Could anyone tell me how far out of Luang Prabang these waterfalls are.
I have one morning available when I might be able to go there but have to be back at Luang Prabang airport for approx 12.30/13.00 to get a flight to Hanoi. Wondering it would be possible to have an early start and go there for a bit but not sure how far out of town they are or how long it takes to get there or what time the taxi/tuk tuk drivers get out of bed??
Also, is it clean to swim in. (seem to see plenty people in the water in photos on the web.)
Any help is hugely appreciated!
It is a fair distance out of town, something like 25 or 30 km over mostly unpaved but generally graded road. I'd expect you would want to budget at least an hour travel time each way. You'll want to have at least an hour at the place too to walk up to the falls and go for a swim, etc.
There are tours that go for about US$ 4, but unfortunately these are generally in the afternoon, and you definitely would not want to risk missing a flight just to save a bit of money.
There are several areas where you can swim below the falls. We thought the water was clean and wonderfully refreshing, and we had a great time swimming there. The falls themselves are beautiful too, and there is a little zoo where a tiger and a few bears are living out their years, having been rescued as cubs/kitten from poachers.
Hopefully your guesthouse or any of the travel agents on the main strip there in Luang Prabang can help you with additional details and arrange a taxi for you if you want to go. I hope that helps. If you are paying, I imagine you can get a tuk tuk or taxi driver to meet you as early in the morning as you wish. Cheers.