Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man

…done with Kuang Si Falls

When you go to a new place there’s one piece of advice that normally holds true: don’t go where the tuk-tuk drivers insist on taking you.


There are all sorts of recommendations, pushed at different intensities, and normally they’re not worth the bother or they’re just not enticing. From knickknack stores and tailors shops to over-touristy markets and pingpong shows, it’s best just to ignore the incessant clamours of the drivers. In Vanuatu I even decided not to go to a lagoon despite that being my intention when I got there, just because of how much the tuk-tuk drivers were pushing that option.

As with any brilliantly-crafted and flaw-free theory there’s always one exception. In this case that’s in Luang Prabang, where everyone wants to drive you to “The Waterfall”. I’ve said it’s the one exception, so there’s no point in you listening to any drivers anywhere else in the world.


The Waterfall, or Kuang Si Falls as the post folk like to call them, got my attention because of a former colleague’s recommendation (an Australian one this time). I’m glad he was there to point me in the right direction.


There are a few rules you need to follow. Don’t try to go as a couple because you’ll get ripped off. Instead flag down a tuk-tuk that’s already driving, inevitably going where you want to go, and try haggling with someone who already has a full load, failing miserably with your bargaining and giving in to his demands as he begins to pull off again.

You also need to go before a certain time, and it takes a while to get there, but I won’t tell you when because I don’t want to spoil it for everyone/I can’t remember. Basically it’s the time before all the tour buses — and I do mean all of them — arrive and clutter up the place with stupid tourists.

The falls themselves aren’t that high, thunderous or impressive, but the amazing colour of the water makes it feel like a fairytale outing, even if it is freezing cold to swim in.

Luckily, the day before we went, someone in my hostel taught me how to use some settings on my camera that produced great photos. Unluckily, about six months later, I accidentally deleted all those photos from my computer. There were a few on Facebook that I’ve stolen for this post, but you can’t really tell how good those shots originally were.


Also next to The Waterfall is a sun bear sanctuary where you can see endangered animals doing next to nothing and maybe buy a T-shirt. That’s something the drivers won’t tell you.

Filed under: asia, , , ,

2 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    Wearing it right now! I didn’t put it on specially to post a comment, that would be weird.

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