Wednesday, October 20, 2010

No sunny rainbow

Umphang district is synonymous with waterfall fame, at least in Thailand. Literally located at the end of one of Southeast Asia's most twisting and winding roads (just over 1200 curve's until the next district of Mae Sot) national tourists flock here, not to experience the torturous road, but to visit Thi Lo Su, claimed to be Thailand's 'largest' waterfall (height 200m, breadth 400m, see blog entry on Waterfalls of Thailand). Wikitravel adds that it's among the worlds six most beautiful waterfalls.

As apparently the final 40 km of road from Umphang village to the waterfalls are closed during the rainy season (visit took place early October 2010) visiting the waterfalls is not a lightly undertaken mission, an offer my son was not willing to give.

Heading into the wild.

So we opted for second best, rafting down Mae Klong river (which is another reason Thai tourist flock to here outside of the rainy season). Though Thi Lo Sur wouldn't be on the cards, a delightful hot spring (see Soaking in Siam) and the undisturbed wilderness would. And there's the sensation of floating on the raft below a waterfall, the waterfall called Thi Lo Jau (Thi Lo Cho or Saifon) Both translate (from Karen and Thai) as rainbow.
Apparently once the sun shines early morning you can see a rainbow. Despite this info and the urgency to get there early, the sun wasn't shining so no neat pictures of the rainbow. But no need to worry internet guarantees that somewhere there is the picture perfect of the waterfall and rainbow in one.

Because of the remoteness of Thi Lo Jau, boat is the only option in getting here and the only option in experiencing the falls as it is located in a canyon like setting: both banks of the river are steep rocks. Boats / rafts leave from just outside of Umphang village and in season combine a visit to Thi Lo Su, while out of season one needs to walk (3-4 hours) and add an overnight stay. In the rainy season though, after a total of 5 hours, you and the raft are brought back the 25+ kms to Umphang.

World of waterfalls has beaten me to posting this on their blog, much better photo's too.

Another similar fall.

There are more waterfalls along the way, some bigger some smaller. This one (see photo's below) on a side river has it's own name, Mor something.

Elsewhere in and around Umphang, besides the two waterfalls above there are the waterfalls of Le Tong Khu,
Thi Lo Rae, Sepla (Se Pla or Ze Pala) and even Thi Cha Na Ta.

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