang Si falls to take about 40 – 45 minutes from Luang Prabang, Laos.
By Scooter / Motorbike
The best way to get to Kuang Si falls, if you are looking to do it independently and at your own leisure, is by renting a scooter or motorbike from a reputable agency in Luang Prabang, or your accommodation.
The price can vary depending who you decide to rent from, but you can anticipate the price being anywhere from $5 USD – $15 USD for the day + gas.
Once at Kuang Si falls, you can expect to pay a 2,000 KIP ($0.25 USD) parking fee.
NOTE: If you have not driven a scooter or motorbike before, please use caution. The roads in Laos are not well maintained. There are numerous tourist motorbike accidents in Asia every year. so if you do decide to rent a motorbike, be sure your travel insurance covers motorbike accidents as well as injuries to yourself.
By Shared Tuk Tuk / Shared Mini-Van
Outside of renting a scooter to get to Kuang Si falls, another popular way of getting to Kuang Si falls is by tuk tuk and/or mini-van. You can share both transportation options with other travelers to get a cheaper rate per person.
Average costs are:
- 60,000 Kip ($7 USD) per person for the shared mini-van
- 200,000 Kip total, 50,000 Kip ($6 USD) per person for a shared tuk-tuk. The 50,000 kip cost is assuming 4 passengers in the tuk-tuk
The main downfall with the shared mini-van option are the set pickup and departure times. You’ll have to be ok operating within these set hours as well as picking people up at the beginning of the day as well as dropping them off at the end of the day.
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By Private Tuk-Tuk / Private Mini-Van
If you’re looking for an option that allows you to control the passengers as well as the time, then a private ride to Kuang Si Falls is what you’ll be wanting. You can anticipate a private tuk-tuk to Kuang Si Falls to be around 200,000 kip ($25 USD) for the day.
Whereas a private mini-van to Kuang Si Falls will put in the range of 250,000 – 260,000 kip ($28 – $30 USD) for the day.
Both of these options allow you the flexibility to leave arrive and leave the falls on your terms to make the most of the day you want.
If you are looking for a unique way to get to Kuang Si Falls, consider a boat tour! A boat tour allows you to cruise down the Mekong River and experience authentic village life that many tourists don’t get to experience.
The boat will get you as close as it can get you to the falls but unable to go all the way, a waiting car will take you the rest of the leg.
A few tours to consider if you are interested in taking a boat to Kuang Si falls are the Full Day Mekong Cruise to Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Waterfalls as well as a Private Day Trip to Kuang Si Waterfall and Pak Ou Cave from Luang Prabang
Now, this is the exception to the 40 – 45-minute ride from Luang Prabang to Kuang Si waterfalls. If you plan on cycling to Kuang Si waterfall, the ride will take you around 2 hours and renting a bicycle will cost you around 20,000 kip ($2.50) a day.
To set expectations up front, the ride is uphill, full of potholes and at times, very dusty. Make sure the bike you rent has the proper tires for the journey and above all, that the bike is in good shape to withstand your 4-hour round trip journey to and from Kuang Si falls.
Best Time To Visit Kuang Si Waterfall
The best time to visit Kuang Si falls is right after the rainy season has finished and when the falls have had time to settle from all the rushing influx of water and debris.
Between December and April, you’ll see the falls at the state everyone wants, rushing blue waters that are perfect for swimming and of course, pictures 🙂
Kuang Si Waterfall rainy season is not only the worst time you can visit Kuang Si falls, but also, dangerous.
During the months of July to October the normal blue beautiful water is a rushing muddy brown mess making hiking around the falls impossible and extremely dangerous.
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What To Wear to Kuang Si Waterfall
Knowing we’d be doing a bit of swimming and hiking around Kuang Si falls, we wanted to come prepared for both types of fun! For us, we brought a day pack that had…
- Appropriate footwear, like strapped sandals with good gripping on the bottom
- Swimming suit
- A towel
- Bug spray
- A change of dry clothes
- Bottled water
Oh, and we should mention that there is food and beverages on site for purchase. So, don’t stress about being hungry or thirsty, there is plenty of substance at the falls!
The Secret Pool of Kuang Si Falls
Getting to The Secret Pool
We’re going to walk you through this step by step to make sure you get to experience the secret pool of Kuang Si Falls. After you’ve paid your entrance fee and after you pass the Bear Sanctuary, you’ll be at the first pool of the waterfall.
Once you’re at this pool, keep walking. You’ll walk your way past the pools and walk your way past the cafe (on your left). You’re essentially going to keep walking until you get to the bridge. From the bridge, and looking at the big waterfall, take the trail to the right.
Now, you really, really need to pay attention and keep your eyes open because you are looking for a small, hidden path.
About halfway up the trail, on your left, there will be a “path” covered by a bit of trees and brush. We’re making this sound really hard but if you are looking for it, you’ll be able to spot it.
Once on the path, you’ll walk for about 5 minutes or so until you come to a fence. Wiggle your way through the fence and BAM, you’re at the secret pool.
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At The Secret Pool of Kuang Si Falls
Once you sneak past the fence, you’ll be surprised at how private the pool is! Literally, no one! We had an entire waterfall and pool all to ourselves!
Now, for full transparency, we will admit (sadly) that our adventure was short lived. After a measly 15 minutes in the pool, we heard several loud whistles and an angry Laotian voice. We look up and there is a “park ranger” signaling us to get out #bummer
We threw on some clothes, gathered are belongings and played the best game of “confused tourist” we could play.
A little bummed about our short-lived accomplishment, we headed back down and decided to spend the rest of our time swimming in one of the “public” pools. Luckily, the late afternoon cleared out a decent number of tourists, so the lower pools became a bit less crowded.
Things To Do at Kuang Si Falls
Visit The Bears at Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre
Just before you reach Kuang Si Falls, you’ll walk past the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre. This bear rescue center focuses specifically on saving the Asian Black Bear.
The gall bladder bile of an Asian Black Bear is a popular ingredient in traditional Asian medicines.
These bears have become a hot commodity on the black market and in some countries like Vietnam and China black bear bile farms are in existence for the sole purpose of harvesting the bile from the bears.
To attempt to put an end to the brutality these Asian Black Bears face, the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre was created by wildlife conversation organization called Free the Bears.
You can learn more about Asian Black Bears and Free the Bears on your visit to Kuang Si Falls.
Hike To The Top of Kuang Si Falls
Looking to take a break from swimming? On either side of the biggest fall of Kuang Si Falls, you’ll find a hiking path. Doesn’t matter which side you go up; you can hike down the other side once at the top. The hike up is steep, so good footwear is required.
You can expect the hike up to take around 20 minutes and the hike down to take a little less. All in all, a 35 – 40-minute round trip hike.
Go For a Swim
The main reason you probably came right?! Yeah, that’s what we thought! There are several pools for you to choose from. Jump in from the ledges or do some laps, take a rest on the edge or get a tan! Whatever tickles your fancy.
If relaxing is on your to do list, several hours in the waters of Kuang Si Falls will be exactly what you need.
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Why is Kuang Si Waterfall Blue
The brilliant blue water of Kuang Si falls is caused by excessive calcium content and light reflecting through the water. A treat for the eyes, thanks nature!
Guided Tours to Kuang Si Falls
If you are interested in a guide tour to Kuang Si falls, check out Viator. Viator is a reputable company that offers tours all of the world and lucky for you, a few to Kuang Si Falls.
Where To Stay in Luang Prabang Laos
For The Budget Conscious: From a pool to shared and private rooms and epic location, Little Freedom Friendlys Place is a a great spot to stay while in Luang Prabang.
For The Luxury Inclined: Maison Dalabua is surrounded by lotus ponds, has amazing Laotian-styled modern rooms and an exceptional staff. It’s impossible to not have an amazing stay while at Maison Dalabua.
For Something In Between: Location, location, location. Mekong Sunset View Hotel is walkable to all of Luang Prabang’s must see attractions. Also, not to mentions the rooms are great and some have balconies that overlook the river.
For more places to stay in Luang Prabang, you can check out the latest places and prices here.
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)