Tat Kuang Si Falls
Luang Prabang, Laos
The roller-coaster of a road to Tat Kuang Si Falls heads south of town through terraced rice fields before meeting up with the Mekong River and winding back up into the limestone hills. We putted past the farms and through the small dusty villages on our motorbikes, dodging some water buffalo meandering around the road, eventually ending up at a small village at the park’s gates where you can once again see the affect of tourism on the Lao economy – bamboo booths line all sides of the parking lot and walkway where local were hocking food and tourist-trap souvenirs to everyone entering the park.
After paying the 20,000kip entry fee, there was a gentle dirt path heading off into the jungle leading to a bear sanctuary for animals rescued from poachers and traffickers. Shortly beyond that was the first small set of falls. Tat Kuang Si Falls is a three-tier travertine waterfall consisting of small cascades over the course of half a kilometer. Emerald blue and turquoise pools lie below each cascade and with the exception of one sacred pool that’s restricted, they are open for swimming (rope swing included). Following the tumbling falls uphill leads to the primary 60 meter falls.