Hike to Kaeng Nyui Waterfall

Vang Vieng, Laos



0.7 miles

Elevation Gain

300 ft

Route Type



Added by Sachith Siriwardane

Leisurely, scenic hike to a beautiful waterfall just outside Vang Vieng, Laos.

Getting There:

For me, getting to the trailhead/hike was just as rewarding as the actual waterfall itself. You can get there via car, bike, or motor bike, but I would recommend renting a motor bike (They go for about 10 USD for a full day), and riding out to the waterfall. Even if you have no experience riding, it's not super difficult and gives you the flexibility to stop to take photos as you please. It's possible to reach the trailhead by pedal bike, but just know the road is unpaved, and has many ups and downs.

From Vang Vieng town center, make your way to Highway 13 and head north. Before long, you should see a sign that says "Kaeng Nyui Waterfall, 6.8km" right by a dirt road. The road will take you through rural villages filled with rice paddies and breathtaking views of the mountains - take it all in. After about 6km, you'll hit a toll booth (there's a 1.25 USD entrance fee/person). After that, you'll only have about another kilometer until you reach the parking lot for the waterfalls. Park your vehicle here and walk up the the path, and you'll find the trailhead for the waterfall. It's not really marked, but if you ask any of the vendors, they'll point it out to you (it's really not hard to find).

The Hike:

The hike is super easy, and is only about a kilometer to the actual waterfall. However, there are a few things to note. If you're hiking during rainy season especially, prepare for some slipppppperrrry mud. I ate it a few times on the hike, and I'm sure you will too - the trail isn't really maintained. On your way to the falls, you pass over a suspension bridge and by some smaller falls. The smaller falls have a nice little swimming hole, so stop there to cool off/take a breather if you're feeling a little beat. The trail continues uphill, ultimately opening up to a little creek with a view of the Kaeng Nyui Waterfall. While there are no marked picnic spots, we saw a lot of people plop down with their feet in the creek, enjoying some local sammy's. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

 If you're feeling adventurous, at the viewpoint, there's a place to scale down some rocks and scramble across the creek. It's not too sketchy and you can climb down to the base of the falls. Take some sweet pictures, go stand under the falls, enjoy its awesomeness. 

If you go during dry season, the falls won't be as wild, but you'll have more spots to swim in, and it'll be a lot more calm. Regardless, this is an epic detour I'd highly recommend you take.

What I wish I knew:

  • Go early. Locals and tourists alike love this spot and if you want to get some sweet photos of you by the waterfall, you'll have to beat the crowds.
  • Bring a drybag. When I climbed down to get closer to the waterfall, my stuff got soaked - even with a raincover on my pack. Just do it for piece of mind and that expensive DSLR you got last Christmas.
  • If I did the hike again, I'd personally go barefoot. Hiking in any shoes will leave you slipping and sliding in the mud.
  • Go buy a sandwich from the lady by the Elephant Crossing Hotel before you head over. She makes a mean sammy, and I guarantee you'll want to stay at the falls longer than you expected.
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Picnic Area
Swimming Hole

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