Tad Sae waterfall
Tad Sae Waterfall is a spectacular natural wonder best appreciated in the wet season. Despite not being as high as Kuang Si waterfall there are many more streams of water which cascade and make a thunderous sound following plenty of rain. The falls pour over beautiful limestone formations across a variety of levels into large pools below, which are fantastic to swim in.
Tad Sae Waterfall is only reached by boat, making it quite an adventure and an opportunity to retreat into nature and get close to the locals who head there in groups over the weekend. If you prefer peace and tranquillity then you’re better off visiting during the week. The water is cool, offering swimmers a refreshing dip which is best experienced from August through to November. If you’re visiting Luang Prabang at any other time then head to Kuang Si waterfall instead.
The cascades of Tad Sae offer really great photo opportunities as the water teems over the multi-levelled rocks into the pools below. There are steps leading into the largest pool making swimming access really easy. The pools are very popular with locals and it’s best to dress modestly like them, especially if swimming. There are public toilets and changing facilities at the waterfall and also a restaurant with a small resort attached nearby.
Most locals bring something to sit on and enjoy a picnic close to the falls where there are also a few waterwheels. Tad Sae Waterfall is located about 20km away from the centre of Luang Prabang but it’s definitely worth a trip during rainy season, outside of this time the falls are pretty dry and most likely will prove disappointing. The waterfall is located close to the Ban Amen village on the Nam Khan River. It’s a ten-minute boat ride from there to Tad Sae.
Every day from 08:00-17:30
How to get there:
Tad Sae waterfall can be reached by hiring a tuk tuk to take you to the banks of the Nam Khan then renting a boat across to the waterfall. Prices vary so it’s best to check before you leave as you may be able to share transportation but you can expect to pay around 200,000 kip for the tuk tuk which will include waiting time and the return journey back. Tour operators will be the best people to talk to as they usually organise mini-van excursions during the rainy season at the cost of about 50,000 kip per person which is considered good value. You may have to pay an additional 10,000 kip for the boat across.