Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Center, Luang Prabang, Laos
Visiting the bear rescue center and sanctuary in Luang Prabang, Laos
When you visit Luang Prabang, Laos, you will most likely eventually take a day trip to the Kuang Si Waterfall, which is located just 30km outside of Luang Prabang itself. Visiting Kuang Si Falls is a highlight of any trip to Luang Prabang, but there's more than just the waterfall at the Kuang Si Nature Park! When you visit, you'll learn that the forest park is also the home to the Laos Bear Rescue Centre.
When I visited the Kuang Si Falls for the first time, I didn't know anything about the bear sanctuary. As it turned out, visiting the bears ended up being one of the highlights of my trip to Luang Prabang.
Learn more: Visiting the Kuang Si Waterfall
|the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Center, Luang Prabang, Laos|
The problems of traditional medicine in LaosThough a richly-ingrained part of the east Asian culture, the millennia-old practice of traditional medicine has proven disastrous for the region's bear populations. Laos is still very much a developing country, and proper medical care can be hard or impossible to reach outside of cities like Luang Prabang or Vientiane. The majority of the people in the more rural parts of country are forced to rely (due to lack of education and supplies) on traditional medical practices, many descended from either traditional Chinese medicine or ancient Lao shamanism.
In Lao traditional medicine, bear bile is believed by some to contain certain magical properties, and has come to be regarded as a sort of miracle medicine. Throughout the country, these rare and threatened bear species get trapped by poachers, forced to live in tiny cages, and milked for their bile in a heartbreaking and barbaric practice. Bear bile is also exported to China, which sadly helps to encourage the industry.
|bears at the Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre|
|black bears at Tat Kuang Si|
|the excellent bear habitat|
|playful black bears at Kuang Si, Luang Prabang, Laos|
|bears playing and tumbling in Luang Prabang, Laos|
Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre LocationThe Kuang Si Bear Rescue Center is located at the Kuang Si Waterfall, about 30km outside of Luang Prabang, Laos. You can reach it by taking a tour to the waterfall, or by renting a motorbike and driving yourself. You can find more information HERE on my post about visiting Kuang Si Falls.
AdmissionAdmission to the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre in Luang Prabang, Laos is free. Donations are accepted.
Support the Bear Rescue CentreYou can support the bear sanctuary by making a donation or purchase on their official website:
You can buy a gift for the bears by clicking HERE: https://freethebears.org/collections/gifts-for-bears
or you can buy a gift or souvenir for yourself or a friend from their shop by clicking HERE: https://freethebears.org/collections/gifts-for-humans
You can also make a donation HERE: https://freethebears.org/products/donate
(Please note that we are not sponsored or affiliated at all with the Bear Rescue Centre. I just think that it's an incredibly worthy cause that does a lot of good in Laos, and I want to encourage visitors to this blog to support such a great organization.)
|you can buy a souvenir T-shirt at the bear rescue sanctuary to support the efforts of the centre|