Welcome back, dear readers. Sorry for the long delay, unfortunately coming back to cold weather had the effect of, well… catching a cold.
Nevertheless, we are back on track and here starts our trip suggestion posts with the amazing PalaU Waterfall, one of our favorites spots in Thailand.
This cascade is found on the south side of Kaeng Krachan National Park, at around 60 km from our home base in Hua Hin. The park is one of the largest in Thailand and sits right next to the Burmese (Myanmar) border.
It is a beautiful spot to visit, as you will pass through stunning countryside and hills on your drive there.
The waterfall has 16 steps, making it one of the highest in Thailand and those who make it to the top will be rewarded by superb views over Thailand and towards Burma.
It should be noted, however, that progressing further than the third stage will be arduous and should only be attempted by those fit enough to do so.
We only made it until the 5th level, as the time was short and our tour should have progressed already to the next stop.
As mentioned before, after passing the national park checkpoint, you will step into the tropical jungle with beautiful scenery, huge boulders, countless colorful butterflies, tropical birds and monkeys.
To get to the higher up tiers of the waterfall take a beautiful hike along the stream stepping over rocks and roots of large trees while enjoying the serene atmosphere of a forest in excellent condition full of the sounds of birds and insects.
Trail along the first five levels
A fairly well marked trail leads up to the first five levels of the waterfall. It is a beautiful hike along the river stepping over tree roots, balancing on rocks and hanging on to ropes attached to the trees while being surrounded by the sounds of the jungle.
The average fairly fit climber will take some 45 minutes to an hour to get to level five. Over level one the climb is not suitable for small children and people with walking difficulties. Wear good sturdy shoes to make the climb a little easier.
Schools of fish live in the pools of each waterfall level. Bring food with you and they will come right at you to feast.
You can even take a swim in the pools’ clear waters with fish hovering around you, but mind that the water will be cold.
And, in case you did not know (which I didn’t), you can actually pet fished on the head, just like any other animal. Being protected and used to humans, the fished in those waters are super curious and friendly.
Be aware that bringing food or drinks into the park is not allowed. Near the park entrance are a picnic area and a small restaurant that offers a limited choice of Thai dishes and soft drinks. And if you do not like the selection, there are others on the way back!
You can even see the durian tree, known as the stinky fruit.
Lub Lae Cave
On the way back, we decided to check the Lub Lae Cave and I am glad we did! What an awesome cave!
The cave is very big and fascinating, also used as a place for meditation for the local priest.
Created by over thousands years of nature, the cave was the perfect space for the home of… bats. You need to search a bit for them, but believe me when I say you cannot miss them… there are many!
No money was accepted, but we made donations to the temple. The temple gave us water and lights to explore the cave.
Wat Huay Mongkol
On the way back, Wat Huay Mongkol is one of the holiest places and one of the most important attractions you can stop at.
Unlike most other sacred places in Thailand, the main statue of the temple is not the traditional Buddha statue, but a statue of a monk that lived more than 400 years ago.
This is one of the most revered Buddhist monks, not only in Thailand but also in neighboring countries. They say he performed miracles, especially healing, and stories passed over for many generations. Near the temple you can buy these amulets, just don’t be surprised that they are so expensive, because for Thai people this is not just a souvenir.
And another thing… don’t forget that if you manage to throw a coin inside the mouth of the elephant statue, a wish can be fulfillment or you will have good fortune.