It is August and in Thailand that means we are caught right in the middle of monsoon season. I know…I know….rain, rain, go away, right?
Monsoon season means rain, yes, and a lot of it. But you know what rain leads to? Waterfalls. Not just insignificant streams of water trickling over rocks, but the full on mist in your hair as you sense the power in the thunder of water cascading down into hidden pools tucked away in lush jungle kind of waterfalls; a nature lover’s dream come true! One of the greatest draws to Buengkan, apart from it’s sincerity and small town charm, is the abundance of nature surrounding it. During rainy season Buengkan Province is actually host to almost ten waterfalls! Contrary to popular foreign tourist belief, Buengkan actually has a lot going on – you just have to get out of the city. So without further ado may I present five waterfalls (and in no particular order because truly we love them all) you must see if you are lucky enough to find yourself in Buengkan, Thailand during the monsoon season.
1. Chet Si Waterfall (น้ำตกเจ็ดสี)
“Chet” (or “jet”, means color in Thai and “si” means seven. They call this beauty the Seven Color Waterfall because of the rainbow that arcs across when the sun shines down. Of course, you have to catch it on a sunny day but even when cloudy is still boasts immense beauty. While this is a popular waterfall for many, the journey to it is not for the faint of heart!
Getting here in peak season requires a short climb, a scramble across some rocks through the river while holding onto a rope, traversing over a small ravine with gushing water and a final quick clamber over some more rocks.
Rain or shine, this waterfall is always worth the short but exciting hike! The water at the base is not deep so it is safe to wade around and play in the water. It’s a fun, popular, perfect half day trip while in the Buengkan Province!
2. Tam Phra Waterfall (น้ำตกถ้ำพระ)
Tam Phra waterfall is a very popular spot for locals! This waterfall is only accessible by boat, which at the time of writing cost only about 40 baht roundtrip. This is another great spot for hanging out with friends or family, especially if you bring an umbrella and some food for a picnic!
There is a natural water slide that many people thoroughly enjoy, and the water is never too deep so it is a pretty safe environment! Unlike Chet Si, Tam Phra is not difficult to get to, just a leisurely boat ride and a short walk.
There is plenty of exploring to do here and you can either spend a couple hours receiving a free massage via waterfall or you can go wandering around the area. There is no shortage of things to do here!
3. Wimanthip Waterfall (น้ำตกตาดวิมานทิพย์)
Wimanthip is one of the less explored waterfalls in Buengkan Province. It is about 100 km out of town. Once there it requires a mad, slippery scramble up rocks, grabbing onto tree roots and branches to get to each level. There are nine levels to explore. This waterfall is truly hidden in the mountain and it is difficult but worth it to find!
If you are very intrepid you can pack a lunch and carry it up with you, possibly stopping at one of the levels to enjoy your meal with a view! This is truly unseen Thailand, and we can pretty much guarantee if you do make it here, you will have a completely unique experience from everyone else you know back home!
4. Chanaan Waterfall (น้ำตกชะแนน)
Another less explored waterfall than Chet Si or Tam Phra (although more popular than Wimanthip) is Chanaan Waterfall. The most adventurous part of getting here might just be the natural rock bridge you have to drive over.
On a sunny day this poses as no problem, but add rain into the equation and even if you aren’t religious you just might find yourself praying! Once you get over it (literally) it’s a pretty straightforward walk to the waterfall. This one is great to see but not spend quite as much time around, mainly due to it being unsafe to swim in during peak season and you may run out of things to do pretty quickly! If you are brave of heart you can climb up around the side of the waterfall, but be warned it is very slippery when wet.
This is one waterfall that might actually be more fun to visit before monsoon season really hits, because when there is only a little bit of water you can climb all over it and there are some extraordinary views from the top.
5. Tatpho Waterfall (น้ำตกตาดโพร์)
Tatpho Waterfall is more of a bonus, really, because this area is host to at least 3 waterfalls all at once, all on different tiers of the mountain! This series of waterfalls is a blast, and you can spend a whole day here if you really want to explore!
The first tier, Tatpho, is very easily accessible and you can see it from the car park. If you are willing to venture just a little further up the mountain, you will come to tier 2, Phasawan Waterfall. All waterfalls and trails are very clearly marked so you don’t have to worry about getting lost!
Phasawan is arguably more beautiful as well as more secluded and serene. While this is usually a popular place, the farther up you venture the less people you run into! Wander a little farther up the mountain and you will soon enough stumble upon tier 3.
Tier 3 is Sai Ngam waterfall. This waterfall is equally beautiful as Phasawan, and it feels even more remote. Again, the water here is shallow enough for you to step under the falls and cool off if you so wish!
From here the trail gets a little bit more strenuous and you must climb up some creaky wooden ladders to get to tier 4. Tier 4 is still a bit of a mystery! We have yet to find the 4th waterfall, if it even exists, but that is part of what makes this place so intriguing! Even though we did not find a fourth waterfall, the views from the top are still pretty stunning and definitely worth the climb!
Buengkan Province is a beautiful, mysterious, mostly unseen province that is worth hopping off the “Banana Pancake Circuit” for! Volunteer with us and get the chance to live in this slice of paradise for a while. You will find yourself wanting to stay forever! 😉