When you are in Thailand, cooling off on the beach on a hot sunny day sounds like a total bliss until you reach the shore and witness the crowds of people who had thought just the same as you. Every shack has long waitings, and every hammock and beach chair is already occupied. You could either turn back and head home disappointed, or you could head to the east coast of the island to find breathtaking waterfalls with fewer crowds and cool off under the natural water jets to make the most of your sunny day.
The landscape of Phuket is blessed with gorgeous hills and spectacular waterfalls which provide a panoramic view of the neverending sea and the alluring tropical rainforests. Hike through the lush green jungles that lead to hidden waterfalls and spend some quality time surrounded by nature in its purest form.
1. Bang Pae Waterfall
Standing 10 meters tall, the Bang Pae waterfall can be visited any time of the year as it does not dry up. Titled as the largest waterfall in Thailand, the waterfall is surrounded by exotic wildlife and stunning sceneries. As the waterfall is located within the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, there is an entry fee of THB 200 per person which is worth it given the splendour the waterfall boasts. Pack some snacks and pick a cool shady spot around the waterfall and unwind as the gushing water creates a magical sight in front of you.
Address: Pa Klok, Thalang District, Phuket Timings: 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Best time to visit: Peak rainy season (May to December)
2. Ton Sai Waterfall
Ton Sai Waterfall is another enthralling sight to feast your eyes on. Located only 20 minutes away from Bang Paeon the other side of the hill. While Ton Sai is not as big and humongous as Bang Pae, the former is has a charm of its own. Take a walk from the waterfall to witness the eye-catching flora and fauna housed inside the park. Ton Sai is a hub for bird watchers as there are a plethora of species to look out for. So make sure you don't forget your camera and binoculars. There's also an information centre for the ones with a thirst for knowledge. But there's a catch. The scripts are written in the Thai language so you may want to catch hold of a guide to translate for you.
Address: Thep Krasatti, Thalang District, Phuket Timings: Open 24 hours Best time to visit: Peak rainy season (May to December)
3. Kathu Waterfall
Instead of one massive fall, the Kathu Waterfall has a series of mesmerising cascades and drop pools. The best time to visit Kathu is during the rainy season (from June to November) as the water flow is highest during this time. That being said, the path leading to the waterfall gets slippery so tread lightly when you visit this place. Climb to the top of the waterfall for a never seen before view. The ascent is hard but worth it. The stairs leading up to the peak have shades beside them so you can stop and take rest to incase the hike gets tiring. Dive in the drop pools for a swim, or if you are up for it, the pools make up for an excellent site to go paddling in. The entrance fee is THB 100 for foreigners and THB 20 for locals. There are snack counters placed right at the entrance. So grab a bite before visiting the falls to keep you energised.
Address: Kathu, Kathu District, Phuket Timings: Open 24 hours Best time to visit: June to November
4. Ao Yon Waterfall
Placed discreetly in Cape Panwa, a small faded sign (which is sometimes hard to notice) will indicate that there's a waterfall nearby. The path to the waterfall can, however, be misleading as similar paths are leading to different places. Along the one which leads to the Ao Yon Waterfall, you will come across small huts and local villagers and even few buffaloes wandering about. Because not many people are aware of the existence of this waterfall, you will find it more in its natural state. Walk across a little stream that will lead you to the waterfall. The drop pools are not large but are big enough for swimming. The tropical trees form a magical reflection in the waters which can be captured beautifully in cameras. Want to show off that 'gram feed' This is the ideal location to put your photography skills to use.
Address: Cape Panwa Timings: Open 24 hours, no entry fee. Best time to visit: Any time of the year
5. Lampi Waterfall
Located close to Khao Lak, the area around Lampi Waterfall is now a commercial site, though the waterfall is untouched. A visit to Lampi Waterfall will be free of hassle as it will only be a 3-minute walk from where you park your vehicle? No need to take a step in a jungle and go on a waterfall hunt. This location is also an ideal picnic spot as there are several food stalls around the waterfall. Forgot to bring your swimming shorts? No worries as there's a shop here which sells one. The waterfall is impressive to look at with its multiple levels of cascades emerging out of the forest. You could either take a walk on the bridge and get a good look of the falls or swim under the bridge, in a large cold pool (though not significant enough for paddling). Though not so deep, the water will be cold, perfect to cool of the summer heat. The entry fee is THB 100 for foreigners and THB 20 for locals. Make sure to visit on weekdays to make the most out of your trip as the pool gets crowded on the weekends.
Address: Thai Mueang, Thai Mueang District, Phang-nga Timings: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Best time to visit: April to October
Head over to the unique and beautiful waterfalls in Phuket to admire nature at its best form. Take a stroll, hike on the hill or dip in the pool. Do take into consideration the fact that to avoid mosquitoes and other insects, visit the waterfalls early in the morning, till noon.