Thursday, October 14, 2010


Naming an extensive national park (855 km2) according to just one of the included waterfalls reaps up dreams of a magnificent and all-encompassing waterfall.

So when heading to Pha Charoen (Pa Charoen) waterfall we were expecting just that. The waterfall can hardly be missed and entails no extra effort if you heading on highway 1090 between Mae Sot and Umphang, Tak province, Thailand.

Located a km from the turnoff (km 37) the biggest surprise is that one can enter this national park free, though one does need to sign something.
The parking area looks well-equipped to contain those many visitors eager to see the name-giving waterfall of this national park. The foot of the waterfall has been transformed into a park, complete with fitness track. And the bottom of the fall is certainly picture perfect but would I name a national park after this waterfall?
No, not really. Though very nice, it's not so extraordinary. In all there are 97 steps as the stream tumbles down 50 m (
source) apparently, didn't count them myself.

We continue upwards along the side of the fall looking for a more discreet dipping place. Along the way there are some enticing pools but we seem to have adopted some youth whose day needs spicing up in the form of tagging along with foreigners. Beyond the lip of the fall, the stream still continues to drop, less in height but with bigger pools. But our bodyguard doesn't loose sight of us, so we return an illusion lighter. Other time other place.

Beyond the lip

Pha Charoen National Park contains more waterfalls such as Pa Wai, Saifa, Huai Tapu-kor, Nang Chron and Taralak (or Thararak).

World of waterfalls includes this waterfall as well with roughly the same sort of blog entry as above but with more photo's and a video, and complaints about visitors walking in the picture. It's funny but from many photo's on the web, it seems that this waterfall is visited more for ecstatic reasons, nowhere do we see people splashing around.

View downwards

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