Tuesday, January 24, 2012

From a distance ...

Namtok Ngao waterfall is located just outside of Ranong town, heading southwards. It is not to be missed as this cascade spectacularly falls over the cliffs, just a couple of kilometers from the main road (see photo above).

Especially spectacular towards the end of the monsoon, they are still very discernible from the road at any time of the year.

Getting close up is possible by getting entry to Namtok Ngao National Park. Another good source of information is here.
Mostly covering the main mountain ridge, there are a few other waterfalls in this national park, but none as easy accessible as Ngao. That said, the waterfall is something to be seen from a distance, rather than up close where the specific spectacularity fades.
Such that a nearby treeless hill (Phu Khao Ya) actually acts as an attractive view point of the Ngao waterfall, 10 kms away!

There is a hot spring not too far away from the main road in the same Namtok Ngao National Park, Porn Rang. Having been spruced up to the tune of $1 million (source), it's a very entertaining place to take a soak and enjoy the scenery. And the national park plays host to Pu Chao Fa a rare freshwater crab (source). Another great fact.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Massage please

Don't enlarge this picture!

About 10 km south of Suk Samran, on Thailands Highway 4 between Ranong and Takua Pa, just north of a bridge, an attentive passer-by will see a wearied and worried signboard, pointing inland, inwards to Suan Mai waterfall, part of Sri Phang Nga National Park, home to many new and unknown waterfalls.
The small road first passes some kampong houses, crosses a bridge and slowly climbs up through rubber and palm oil plantations, interspersed with some durian orchards, ripe for the picking.
The road deteriorates, then improves. After deteriorating again, one needs to continue going straight in a sharp left hand corner.
The road gets steep and enters a protected environment with what was once a parking area before a steep hairpin to an office with some tired looking government staff.

After stepping out of the car, one hears the rushing stream. Following a wide track and then a smaller track along a waterpipe, the 10 minute ‘trek’ ends at the foot of a nice 20 m high waterfall, Suan Mai.

Beneath the fall is a great pool to cool off and swim up for a natural back massage. Another nice find.

The surroundings are still very natural and pristine, despite the relative accessibility of these falls from the highway.

Interesting background knowledge is the website of the Andaman coast community tourism. It highlights some lesser well known waterfalls near Kuraburi. Other than this mention there is not much other information on the internet, it's very far away from anything remotely touristic, but as said a great find.
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