visiting Kuang Si during rainy season: what to know

There is a reason most tourists visit Laos during its dry season, which is obviously that rainy season leads to unpredictable weather including flooded roads, closed cafes, and a very muddy Kuang Si you wouldn’t recognize if you grabbed a screenshot from Instagram.

Luke’s friend, Lizzie, was visiting Southeast Asia and Luke wanted to make sure she got to see the waterfall the area is known for. Unfortunately, the rains had been monstrous in Luang Prabang and the town had almost fully shut down. Very few buildings had power, homes were washed away, and Kuang Si…well…Mother Nature hit the falls hard.

Touk, Luke, Dora, Lizzie, and I jumped into a van and braved the rainy roads to Kuang Si. All of us had our fingers cross that the waterfall would still have its serene teal pools to show off to our visitor friend.

THEY DID NOT.  

The scenery was changed entirely by the rains. There was an overflow of rushing water that destroyed the staircase to the top of the falls and swept away the many small bridges through the water. The amount of water crashing down the rocks of the falls was unbelievable.

Despite the muddy color of the water and the damage done, the falls were beautiful and I still found myself smiling from ear to ear. The others invented a game called "let's photobomb the serial blogger's pics". Dora did it best, obviously. Everyone was having a blast splashing in the water.

It was kind of poetic, really. Kuang Si was still stunning and standing even after a devastating event, like a destructive flood. It looked different, but I loved it just the same as I had the first time I walked up on it sitting among the trees. I had a full circle moment sitting in the exact same spot I sat in just over a year ago. One of those magical moments that sound cliche when written about on a blog. 

Although, I could have done without the mist almost ruining my camera multiple times, it was a day I’d like not to forget.

It is easiest for visitors to get from Luang Prabang to Kuang Si by tuk tuk, however, we were a bit spoiled. The man who picks up our new volunteers from the airport took us from our staff house 45 minutes out to the waterfalls in his air conditioned van. 

There is a 20,000 kip {$2.50} admission fee to get into Kuang Si Waterfalls, plus whatever you have negotiated your tuk tuk price to be. If you are in LPB or passing through, make sure you give yourself a day swimming and splashing at Kuang Si. It is well worth the drive.

Despite a close-call with my camera {it survived!!}, broken bridges over muddy and murky water, and returning to the "city" with grad homework awaiting my arrival...I had the best day with people who continue to add uncontrollable laughter into my days!