what to know before a visit to Tad Sae Waterfalls: how to get there, what to expect, + what to bring with you

Visitors often leave Tad Sae Waterfalls off their Luang Prabang itinerary— this is a huge mistake! With fewer crowds, you’ve got more room to explore and swim at Tad Sae. Here’s a post filled with everything you need to know about Tad Sae!

Here's my complete guide to Tad Sae Waterfalls


How to get there

You will probably need to catch a tuk tuk and negotiate a price unless you have booked a van or rented a motorbike. We rode the motorbike, which is easy and efficient but ultimately quite dangerous as Lao roads have very few rules and even fewer that are followed. Once we arrived at Tad Sae, we had to pay 5,000kip for parking. You will get a parking ticket that acts as a receipt to prove you've paid. 

After you've parked, you'll see men sitting in bamboo stilt huts with ticket booklets. You have to catch a boat over to the entrance of the waterfalls, which costs 10,000kip per person. Pay the men in the huts and again you'll receive a paper ticket. The boat will take you to the entrance of the waterfalls, where you'll have to hike to get to the stunning views unobstructed by tourists. 



There are restaurants and a coffee shop on site, however, I suggest bringing a picnic. It will be cheaper and you can eat at bamboo tables right placed in the pools of water at the bottom of the second waterfall {this is what we did}. There are also changing rooms and toilets. If you are someone who likes souvenirs, you will see tables set up with postcards, wooden elephant carvings, and other classic Southeast Asian trinkets. 



The entrance fee is 15,000kip. That's on top of the 10,000kip boat ride and the 5,000kip you pay to park your vehicle. Altogether, you're looking at spending roughly $3.63 for the day {plus any food you buy for the day}. 

what to know before a visit to Tad Sae Waterfalls
what to know before a visit to Tad Sae Waterfalls

What to pack

I visited during rainy season, though it hasn't been too wet. Regardless, if you are heading to Tad Sae in September, it's best to pack/wear shoes you aren't afraid to get dirty. The trails to the second waterfall were thick with dense mud. A filled water bottle is always a necessity in Lao heat, as well as sunscreen and sunglasses. Remember Lao people typically swim fully clothed. Like...in their jeans. I wore a one-piece swimsuit with spandex shorts over the top and still felt like a little scandal, so I also wore a gray tank top over the top. A towel is good, especially if you are traveling back to your accommodation in a car/van. 

what to know before a visit to Tad Sae Waterfalls

If you're in Laos, visiting the waterfalls is a great way to spend a day soaking in the gorgeous scenery of the country, as well as cooling off. Two birds, one stone! 

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what to know before a visit to Tad Sae Waterfalls