THE UNIQUE NIGHTLIFE EXPERIENCE

Chasing Waterfalls on Koh Phangan, Thailand: A Guide to the Island’s Natural Beauty

 

An island located off the East Coast of Thailand, Koh Phangan is celebrated for more than just its legendary Full Moon and OXA Parties. The island is an escape for nature lovers, with flourishing jungles, serene beaches, and scenic waterfalls inviting adventurers to explore the island’s natural wonders. Things to do in Koh Phangan include exploring some of the best waterfalls on Koh Phangan, including Than Sadet, Wang Sai, Paradise, Phaeng, and Than Prawet.

 

 

The overview for each Waterfall: 

 

Than Sadet Waterfall

Entry price: ฿100
The best time to visit: May to October
Tip: go slow, some parts of the hike can be steep and the water flow can be strong

 

Than Sadet Waterfall is more than just a natural wonder, it is also a place of cultural and historical importance that adds depth to the experience of exploring Koh Phangan!

The name “Than Sadet” translates to “The Royal River,” emphasizing the connection between Thai royalty and this unique location. The rocks near the waterfall are covered with inscriptions from various Thai kings, particularly King Rama V. While named after King Rama V, many other Thai royalty have visited this site. Visitors can find inscriptions carved into the stone, as an example of the importance of this sacred spot. 

Than Sadet is located within Than Sadet National Park, approximately 10 kilometers from Thong Sala, the main town of Koh Phangan, access to the waterfall is primarily through a scenic drive along the jungle road. 

 

 

Wang Sai Waterfall

Entry price: ฿20
The best time to visit: May to October. December to April is good as well, the trail is dryer but the waterfall is usually still swimmable
Tip: consider parking on the main road and walking, the off-road is difficult if not very comfortable with a scooter

 

Wang Sai Waterfall is a hidden gem located in the northeastern part of Koh Phangan, offering a quiet escape for nature enthusiasts. This isolated waterfall is not as frequently visited as some of the more popular ones on the island, providing visitors with a more intimate and serene experience. 

Wang Sai Waterfall is situated in a deep jungle area, requiring a moderate hike to reach the waterfall. Pools form along the way to the main waterfall, giving hikers many opportunities to take a swim to cool off. The relaxing atmosphere and the soothing sound of cascading water make Wang Sai a perfect spot to rest and connect with nature.

 

 

Paradise Waterfall

Entry price: ฿30 and it includes a bottle of water
The best time to visit: between October and March
Tip: arrive earlier in the morning to beat any crowds. Park at the first entrance, and walk up as the road may be difficult to navigate on a scooter

 

Paradise Waterfall is a picturesque location that is perfect for travelers seeking a peaceful retreat. The Waterfall is nestled in the northern part of Koh Phangan and involves a moderate trek, and the journey itself is part of the adventure: the path to the waterfall goes through the island’s jungle. Surrounded by tropical vegetation, the waterfall rewards hikers with a serene pool at its base, inviting them to take a refreshing dip in its clear waters.

Paradise Waterfall on Koh Phangan is more than just a destination; it’s an immersive journey into the heart of the island’s natural beauty. From the scenic hike through the jungle to the refreshing pools and flowing water, Paradise Waterfall is an option for those seeking an enchanting experience in this tropical paradise.

 

 

Phaeng Waterfall

Entry price: ฿100
The best time to visit: after the monsoon season, from October to March
Tip: wear proper gear, a lot of the loop is uphill with rocks, which can be slippery if not prepared

 

One of the most popular waterfalls on the island, Phaeng Waterfall is situated within the Phaeng National Park. The park is not far from Thong Sala and is central to the island of Koh Phangan. 

 

The journey to Phaeng Waterfall involves a scenic hike through the tropical jungle of Phaeng National Park. The well-marked trail allows visitors to explore the island’s natural beauty, offering glimpses of native plant species and occasional wildlife. The hike is a loop that showcases multiple waterfalls, and multiple pools in which hikers can take a swim. However, it is possible to take different shortcuts to make the hike easier and faster. 

In addition to the waterfall, the National Park includes a lookout point that provides a panoramic view of the island. The viewpoint is accessible via a separate trail or the main loop and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding sea and greenery. It’s a perfect spot to capture the beauty of Koh Phangan from a higher lookout point.

 

 

Than Prawet Waterfall

Entry price: free
The best time to visit: January to March
Tip: be comfortable driving your scooter or hire a taxi or guide as the location is off the beaten path and not super easy to access. Offers multiple smaller waterfalls

 

Located in the Northeastern part of Koh Phangan, Than Prawet Waterfall is a less-known waterfall. The waterfall features a series of smaller waterfalls and pools, surrounded by lush vegetation, providing an intimate setting for those seeking relaxation.

It is a smaller waterfall located on Koh Phangan but it is appealing to hikers due to the relatively nonexistent crowds. While it is worth the visit during the rainy season, during the dry season it is usually dried up. 

The trip to get to Than Prawet waterfall is the easiest from Thong Nai Pan Noi beach or the main road above the bay. However, it is very important to be comfortable driving your scooter off-road or to hire someone to drive there. 

 

 

General Tips for Hiking the Waterfalls: 

  • Check the weather conditions! Heavy rain can impact accessibility to the waterfall and the absence of rain can cause the waterfall to dry out. Also watch out for the burning sun and always take a sunscreen.
  • Wear good shoes for the hike to some waterfalls, as the trails can be uneven or slippery.
  • Bring swimwear and a towel to enjoy a refreshing dip in the natural pools.
  • Respect the historical significance of the site and the natural environment by following the park rules and regulations. 

 

 

Beyond the vibrant parties and sandy shores, Koh Phangan reveals a quieter, more meditative side through its stunning waterfalls. Whether you’re drawn to the historical significance of Than Sadet, the quiet charm of Wang Sai, the picturesque Paradise Waterfall, the popular Phaeng Waterfall, or the peaceful Than Prawet, each waterfall on the island offers a unique experience. Lace up your hiking boots and embrace the call of the jungle! Let Koh Phangan’s waterfalls be included in your island adventure!

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