A Guide to Phuket’s Waterfalls
Waterfalls in Phuket have a certain national importance. During any hot weekend, Thai families who aren’t content with staying at home do not go to any crowded beaches. Instead, they are heading to the east coast of the island, to cool off under the waterfall jets. In Phuket, there are three commonly known waterfalls Bang Pae, Ton Sai, and Kathu, and we have listed their different attributes below:
Bang Pae Waterfall
Bang Pae waterfall is located in the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park on the north coast of Phuket. This waterfall is 10 metres high, and does not dry even during the cool season, with the best time to visit from December to May (during the rainy months). Bang Pae holds the title as the largest waterfall in Thailand, and boasts exotic surroundings, as well as an abundance of shaded places to chill out. The National Park charges a fee for tourists at 200 baht per person. It is highly recommended to keep the ticket if you are going to visit Ton Sai waterfall the same day.
Ton Sai Waterfall
Ton Sai Waterfall is located on the other side of the hills and is equally popular. To get from Bang Pae to Ton Sai takes around 20 minutes by car, and if the time allows, the ticket may also be valid there. Ton Sai is not as big and impressive as Bang Pae being largest waterfall, however, is also worth visiting as it has a lovely ambiance and its own appeal. In fact, with a hired guide you may walk through the park itself from one waterfall to another. Moreover, the guide can show the array of typical fauna and flora present.
Ton Sai fall is also known as a hotspot perfect place for tropical bird watching, as there are thousands of different kinds nearby. There is an information centre as well, but be warned the tourist guides and posters are all in Thai script so keep your Google translate handy!
Kathu Waterfall is rather more a series of drop pools and cascades than one massive fall. The best time to visit Kathu is from June to November when the monsoon water feeds the fall, substantially adding to its flow. That being said, try to avoid visiting the waterfall on rainy days, as the footpath can get slippery. If you want to climb to the top of Kathu waterfall, get prepared for a hard ascent. Although there are stairs almost along the whole hike, and shade so you can stop and take a rest at any time that can ease the journey. Drop pools along the ascents and the basin right on the top of the fall are excellent sites to cool off and go paddling around in.
The waterfalls in Phuket are all beautiful and unique. Not only islanders but also many tourists are heading there to admire nature, sink in the drop pool or hike on the hill. Take into consideration that the best time to visit any of the waterfalls in Phuket is from the morning until 4-5 pm when the sun is high, as this will mean minimal mosquitos. Happy hiking!