One of the best day-trips from Luang Prabang is Kouang Si waterfall, a picturesque, multi-level affair that tumbles 60m before spilling through a series of crystal-blue pools. The spray from the falls keeps the surrounding grounds cool even at midday. It’s a great spot for a picnic and a refreshing swim – there are picnic tables and changing rooms at the site. The upper pool has a nice view of the falls, though swimming is only allowed at the lower pool, which lacks a direct view. If you didn’t pack lunch, pay a visit to the vendors nearby selling tam màk hung, fruit and drinks.

If you’re up for some exercise, the steep path on the opposite side of the falls leads to the top and a grassy meadow filled with brilliantly coloured butterflies. Tread carefully though, as the path can get quite slippery; more than a few barefoot trampers have slipped and broken a leg here.

There are several options for getting to the waterfall, which is situated 35km southwest of Luang Prabang. The most scenic approach is by boat down the Mekong River; the same boatmen who run the trips to the Pak Ou Caves will take you to the falls, the final portion of the journey is by tuk-tuk, which is usually worked into the fee by the boatman – check when negotiating. Alternatively, it’s possible to get there by road – tuk-tuk drivers in town will usually approach you about this, or head to the “Tuk-tuk Station Travel Service” in Luang Prabang.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Laos features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
16 captivating pictures of hill tribes in Laos

16 captivating pictures of hill tribes in Laos

Professional travel photographer Tim Draper has shot images for 24 Rough Guides guidebooks, visiting far-flung corners of the world. Here he shares some of his …

07 Sep 2017 • Tim Draper insert_drive_file Article
6 special places to stay in Laos

6 special places to stay in Laos

Until the 1990s, Laos remained shut off from the outside world, and largely unknown to Western travellers. Since then, more and more visitors have come to disco…

19 Dec 2014 • Site Editor insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook