The Kuang Si Waterfalls are only located about 30 kilometres from Luang Prabang. If you “Google image” these falls, the photos look incredible. In person, the falls are still beautiful, but equally packed with other tourists that would never get out of my way. I had it in my head that the trip to the falls would be serene, or peaceful, based on the picture perfect photos I had viewed online. They were instead cluttered with iPad holding tourists and photographers standing with their tripods in the middle of the pools. (Again, get out of my way). Nonetheless, the falls were so pretty and extremely refreshing to swim in. The only qualm I had with the swimming (not even the chilly temperature) was the sharp and jagged rocks. I can’t express how many bruises and scrapes I found on my feet while I was drying off. Stepping nimbly is essential in order to prevent twisting your ankle or stubbing your toes and heel on the rocks beneath the water.
As if other people weren’t annoying me enough already, someone decided to take a dump on the floor in one of the change rooms while I was waiting outside. We were surrounded by the woods, and someone had chosen to just take a massive dump right there in the middle of the tiny change room and walk away normally. I ran out horrified and jabbered frantically to others. Why?!?
So, my visit to the falls was definitely not serene or tranquil like I had been envisioning for months. It was much more chaotic between all the other people, the jagged rocks, and of course, the dump. I know I am a tourist too, but I like to consider myself as normal. I know I have a sense of space and display common courtesy to others.
The best part of the visit was jumping from the top of the waterfalls into the turquoise pools below. The chilly water felt amazing after the jump. I still would definitely recommend a visit to these falls, on the condition that you are prepared to elbow people out of your way and possibly twist an ankle.