Today we visited the Kuang Si Waterfalls, about 45 minutes outside of Luang Prabang, Laos. We didn’t want to go as part of a tour group because…Toddler, so we found a Tuk Tuk driver with a kind face and decided he was going to be the one we asked for a ride.
We are asked 30 times during each walk if we want rides to the falls, or other such tours, from Tuk Tuk drivers. We like to ask for rides and tours, not be propositioned.
Anywho, we asked our driver how much Kip (the Laos Currency) to take the 3 of us to the falls the next morning. He said 200k Kip which is a little high as group buses ask about 40k roundtrip but…you are with a group on a set schedule. So for the convenience, we didn’t even barter. I mean…its only $22 USD (200k Kip) and it takes 45-60 minutes to get there, then he’ll wait 1-2hrs depending on how long we want to stay, and then drive us back again. If we just take 3hrs of his time total then that is $7 an hour, less than minimum wage in our country so…we aren’t gonna barter. It also costs 20k Kip, which is $2.25 USD per person, to get into the falls park. It was a super cheap excursion for us and we were happy to pay for.
Our driver met us at our Hostel at 8:20 am the next morning and off we went.
It’s a bumpy ride in the Tuk Tuk and there are all these one-lane bridges that you could crash into another car if you don’t go slow or have good brakes. We slammed brakes one time and I’m glad I held on tight to the bars, and Sebastian, or else we could’ve hit the back cab of the truck.
Then there was this weird insect that jumped onboard halfway to the Falls. More on that later. Isn’t he creepy looking? He was also about 1 1/2 inches long.
When we arrived there were a ton of vans and Tuk Tuks and a town ready to sell their food and wares. While we didn’t check out the town, there are enough stalls to wander through for a little while. If you go there hungry you will find plenty of cheap eats as well.
We bought our tickets (Shibby was Free) and went on our way to the trail. What we didn’t expect upon entering was that there was also a Bear reserve there too so Boom…extra bang for our buck.
There are 3 main waterfall levels. The only one we didn’t venture to was the steep trail getting to the top of the big falls. We didn’t want to go up there with Sebastian and then try getting back down. Also, we were on a time crunch and wanted to go in the water and also see some bears. It would’ve eaten up too much time.
All the falls were beautiful. The blue was gorgeous and bright and clear.
One thing that made us very happy was finding out that the same fish that are used in fish pedicures live in these waters. We were excited to get nibbled. After seeing the big falls and getting lots of pictures of each area, we headed back to the main swimming pool. There weren’t many people there in the morning which was nice.
There were a lot of Asian women though taking tons of photos with their friends and just laughing and having a ball. It was really cute. They laughed as we walked by and took a picture of them and waved.
We also took a few silly poses and made Sebastian do some as well… He looks so cute like a teapot. Anyway, we got in the water. It was chilly but nice. The fish started nibbling right away. I wish I had more time there so I could just let them clean up my feet!
We dried off and headed back to the bear reserve area near the entrance. The bears we’re sleeping when we arrived so we hoped they’d be awake upon our leaving. We got to see one big bear and the. 3 baby bears. All were still very sleepy though so we didn’t get to see them play or move around.
Our driver and his buddies were all hanging around the tuk-tuks. They jumped out and our driver rolled his hammock back up and we hit the road.
The drive back was 45 minutes and Sebastian finally noticed the big. He was still in the vehicle. He kept pointing at it saying “oh no!” And then giggling when he moved. At one point he was headed toward Shawn and Sebastian became concerned that the big would ‘get him’. I tried to assure him that Daddy was big and the bug was small so he’d be the winner if a battle ensued. “Oh No!!!!” was the reply. He wasn’t thinking we could handle the big.
Great morning out exploring the area. Laos is a beautiful country with wonderful and chill people. If you are ever in Laos just must visit Luang Prabang and the Kuang Si Falls.