Published/Last edited or updated: 17th January, 2017
Part of the reason for coming here is the trek through a lush jungle alive with gigantic trees and wildlife that includes birds and butterflies. The hike is not to be taken lightly—the rough cut trail is difficult, steep and slippery. At a decent pace it takes three hours roundtrip—those doing the Tha Khaek Loop in three days will find it difficult to include this hike due to time constraints.
Start no later than 14:00 to ensure a return by sunset. The admission booth closes at 16:00 but we heard from other travellers than they have no qualms selling tickets to hikers right up until closing time, in spite of the fact that it would mean returning in the dark.
The waterfall is at its most spectacular in the rainy season (May to October) when the waters are rampaging. In the dry season the water flow slows to little more than a trickle, pretty nonetheless.
The entrance is on the main road (Route 8) beside the wat. From here it is 1.7 kilometres to the motorcycle parking area and a further 1.5 kilometres of jungle bashing to the falls themselves.
Both Green Discovery and the provincial tourism office in Tha Khaek include Namsanam waterfall in some of their Tha Khaek to Konglor trips. You can also pre-arrange for a local guide at the Na Hin tourism office, located west of the falls entrance also on Route 8. With a guide it may be possible to add Tad Mouang waterfalls, trekking further to see the 18 tiers which flow year round.
Bring plenty of water and we strongly advise against hiking alone. In 2008, an Australian tourist was almost killed on this trek after becoming lost during a tropical downpour. Paths were washed away and access back to town cut. He was rescued 11 days later by helicopter.
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you’ll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.