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Nam Kat waterfall and Namkat Yorlapa

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Once “just a waterfall” in Phou Hiphi national conservation forest, Nam Kat waterfall is now the centre of an eco-tourism attraction/resort that is trying to put Udomxai on the tourist map.

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A single cascade pours from the jungle, tumbling past boulders to create a series of small falls downstream. Nam Kat waterfall is still picture perfect and a refreshingly cool place for a swim, but the way there is no longer au naturel as the park now has a “choose your own adventure” approach to reaching the trailhead.

Just getting here from Udomxai is very pretty. Photo taken in or around Nam Kat waterfall and Namkat Yorlapa, Udomxai, Laos by Cindy Fan.

Just getting here from Udomxai is very pretty. Photo: Cindy Fan

The entrance to Namkat Yorlapa is 17 km from the city centre, a relatively easy drive through the countryside on freshly made road—they are pulling out all the stops to make this a top draw and clearly the owners have some sort of concession deal with the government for the land.

Once you enter the grounds, the resort and outdoor adventure park are separate. For the latter, follow the road, which has several sections where streams run over it. From the welcome centre, it is 5 km to the trailhead along a paved road through the forest. The basic option means taking a shuttle, then a guide accompanies the group (everyone on the shuttle) on the one kilometre journey to the falls which involves hiking on a natural trail with some steep climbs and the “sky walk” of 13 rope and wood suspension bridges in the canopy. These are rather fun. They are wobbly and there’s no handrail (just netting on the side) so it requires sure-footedness and ... Travelfish members only (Around 500 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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How to get there
Namkat Yorlapa is located 17 km northeast of Udomxai. Take the road to the airport and follow it straight, there should be signs for the resort every kilometre or so. As of 2018, the road was being paved. You’ll go through Ban Donkeo village, Ban Nabo-Noy then Ban Faen, turning right and following the new road until it dead ends at the resort and waterfall entrance.

Because streams flow over so many parts of the road in the park, in the event of a lot of rain, shuttle, bike and ATV are not available, usually for a couple days until the river levels drop down again. In this case, the falls can only be reached by the jungle trek.

Location map for Nam Kat waterfall and Namkat Yorlapa

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