Photo: Thi Lor Su Waterfall.

Thi Lor Su Waterfall

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During rainy season, Thi Lor Su Waterfall thunders over 400-metre-long and 200-metre-tall vertical cliffs amid the dense jungle of Thailand's far western frontier. In the dry months it transforms into an angelic set of falls with refreshing pools to swim in. Visiting Thi Lor Su requires planning, time and effort -- and it's worth it.

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Also spelt Thi Lo Su or Tee Law Su, among other ways, Thi Lor Su is a Karen word meaning "Black Waterfall," a name that seems odd after watching the whitewater cascade over tan and green cliffs. Often referred to as the "largest" waterfall in Thailand, tourism brochures claim that it's the "sixth largest" and among the "six most beautiful" waterfalls in the world. We'll just call it impressive.

Part of Thi Lor Su at the end of rainy season. Photo taken in or around Thi Lor Su Waterfall, Umphang, Thailand by David Luekens.

Part of Thi Lor Su at the end of rainy season. Photo: David Luekens

Regardless of it's ranking, Thi Lor Su is the highlight of Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary, where clouded leopards and tapirs roam beneath 1,300 different types of palms. Wild bananas attract elephants from the untamed wilderness, which joins several other protected areas to form one of mainland Southeast Asia's largest ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 1,000 words.)

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