Kuang Si Falls:
I had been hearing about this waterfalls from my friends Jo and Tony since I was in Chiang Mai. Also, later on from other travellers, and online research thus I was keen to experience them.
There are many day tours that involve trekking, cycling or kayaking, however, as I am lone traveller sometimes is difficult to join such activities usually require minimum two people. On this occasion, I could not find a trek group which I the activity I wanted to do, despite leaving a cash deposit behind or checking into every single Luang Prabang travel agency!
As I did not want to pay the premium for travelling alone, the travel agency offered me the transport option only from Luang Prabang. The cost for round trip shared minivan was 40000 kip (£3.80 COP14000), what a great price. All set up then.
Kuang Si Falls also known as Kuang Xi or Tat Kuang Si, is located about 30 Kms south of Luang Prabang. Laos may be a non-coastal nation but then it has Kuang Si’s super cool turquoise crystal waterfalls !!! which make up for it hugely. This turned out to be not just another waterfall, this is a well worth visit where a swim in these fairy-tale like waters encapsulated me in the reflection and beauty of nature.
I was collected at my guesthouse at 11 am, the minivan was already full, so about 8 people shared the trip with me, including the lovely Hitomi, from Japan (which I then bumped into again in my flight to Hanoi! life and its surprises.😊
It took us 45 minutes to arrive. The minivan was good, clean and luckily air-conditioned!
As we arrived at the entrance, our driver informed us that we had three hours for the visit and indicated us the meeting point and exact time for our return to town.
It turned out to be the right length of time for the visit. There is a small market at the entrance and plenty of places to grab decent Laos food.
Entrance fee is 20,000 kip (£1.90, COP7000). As I entered, I found vendors selling snacks, fruits and drinks, a grabbed a bag of fresh mango cost me 10000 kip. Once I entered I found an easy and beautiful trail to follow the visit. The weather was distinctly cooler which was great from me, as I managed to escape from the Asian heat at last.
First thing, the bear sanctuary, which was well worth visiting too. This Bear Centre had a mission of rescuing bears from hunters, wildlife traders and bile farmers
Sadly, the bear spleen is used in old old-style Asian medicine.
I was told that the methods used to produce these medicines are tremendously painful for the bears.
All the bears rescued in this centre are Asiatic black bears and are now lucky to call this place its home. The bears all seems happy and playful and they all look so cute during their strange snoozing positions! Donations are welcome. More info check http://www.freethebears.org/
The trail allowed me to climb up to the top, passing through captivating trees and witnessing the three-tier cascades and many natural pools.
There are tables and shelters at the lower level pools.
I saw many locals and tourist enjoying picnics there. Some of the pools are considered sacred so it is not allowed to swim in them, but many others make great swimming holes with up to five meters cascades, where I managed to enjoy a refreshing swim along the way.
Once inside the pool, many tiny fish were constantly trying to munch on my feet! weird tickle feeling a must say.
There is also a restaurant before reaching the last level, where it is possible to enjoy a tasty local lunch.
I then reached the top level, which is the biggest, with a 50-metre drop into a spectacular azure pool before flowing downstream, undoubtedly a truly fantastic view.
I was absolutely delighted to witness the beautiful colours on this magical place. It was a bit crowded, but I did not mind this at all. Nature once again blessed me with the view of this stunning place, feeling so grateful!🌷
“Water is the driver of nature. Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. Confucius!
Sending love x