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.

1 comment:

  1. thank you for nice view of ur land . maybe one day i hope to see our behaviour weather over here a the moment is very peaceful , ive heard the war has stop a the end of the semster , i'm glad to be home early than i ve should been.i'm am good now finally setguly down on . try to find mine feet it really a the moment it a city to big.


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