A Tale of 3 Waterfalls Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand Part 2

Huai Luang The Second Waterfall

formerly (Buk Taew)

We made our way to Na Ja Luay on the second leg of the journey. It was my first time visiting here. It is a small place divided by the highway heading south.

It was getting to be noonish and time to find a suitable place for lunch. It turned out to be vendor just opposite a large field with a playground and sport courts. Maybe a park or a school yard. At the moment it was only used as a diner by some local cattle who were multi-tasking, eating and cutting the grass.

Sitting in the open air enjoying a good meal, good conversation and observing the world around is a thing I love about Thailand. In that setting it is much easier to get a feel of the place and its people. I asked if they had a cold Chang beer in a can and got no for a reply. Before I could locate a shop to buy it myself the vendor scurried off and returned a minute later with the object of my desire. What a country!

With a full stomach and my thirst quenched by a cold beer, we headed out of town. The road is dotted by small overnight resorts for the out of town visitors who don’t want to come and go in a single day. This was good evidence that a popular attraction is nearby.

The road to Nam Tok Huai Luang was easy to find as there were markings and signs along the way. In a short few minutes we were stopped at the security gate. A sign gave notice of entrance fees.

I whipped out my Thai drivers license and was given the Thai fee of 20 Baht. I found out this could be done totally by accident. On a trip to Erawan Waterfall outside of Kanchanaburi city the bus stopped at the security gate. Two park rangers boarded to bus to accept the fees. When the female ranger came to me I handed her my Thai drivers license and said in Thai, “ben khon Thai”. I did it jokingly but was surprised when she charged me the local fee.

I also learned from the rangers at the gate that fees for foreigners had been reduced from 200TB to 100TB and that the ticket is good for any and all national parks but only on the date of purchase.

Rolling slowly past the gate and into the park we passed a large open area. There was a large group of students getting a brief about the camp they would be participating in. One noticed the “farang” face looking out the open car window and suddenly the brief was ignored and I found myself being stared and smiled at by at least 100 students. I couldn’t help but smile back.

We touched down at the staging area and taxied to a parking spot. There are a few vendors who offer food and drink to the captive audience, an entrance to a nature trail and the information hall that has photos and history of what you will see.

Down the first flight of stairs through a garden area you come to a vista point overlooking the treasure below. It is a great place to get a sense of why you are here and what’s in store for you at the bottom of the ravine.

My first impression was an Indiana Jones movie or something similar. It was easy to imagine that this waterfall so far below contains a hidden cave behind a veil of falling water. Covered by the water and protected by a curse, the cave contains ancient mysteries and treasures.

Huai Luang Waterfall

Following a brief interlude for a photo session we began the steep descent down the narrow staircase. Mini waterfalls were dripping from the face of the cliff walls creating rain.

The sound alerts you to the waterfall before it ever comes into view. Then you feel the cool mist and see the fall from the side. The fist thing I noticed was the water striking the large boulders at the base iced the dark rocks with white foam. It resembles snow, ice or frosted chocolate cupcake. Nature does it best.

Standing knee deep in water looking up at the might and beauty I got the message that nothing man can do will ever compete with the glories of nature. A show of power, water to swim in, a large strategically place boulder to swim to and sit close enough to enjoy the mist and feel the power.

A narrow sandy beach made available to sit and relax on while taking it all in. Back in the water a new experience. I recently learned about fish spas. A unique spa that has you place your feet in a tank full of fish that clean your feet for you. I was now getting this same treatment for free in this isolated pool of water. A school of fish gather around my feet. It mostly tickled but some of the fish had teeth.

nature's fish spa

Down a hundred meters or so was a lesser waterfall. Nature had created and waterside bench to sit and rest. A place to watch the water flow by totally oblivious to my gaze. It went about it’s long journey as though I wasn’t there. A lesson in total focus that I could use many times in my own journey.

Time had come to end this part of the day’s adventure. I made my way back to the main area where many people were swimming, laughing, photographing, sitting and enjoying the moment. One last mind photograph and turned towards the price to pay for playing.

Before me lay the steps to the top. It looked much different looking up then it did on the trip to the bottom. It was definitely a formidable opponent. Step by step I inched my way upward. Gravity was not my friend. My lungs began screaming as did the muscles in my legs. I got passed by some teenage boys showing off.

I finally reached the top and occupied the nearest bench, slowly silencing my lungs and muscles. I now knew why some couples only viewed the waterfall for the top vista point. I was also made to feel better by seeing those teenage boys gasping for air nearby. I also noticed a large number of youth in the early to mid 20’s doing the same. Hey I didn’t do as bad as I thought.

In the end I will have to say the return on the price I had to pay was well worth it and would gladly pay the same price again.

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  1. […] Huai Luang Waterfall – One of the best waterfalls I have seen in Thailand.  You will find this spectacle in the southeast region of the province. It is well worth all the steps you have to ascend when you are leaving. […]

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