Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Park in Luang Prabang, Laos

Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Park is considered the only butterfly garden in Laos, located at one of the most famous attractions of Luang Prabang in Laos, namely ‘Tat Kuang Si’ or ‘Kuang Si Waterfalls’. For the time being, the attraction is still relatively unknown to the general public, but that is changing. Most tourists, however, drive past the park unknowingly to visit the large waterfalls. It is definitely recommended for those who want to get the most out of Luang Prabang.

Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Park

  • Why visit?
  • The garden itself
  • The target
  • How to get to Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Park?
  • Visits

 

Why visit?

As the famous Tat Kuang Si waterfalls are overwhelmed by visitors, both domestic and foreign, the area is groaning under this increasing pressure. The waterfalls are victims of their own success on the one hand and the minimal regulated building restrictions of the Laotian government on the other. The parking lot is surrounded by sellers of drinks, food, souvenirs, … and there is still a lot of construction going on around it, to the detriment of the surrounding nature.
Fortunately, there is a place a few hundred meters from Tat Kuang Si Falls that is still breathtaking: Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Park or Kuang Si Waterfalls Butterfly Garden.

The garden itself

It is striking that the garden is managed by two foreigners. In terms of approach, the garden is reminiscent of an arboretum in Belgium or the Netherlands. That is no coincidence, because the managers are both from the Netherlands.
Olaf and Ineke left their lives in the Netherlands in 2013 and started their dream project in Luang Prabang. Together with the local community, they have made a piece of impenetrable jungle not only accessible but also attractive. The garden has been open to the public since 2014. It is under development in 2017, as the terrain is not the most workable.
Walkways wind through the garden, with breathtaking flowers and butterflies everywhere. The garden is divided into different zones. In the beginning, many different orchids can be found, clinging to old tree trunks. A cross-section of a mountain and a part with rock vegetation have also been recreated. The garden is beautifully situated between waterfalls, which are visible at regular intervals. At the very back of the garden is a huge area covered with nets. Most butterflies can be found here. A wide diversity of local plants can be found in this space. At the end of the walk, after you have followed the paths, there is a small pond and a picturesque restaurant where you can relax in the shade. Anyone who misses Dutch-Western cuisine can also get their money’s worth here. A chair has also been installed in the pond to have your feet cleaned by local fish.
Foreign tourists in Laos will often be shocked at how Laotians deal with waste. However, in the Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Park you will not see any plastic bags, bottles or other waste lying around. There are garbage baskets everywhere in the garden. The garden also serves as a (literally) textbook example for local residents and especially schoolchildren to deal differently with waste and existing natural resources.
Source: Sharonang, Pixabay

The target

The aim of the garden is to establish a knowledge center about not only the butterflies from Laos but also their host plants and how to protect them. This is because nature in Laos is disappearing at a very rapid pace.
Olaf and Ineke want to inform the local population about the enormous natural wealth that Laos possesses, in the hope of better preserving it in the future. They also try to involve local schools by giving tours of the garden. In the long term, they want to use part of the income to teach children in schools about the unique Laotian fauna and flora and how vulnerable they are.

How to get to Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Park?

Kuang Si Butterfly Park is located about 23 kilometers from the center of Luang Prabang, the former capital of Laos.
The sporty among us can rent a mountain bike in Luang Prabang for a day for less than LAK 30,000. It is quite a ride on paved roads but in a very mountainous environment. The advantage is that you can enjoy nature and the authentic Laotian villages along the way.
Scooters are another option, but the daily price is higher than for example in Vang Vieng, namely around 160,000 LAK. Caution is certainly important, as traffic rules in Laos are not strictly enforced and medical facilities on site are very rudimentary.
The tuktuk is always an alternative. It will take you there and back for a good 200,000 LAK. The driver remains waiting on site. Of course, don’t pay until you’ve returned to Luang Prabang… Tip: try to go with several people to share the costs, for about 50,000 LAK per person.
A shared minivan departure and return at scheduled times can be arranged through your hotel or a travel agent. 60,000 LAK per person and you can spend several hours at the waterfalls.

Visits

The butterfly garden, located on the edge of the village, and therefore a few hundred meters from the actual Kuang Si waterfalls, can be recognized by the large banners with butterflies and has its own parking.
The entrance fee is 40,000 LAK (Laotian kip), which corresponds to 4.65 euros on 2/01/2017 (exchange rate). Special guided walks are also possible or combinations with lunch in the picturesque restaurant, and you can buy combination tickets.