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Na Muang One Waterfall at Baan Thurian, about 10 kilometres south of Nathon, is a popular tourist attraction on Ko Samui that can easily be reached by vehicle. The turnoff is well signposted along the 4169 Ring Road, and from the parking lot, it’s only a walk of a few hundred metres to get there.
Alongside the parking lot is the camp for Namuang Safari — if you don’t agree with the idea of riding the elephants, you may still enjoy feeding the friendly beasts here and baskets of fruit are available for 50 baht.
A short walk past curio shops and food vendors takes you to the waterfall. Try the fresh durian along the way if you are brave, but if the smell is off-putting, the chips are a good option as the pungent aroma seems to be lost in the cooking process. Take a look at the spectacular spirit tree, with its selection of curious offerings including a well-proportioned bra.
Make your way down stone steps, watching your step over tree roots and slippery surfaces, to the pool below for a cool dip. The pool is popular with locals as well as tourists, and far cooler than the ocean. When jumping from the large boulder, be sure to first orientate yourself with the hidden rocks in the water below, as accidents have happened here. The waterfall is 18 metres high, and at its most spectacular in December and January just after rainy season.
Entrance to the waterfall is free, but parking costs 20 baht for a car, and 10 baht for a scooter.
If you are intent on elephant trekking, it costs 700 baht per adult and 600 baht per child for half an hour. The treks leave three times per day at 09:00, 13:00 and 15:30. The animals we saw appeared well cared for.
By Rosanne Turner
Last updated on 18th March, 2015.