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Raj's Kuang Si Falls Encounter

| Words by Raj |

Raj tells us about his trip to Kuang si Falls near Luang Prabang in LAOS

Kuang Si Falls - Luang PrbangLuang Prabang (UNESCO) town

Getting to Kuang Si Falls...

A highlight of my trip was the Kuang Si Falls and The Bear Sanctuary. Our day started with a tour around The Arts & Ethnology Centre in Luang Prabang, only 10 mins from our hotel, the Sala Prabang. After this, we journeyed up to the falls which only took about an hour by car. Once we arrived we traversed through the spectacular scenery and it transported me back to my past travel experiences....terraced rice fields and stunning landscape with each turn getting better and better. When we arrived to the entrance to the Kuang Si Falls, right next to it was a little market, which was operated and run by local traders. Here you could purchase almost anything from ponchos if it rained, to local delicacies as grilled fish on a stick!!

Walk up to the falls...

As you walk through the entrance into the park, you feel as if you’re in the middle of a jungle, with a pathway built just for you to walk on. In the distance you can hear the roar of the falls. You’re surrounded by tropical plant life and wildlife. Various species of butterfly straddle almost every flower and close by I could see a rather oversized snail trying to get up a large leaf! As we continue walking up a modest incline, the roar of the falls becomes louder and louder and just then, as I turned the corner, there were the majestic falls. The falls flow over a brought rock which is covered in a calcite veneer allowing the light to be refracted back through the water (hopefully my photos do it justice).

Kuang Si Falls - Luang PrbangKuang Si Falls - Luang Prabang

Getting up close……

For photographers, there are several picture points of the main falls and 3 quite large pool areas which you can take a swim in the crystal clear water. Getting between the pools is easy and safe; the new bridge was built about 3 years ago after the last one was washed away in a massive flood! To the left, I saw an opportunity to get up close to the falls so I tiptoed across a few of the rocks.

A little surprise...

We then cracked open our packed lunches. Most other tours in the area head back for a hotel lunch but forsaking cutlery allows you to enjoy your lunch I a truly idyllic setting! As you would expect in this part of the world, you’re going to get insects flying around on so keep your food wrapped up! Regressing to my childhood, something I didn't expect to see was a small battalion of ants. Like a scene from Yogi Bear they tirelessly marched in a perfect line as they carried out their essential mission. Something so simple got me mesmerised and I stood watching them: how stoic, how dedicated, and how admirable they were.

Kuang Si Falls - Luang PrbangKuang Si Falls - Luang Prabang

To the bears…

Another final surprise was to find native bears which had been rescued and being looked after in the sanctuary. The Asian bears are smaller with a white strip around their chest and they were certainly characterful! In a land where Buddhism is omnipresent and the architecture some graceful this was a reminder that Laos is home to many of Asia’s most iconic creatures. It also illustrated Insider Journeys’ responsible travel ethos, we always aim to explore our destinations in an ethical way, avoiding anything harmful wherever possible.

Raj is Insider Journeys' business development manager for the south of the UK. A visit to Kuang Si Falls features on all our small group and tailor-made holidays to Laos.