Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happier Times

Another faded (literally) memory of happier times. But where are we?

Huai Phai waterfall lies in Phu Reua National Park in Loei province, just below the Lao border between the flat Thai Northeast and the hillier provinces of North Thailand. This National Park encompasses some sloping highland, complete with extensive pine forests. From the headquarters one can walk to the top (1300m high, about an hour) or to Huai Phai. Between the top there's also another track along the stream to Huai Phai fall meaning you can walk a triangle in 2 to 2,5 hours.

As you have to walk, this waterfall is far from the maddening crowds and outside of the weekends one is often the only visitor. Even on holidays the crowds stick mostly to trudging up the mountain. After at least a 45 minute walk it's a great idea to cool down in the waterfall. Sometimes though large amounts of water pour over the fall, not the best time. There's a pool underneath, but also several side falls.

Phu Reua National Park lies north of the township with the same name, which is due west from Loei itself. Accommodation is available in Phu Reua, though we especially liked Phu Pha Nam Resort at 20 km away from Phu Reua. Beautiful views, centrally located vis-a-vis other national parks and tourist sites (Chateau de Loei, Dan Sai) and an onsen though probably the water is not naturally hot so maybe technically it is not an onsen. It is also stands out with huge grounds surrounding the hotel, well worth the splurge. There are also more waterfalls in the area.

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