Luang Prabang, Laos, is as charming a town as a tourist can hope to find.
Located on a wooded hillside high above the Mekong, the town is filled with glittering wats, lovely shops, and excellent restaurants. Once you arrive, it seems silly to leave without a really good reason . . . but there are good reasons to get out and explore the countryside. One of those reasons is Kuang Si Waterfall.
Kuang Si is a series of waterfalls and travertine pools that meander down a gently sloping mountainside. The largest waterfall (with a drop of about 160 feet) is located high up the river; below are a series of smaller waterfalls and pools.
We started our visit near the bottom of the falls, where the aqua pools are (relatively) still and deep.
As we moved up the side of the mountain, the waterfalls feeding the pools get a bit bigger (and the trees get more interesting).
It seems like a good spot to wade in for a closer look.
Still farther up the mountainside the pools glow under the overhanging trees.
The waterfalls are getting larger too.
But the largest waterfall remains out of sight until we reach the end of the trail.
Can a waterfall be any prettier?
Kuang Si Waterfall is located about 30 km outside Luang Prabang. Foreign visitors are charged a few dollars to visit the falls, with this money used to maintain trails and viewing platforms at the site. There is a market area (with food) near the entrance to the park and changing rooms near the waterfall.