Visiting Kuang Si Waterfalls with kids

Hidden away in the Laos countryside, a short drive away from Luang Prabang lays the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfalls. With it’s mystic pools of blue water, enchanting waterfalls, easy hikes and beautiful views, Kuang Si Waterfalls is the sparkling gem of northern Laos and a paradise for travelling families.

Kuang Si Waterfalls with kids - lagoon


When it comes to travelling with young children in tow, we think it is important to get away from the hustle and bustle and step back into nature from time to time. So a day trip to Kuang Si waterfalls was an absolute must visit while in Luang Prabang. We try to do as much of our adventuring as we can independently, mainly because it’s easier to travel with young children when having the flexibility of our own schedule. With the streets of Luang Prabang lined with tuk tuks, it was really easy brokering a deal with a driver and arranging a trip independently, with hotel pick up.


On arrival we found ourselves on a street lined with street food vendors and shops selling tourist souvenirs. We made our way along the street and came to the entrance of the Kuang Si Waterfalls. We paid our entrance fee 20, 000 kip (approximately £1.70) and found ourselves at Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre, which is located on the same ground as the waterfalls and is run by Free the Bears.


The Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre is a wonderful sanctuary for bears that have been rescued from illegal poaching and a life of torment. Bears in this region are poached from the wild using cruel trapping methods, before being transported to a small cage, where they will spend the rest of their lives having bile regularly taken from them for traditional medicines.

Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre


We are trying to visit a number of different conservation efforts during our travels, so this was a lovely place to stumble upon unexpectedly. The boys loved watching the bears playing together and it was a great place to help explain to them about conservation and why projects like this are important.


A short walk down a well trodden path from the Bear Rescue Centre, are the first of the Kuang Si Waterfalls. There is something amazing and almost mystical about first stepping into the clearing. We stood for a moment at the sloping banks, taking in the scene before us. The vibrant blue waters tumbled down the first, small waterfall that lay beneath a wooden bridge crossing into the forest on the other side of the lagoon.

 Kuang Si Waterfalls with kids


After a while, Bear wanted to play pooh sticks. So we found some leaves and walked halfway across the bridge. On the count of three, we dropped our leaves from the bridge and raced to the other side to see which leaf had made it under the bridge the quickest. It can be so easy to get caught up in seeing everything while travelling to new places, but we love to stop and take in ordinary moments in the most extraordinary places during our travels.

Kuang Si Waterfalls with kids


We continued up the path, regularly coming across more enchanting pools of water and larger, more fascinating waterfalls. Eventually we reached ‘the waterfall’. It towered above it’s surrounding landscape and the visitors that had journeyed from all over the globe to see it.

Kuang Si Waterfalls with kids

Kuang Si Waterfalls with kids

Kuang Si Waterfalls with kids

Kuang Si Waterfalls with kids


This is where we learned about the myth of Kuang Si and the golden deer. According to local legend, the Kuang Si Waterfalls were formed when a wise old man dug deep into the earth to reveal the waters beneath.


After the waters came to Kuang Si, a beautiful golden deer made it’s home under the big rock that protruded from the falls. The sound of the water falling onto the rock created an enchanting echo, drawing people to the waterfall from as far away as China.

Kuang Si Waterfalls with kids


Unfortunately the large rock from the legend is no longer at the Kuang Si Waterfalls as it fell during an earthquake in 2001, but the myth continues to enchant the many people who visit the waterfalls each year.


Visiting places like Kuang Si Waterfalls and learning about the legends, is a great way of opening up conversations with the boys about myths, legends and folklore. I always find it fascinating how words crafted into stories can be so powerful, that they are passed down through the generations and are still being told today. It just goes to show that words hold amazing power and that is perhaps the the most unexpected lesson we took away from Kuang Si Waterfalls.


Have you ever visited Kuang Si Waterfalls? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also follow me on Pinterest.


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34 thoughts on “Visiting Kuang Si Waterfalls with kids

  1. What an absolutely beautiful place! The most beautiful setting for Pooh Sticks I’ve ever seen. It’s lovely to see how old stories can draw children in like this – I love discovering old legends and thinking about them being passed down through the generations.

  2. Oh wow what a gorgeous location! The waterfalls are just stunning, I can only imagine how beautiful they were in reality. I love the sound of the bear sanctuary although how awful that there is a need for that.

    1. The waterfalls are absolutely beautiful, we had such fun exploring them. It is very thought provoking visiting places like the bear sanctuary and I agree, it is very saddening that there is a need for such places.

  3. Oh my goodness! That looks like such a beautiful place to visit. Such gorgeous views. Bears are amazing creatures. My parents used to work with bears when I was a baby, and have such wonderful memories of these magnificent animals! xx

    1. It really is such a beautiful place and a brilliant place to visit with little ones. How amazing that you got to experience and build memories around bears from such a young age, what a great experience for you!

    1. It is so saddening learning about the suffering the bears have gone through, but it is wonderful to see initiatives and conservation efforts that are working to end that suffering and protect bears in the wild.

  4. Wow how beautiful does that look. I love Waterfalls but haven’t visited any for around 8 years now since I was in New Zealand. Any nice ones like that anyway!

    Ami xxx

    1. It is a beautiful place, so glad we visited. It is saddening learning about the suffering these bears have lived through, but it is wonderful seeing efforts like the bear sanctuary.

  5. What an amazing place to visit! The waterfalls are so pretty, and I love that the legend is still told today. The bear sanctuary is fantastic too, it’s so great that those animals are being taken care of. You definitely made me want to visit here!

    1. It really is such a wonderful place and we had such a great time there. The waterfalls are incredibly beautiful and absolutely worth the visit if you ever visit Laos.

  6. This is such a lovely post, in every way 🙂 I think it’s great that even so far around the world, you and the kids were able to play fun games from home like pooh sticks. Plus they’re of the right age that their little brains must be soaking up all that culture and all those experiences like a sponge! x

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. They really are taking in so much and surprising us every day with the things they are learning about different cultures. It has been such a wonderful experience.

    1. The waterfalls are absolutely beautiful! It is so sad seeing so much about the cruelty to bears, but it was wonderful to see the amazing conservation work that is helping bears in the region!

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