Thursday, April 28, 2011

By Bhuddha

Signs say it's Wang Kan Lueng, others prefer Wang Kan Lueang whereas Wang Kan Luang seems to result in the most finds.

Probably Lopburi (Thailand) province's only waterfall, it will come to a surprise to many that there is even a waterfall in this mainly flat province. Better known for it's sunflower fields, the surrounding rolling hills are packed with to be planted cassava and/or to be harvested sugarcane; there's little to suggest in the geology nor in the landscape that hidden between the fields are a beautiful series of cascades.

Accessed from road 2089, Muak Lek - Chai Badan, entry is about 7 km north of the intersection with 2256 and the town of Tha Luang. The entry road heads west towards the floodplains formed by the Pa Sak Jolasid Dam. Only a km in length and extending on both sides of the stream, one soon arrives at the entrance proper: a car park with an impressive amount of food and knick-knack stalls.

Effort has been made to keep the surroundings attractive, despite the lack of official protection by forest or national park administration; more often than not the way waterfalls are protected in Thailand.

Part of these efforts are directed by the erecting of a number of Buddha statues, Pae and Guy have a small blog entry solely on these statues.

All lined up

Officially described as an arboretum, there's not much to suggest that this is really the case. Just above the falls, a bridge extends to the other side which also has a large car park with vending stalls. Walk down stream past the main part of the falls and there is yet again a large bridge so one can make a circular route around the falls.

Gazing down

The main part of the falls are a rocky drop of about 5m. It's obvious that the underlying rock contains large amounts of calcium and the water changes colour to white/grey.

Above the falls are a number of vendors renting out picnic mats and inner tubes and judging by the height of the stacks, on certain days there must be heaps of visitors, Bangkok only 2,5 hours away. Above the falls are also some ponds to splash around in.

Betting on tubing

Below the falls, waters continue to drop creating small pools as the stream jumps in half meter / meter intervals. This section of the falls is impeccably clean and well-managed.

Further away
Downstream of the fall proper, extends a nature walk, hugging the north side of the stream. In places the stream becomes stagnant, but beyond the nearest stagnant section the stream continues it's jumping pattern. On a Monday morning there are some families near the main section of the falls, but at this time further downstream it's totally deserted. More worrying though is that refuse management does not extend this far and there is quite a bit of wind blown rubbish to be observed. The natural habitat evaporates and up to the edge of the stream are teak plantations. However each stream fall is followed by a waterhole, just the place for a secluded dip.

Internet gives some other experiences, though most are positive. Paul Garrigan, a Lopburi located blogger, is quite surprised his province heralds a waterfall and despite his possible misgivings is quite impressed:
'When I caught my first glimpse of Wang Kan Lueang I was impressed straight away. I am no stranger to waterfalls in Thailand; for five years I lived in a village that is situated around a stunning ten level waterfall. Once we descended down some steps to Wang Kan Lueang it turned out to be a lot more crowded than I was expecting; I automatically regretted not bringing my swimming trunks because the water looked great and there were quite a few people already having fun'.
Melissa Swenson has a few pics from an equally good time. On flickr there are parts of sets by Joel Oh and lucaskt.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


It's probably the first time I have used this blog for updates. Usually if there are updates I add them to the postings, keeping everything much more current.

However, it's not common for waterfalls to make news headlines and unfortunately it's mostly for the wrong reasons.
addyjagat an extensive article on the death of a British women who fell down 100m on the Ton Nga Chang waterfall, 25 km from Hat Yai, southern Thailand.
'... slid about 30ft down the sloping rock-face before plunging off the steep 300ft drop'.
We tend to forget that waterfalls can be dangerous and the above is just another wake-up call. No doubt the authorities will come with extensive measures to avoid this happening in the future, though warning people always seems to be the most sensible.

Horrific and tragic.

Other news worth mentioning is that travelfish blogs are getting entries on waterfall hunting around Chiang Mai, up to now two great entries.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Past the bear pit

Part of the Yang Bay Tourist Park complex or at least just outside the most developed part of this tourist development complex, Ho Cho waterfall is a wide low waterfall, in all descending 6-8 m. I guess. Below is a great pool where one can take a very undisturbed swim. At least during the week, when visitors are few and far between.

That's for now. It's quite strange, this lack of even a decent track, slam-bam next to Yang Bay Tourist Park. Instead of going to Yang Bay waterfall itself, once inside the 'park' one takes the left road past the bear pit, tribal game place and orchid garden. Abruptly the wide road stops (10 minutes after taking the road) at a wild stream.

A small path continues through the high grass to the river where a small log has been laid over the first 2 m of the river crossing; the rest can be achieved by jumping from rock to rock. On the other bank of the river, the track continues through the forest until it hits the rock-face of the waterfall itself. No track beyond this by the look of it. Time for a dip.

The Yang Bay Tourist Park companies brochure describes Ho Cho as follows:
‘To be deep in the forest. Ho-Cho waterfall is considered as a challenge to visitors. Ho-Cho waterfall also owns a lot of hot mineral water sources helpful for cure’.
Well, the effort required can not be described as a challenge, it is pretty easy. I'm unsure about the hot spring claim though, it certainly was not apparent.

Another link to the possibility of there being mineral water is here:
'After a refreshing dip, visitors can relax in a natural hot spring'.
As stated in the Waterfalls of Southeast Asia blog entry on Yang Bay, management may want to expand the mineral water on offer and add in some mud (as in the success of Thap Ba hot spring).

It's a pity that not much is made of the current mineral water facilities, if existing.

Despite the development, Yang bay and certainly Ho Cho are worth the effort.

Update [June 2012]
This article mentions 
'The waterfall [Ho Cho] includes two streams, one hot and one cold. If tourists fancy having fun in the hot water or just want to relax, the park management board has built a swimming pool, which mixes the two streams of hot and cold water.
The waterfall will soon be developed into a hot spring site'.
All part of an expansion ...
Related Posts with Thumbnails