Laos is the home of some of the most picturesque waterfalls in Southeast Asia. Often referred to as the land of waterfalls (or at least that’s what I call it), Laos is the perfect destination for waterfall chasers. It’s cheap and easy to travel, and offer various kinds of outdoor activities throughout the country. A backpacking trip to Laos is highly recommended, especially for outdoor lovers. Now, if you’re traveling to Laos soon, here are 7 best waterfalls in Laos you should never miss!
First of all, Laos is a landlocked country, which means there is no sea surrounding the country. With the unique landscape, the country is a paradise for waterfalls, particularly in Bolaven Plateau in Pakse. For this article, I’ll be including the waterfalls in Luang Prabang, Nong Khiaw, Pakse and 4000 Islands.
Alright, I’ve talked enough, let’s dive straight in and check out the best waterfalls in Laos!
Kuang Si Falls in Luang Prabang
Kuang Si Falls is perhaps the most famous waterfall in Luang Prabang, if not entire Laos. Welcoming hundreds of visitors every single day, it’s easily the most photographed waterfall in Laos.
The reason I put Kuang Si Falls at the top of the list is because of the ease of access, and it’s undeniable that this waterfall is simply impressive. Most travelers fly into Luang Prabang as their first stop instead of Vientiane, therefore it’s a great way to start your Laos trip as well!
From the entrance, you’ll have to walk around 15 minutes to reach the waterfall. On the way, you’ll also get to visit the bear sanctuary, where the bears rescued from the illegal bile farms were enjoying their day.
The best time to visit Kuang Si Falls would be in the early morning before the tourist crowds arrive. You can swim in some parts of the waterfall as well, but be careful of the sharp sticks on the base of the water. Changing rooms are provided on-site.
Getting to Kuang Si Falls
From Luang Prabang town, simply catch a tuk-tuk ride to Kuang Si Falls. The journey will cost around 200,000 Kip, depending on how well you negotiate. I recommend sharing it with your travel friends. And the ride lasts around 45 minutes one-way. The driver will wait for you at the entrance and fetch you back to the doorstep of your hostel.
Alternatively, you can rent a motorcycle for around 80,000 Kip for a single day (which doesn’t include the gas), and ride all the way there by yourself. It’s a fun way to explore since you can stop anytime and anywhere you want.
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Tad Fane Waterfalls in Bolaven Plateau, Pakse
It’ll be a crime to not mention this waterfall in the best waterfalls in Laos list. Tad Fane Waterfalls is sure to stun you in awe for a few seconds when you first see them. The gigantic waterfalls will make you wonder how the hell did the landscape form.
At first sight, it seemed like there is a hundred-meters sinkhole in the middle of nowhere, and the two rivers meet each other by plunging hundreds of meters down into the river below. The view is just crazy stunning.
There is a viewpoint which offers the best view on Tad Fane Waterfalls, and also offers a zipline service across the waterfall. The idea was just too crazy for me to even think about it, I’m acrophobic. If that’s your thing, I’m sure it’ll be a great experience for you! You can even opt to have tea while hanging mid-air. Sound crazy, doesn’t it?
Getting to Tad Fane Waterfalls
Well, to get the most of the waterfalls in Bolaven Plateau of Pakse, you’ll need a motorcycle that can be rented at around 50,000 Kip per day.
Bolaven Plateau itself is a loop, which takes days to complete, depending on which route you take. You can still visit all of the waterfalls mentioned in this article in one day, as they are located near Pakse city.
It’s not really hard to spot the entrance to Tad Fane Waterfalls, because there will be a billboard to advertise the zipline service. Use Google Maps to navigate yourself there, and when you’re near, pay attention to any road signs or billboards that’ll point you the way.
Khone Phapheng Falls in 4000 Islands
Being labeled as the largest waterfall in the world, Khone Phapheng is the most visited waterfall in Southern Laos. But really? World’s largest? Well, it is, according to the sources on-site. But largest doesn’t mean tallest. This waterfall spans 9.7 kilometers long, but the tallest fall is just 21 meters.
But it’s still worth a visit despite the slight disappointment.
Featuring a huge visitor compound, which is also the home of Manikhoth Temple, you can expect to spend at least 3 hours in this area. On-site restaurants serving seafood caught in Mekong River are also available.
I have an article dedicated solely to Khone Phapheng Falls, which I’m positive that it’ll help you plan your trip. Getting there from 4000 Islands is a little tricky, but it’s totally DIY-able. But here’s a brief run-through.
Getting to Khone Phapheng Falls
I assume you’re staying in either Don Khon or Don Det in 4000 Islands. To get to Khone Phapheng Falls, you’ll need to get to the small ferry port in the north of Don Khon. From there, catch a boat to Nakasong in Champasak province, and find yourself a tuk-tuk to get you there.
The tuk-tuk trip will take around 30 minutes and costs around 100,000 Kip.
Tad Sae Waterfalls in Luang Prabang
Tad Sae Waterfalls is yet another waterfall in Luang Prabang. Since it’s not as popular as Tad Sae Waterfalls, you can expect smaller crowds of visitors here.
In Tad Sae Waterfalls, you get to enjoy the view of the river descending through multiple limestone ledges into the tiffany-blue pool below. What makes it special is that there are also trees on the limestone ledges, giving you a vision of a river flowing through a forest.
Also, there is an elephant “sanctuary” on the site, but I’ve heard that it’s nothing more than an elephant riding camp. The elephants’ legs are chained, and the whole thing has probably nothing to do with the so-called ‘sanctuary’. I’ve never personally been here so I couldn’t comment further, just sharing.
Getting to Tad Sae Waterfalls
Like getting to Kuang Si Falls, it’s pretty much the same way. The tuk-tuk ride to get you there will cost around 200,000 Kip per trip. Find someone to share the fare with you! The ride takes roughly 30 minutes per trip and the driver will wait for you at the entrance.
Check out these 10 amazing things to do in Luang Prabang!
Tad Yuang Waterfall in Bolaven Plateau, Pakse
Tad Yuang Waterfall is second to Tad Fane Waterfalls when it comes to popularity. Tad Yuang Waterfall features a hundred-meter huge waterfall plunging down through multiple rock stages.
The unique thing about this waterfall is that you can really get close to the waterfall instead of watching it from far away. There is a trail that leads to the top of the waterfall, where you can enjoy the “I’m on top of the world!” view.
At the entrance, there are also plenty of stalls that sell foods and souvenirs for tourists. There is also a small hut where you can take a photo for your Instagram.
Getting to Tad Yuang Waterfall
The same as Tad Fane. All you need is a GPS, a motorcycle and a pair of eyes.
E-TU Waterfall in Bolaven Plateau, Pakse
E-TU Waterfall sounds like a cartoon robot, but yeah, it’s the name of an underrated waterfall in Bolaven Plateau. If you’re departing from Pakse town, then E-TU is probably the first waterfall you’ll get to.
The reason I listed it as one of the best waterfalls in Laos is because, unlike the other two waterfalls mentioned, E-TU Waterfall is comparatively underrated and less crowded. Much less crowded. You can also spot no tourists here other than those who are living in the resorts.
I definitely suggest bringing some snacks or lunch and enjoy them here while sitting on the rock on the shallow river, listening to the waterfall. It felt like a paradise in this peaceful spot. Just remember to bring all your trash with you when you leave.
Getting to E-TU Waterfall
Again, a motorcycle, a GPS and a pair of eyes.
100 Waterfalls in Nong Khiaw
The last one of the best waterfalls in Laos list is 100 Waterfalls, which is located in Nong Khiaw. Unlike the other waterfalls featured, you’ll need to do some trekking to see this. The exploration tour will take you through the dense forest before the rewarding view, a perfect activity for outdoor lovers.
100 Waterfalls is actually a chain of continuous waterfalls instead of 100 separate waterfalls in Nong Khiaw. Instead of an attraction for photos, 100 Waterfalls is more for those who’re looking for a unique experience and enjoy spending time in the green forest.
Getting to 100 Waterfalls
The trekking tour is currently run by Tiger Trail in Nong Khiaw village, which is around 4 hours from Luang Prabang. Check out more about the tour here.
Excited For These Best Waterfalls in Laos?
So how do all these waterfalls sound to you? Are you excited at all? If you’re planning a trip to Laos soon, feel free to check out my other articles on Laos, I covered this country quite deeply in many posts. Check out this itinerary and things to do in Vang Vieng too! Hope you enjoy your Laos travel trip, be safe!
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