Kwang Si Waterfall & Bear Rescue Centre

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Photo of Kwang Si Waterfall & Bear Rescue Centre, , Luang Prabang

Beautiful way to spend the day
We booked a minibus trip to the falls from a small agency on the street. We paid 50,000 Kip (appro...

By Travellingwalds

What we say: 4 stars

At Kwang Si, clear, cool water cascades gently over limestone formations and gathers into layers of stunning turquoise pools. Follow the tumbling waters uphill for scenic views and a rope swing favoured by backpackers or downstream for a shady, shallow swimming area popular with families.

Picnic spots, public toilets and changing rooms are available. Swimming is permitted only in marked areas and modest swimsuits are most appropriate, with local people swimming fully clothed. Food stalls outside the park entrance sell baguettes, fruit shakes and skewers of grilled meat -- the perfect fixings for a picnic -- plus there are a handful of small restaurants and souvenir shops.

About halfway between the park entrance and the waterfall is the Asiatic Black Bear rescue centre, which houses a couple of dozen animals rescued from the hands of poachers and traffickers. The bears are in large enclosures with trees and some simple toys like tire swings. An elevated viewing platform has been built near the enclosure so visitors can observe these endangered animals.

Free the Bears doesn't receive any money from the Kwang Si park admission and relies on public donations. You can support the bears by making a donation to the centre or purchasing a T-shirt (60,000 kip). For full information about the centre visit http://www.bearlao.com and http://www.freethebears.org.au/.

The Kwang Si Butterfly Park opened February 2014. Well-manicured trails lead through gardens, past forest, streams and swimming holes to a netted garden full of local butterflies. While this place is still a work in progress and it will take some time for the gardens to grow in, it's worth the visit if you're there and they have a restaurant/cafe and clean Western-style toilets. It's located down from the Kuang Si Waterfall entrance/parking pad. Foreigners 30,000 kip, children 15,000 kip.

More details
Opening Hours: Daily 08:00-17:30
How to get there: The price for a chartered tuk tuk to go to the falls varies depending on your negotiation skills, but can be as low as 160,000 kip. The other option is to buy a seat on a minivan or tuk tuk. Many tour agencies and touts on the road will offer these waterfall trips and it's simply a matter of negotiating with them for the best deal. Bank on 60,000 kip for a shared minivan, 40,000 kip per person in a shared tuk tuk or less if you have lots of people.
Last updated: 11th June, 2014

Last reviewed by:
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer & photographer living in Laos since 2011. She's the author of So Many Miles, her blog about diving in, discovering and creating a narrative about the world, one story and adventure at a time.

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Read 1 opinions from Travelfish readers

  • Beautiful way to spend the day 5 stars

    19th October, 2011

    We booked a minibus trip to the falls from a small agency on the street. We paid 50,000 Kip (approx$6) each. We were the first to the minibus which then drove around collecting others from their hotels. The last ones were squashed on board so we were glad we met the bus at the agency. The trip once we were underway took around an hour. The bus dropped us off in the car park and we could get food and drinks and relatively clean toilets ( don't forget your own loo paper!)
    20000 Kip will gain you entry to the falls path. At the start of the walk is located the bear rescue centre. We spent quite some time watching them eat and move around their well set up enclosures and reading their stories. What a great organization!
    The walk to the falls is very beautiful, the path is safe to traverse (maybe not so good after rain). The falls are utterly beautiful. We have recently been to Erewan falls near Kanchanaburi in Thailand and these are much easier to access but more lovely and easier to see and appreciate. Water is lovely for swimming - no nibbling fish as at Erewan. It was a pleasure walking through the forest, there are many swimming places each of which has simple change rooms. We had a lovely day and have been recommending it to all we have met. Do go there for a lovely day in the country.

    Kwang Si Waterfall & Bear Rescue Centre reviewed by Travellingwalds (1)
    Written on 19th October, 2011, rated 5 out of 5. Visited here in October, 2011

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