Kuang Si Waterfall: a five-star natural wonder

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I’m not going to get all wordy about this. The photos will speak for themselves. But simply put, the Kuang Si Waterfall is one of the most beautiful natural wonders I’ve ever seen. It could not be a more amazing place even if Disney had constructed it—it would just have water slides. But who needs ’em! And that’s the second time I’ve made a Disney reference lately, isn’t it? Both have been in reference to this place, Laos.

I rented a motorbike in town and took the 30km ride myself through a number of villages along the way. I arrived by 10:30. There is a varied but not excessively commercial area at the entrance. The entrance fee is 20,000kip ($2.50). It’s a short walk meandering upstream from there.

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DSC01249  Why is Kuang Si Falls so amazing? Because of it’s color, its accessibility, because it is not ruined by its fame, because of its size, multiple levels and gorgeous lush setting.

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There were very few people there at that time I arrived, but by 1pm it was crowded with tourists from everywhere and many local people as well. Maybe not so much for a Sunday, but I could never have taken these photos if I had waited until the afternoon. Needless to say, this is THE venue for the go-pro, the selfie-stick and the glam pose.

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The major falls are a series of steps maybe 150 meters high, dropping to a large pool below. From there the waters spread and drop into 6 more levels, each large enough to wade and swim, deep enough to jump and big enough to just soak in your own little corner.

DSC01261 The water is a little bracing, but not cold. The shaded areas surrounding the pools give respite from any hot day. The banks are packed dirt and roots, but not rocky or slippery. There are adequate tables, sitting areas and changing rooms. There is a very picturesque (and pricey) café near the top.

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The big falls

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The fall guy.

And as a bonus, there’s a new elephant sanctuary (free unless you want a ride) on the way. Hardly anyone there. I stopped for a feeding. Magnificent!

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Boy, those went fast!

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