Ton Prai Waterfall near Khao Lak
We've all just had a little holiday, and life is now settling back to normal with work and school and blogging! While on holiday I took plenty of photos and posted updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but couldn't face a whole blog post and was trying to keep off the computer as much as possible and spend more time with the family. Mum and Dad were here from England, kids had school holidays and I had a couple of weeks away from the dive shop. Much of the time was quite relaxed, nothing too strenuous. We did 2 separate trips to Khao Lak and I will write more about Khao Lak sometime soon. We'd not been to stay there before, and we liked it. Khao Lak is less than 2 hours drive from our house, about 100km north. On the way home from the second trip, we stopped off at Ton Prai waterfall, which is about about 30km south of Nanthong beach in Khao Lak where we stayed, or 30km north of Sarasin bridge which joins Phuket island to the mainland. It's then another 6km down a small side road which gets narrower and more jungly as you approach the hills. It was clearly signposted, easy to find. We had stopped last year one time, but on a rainy day and we did not fancy a walk in the jungle! This time the sky was blue with some fluffy cotton wool clouds floating around. We stopped at the entrance / visitors center where you have to pay an entry fee, currently 100 Baht for a tourist, cheaper for Thai people. My wife negotiated a group price for 6 of us :)
There are some clean toilets at the entrance. Nowhere to buy a drink, though .. we should have stopped at a 7-11 or local store to get a few bottles of water along the way. Hot day, walking in the jungle, need drinks! There's a sign at the visitors center explaining that it's a 650m walk to reach Ton Prai waterfall. There's another sign too ... Conserve nature. Do not leave anything here. Good. And then a wonderful mis-spelling or mistranslation ... Accept your Footprint. Should say "Except" but actually turns into a Buddhist concept. Accept your footprint. I like it!
The walk to the waterfall was quite easy, the path is well made, up and downhill sections mostly have steps rather than rough ground, not too many loose stones, it was no bother for my parents who are not as young as they used to be :) The walk is very jungly and I do like a bit of jungle in small doses, though prefer sweeping views. Big rainforest trees with buttress roots are a favourite of mine. The roots are mostly above ground because rainforest soil has most of it's nutrients near the surface, and buttress roots are there to soak up all the goodness!
And here's Mum and Dad enjoying a jungle walk!
Now, there are quite a lot of waterfalls in and around Phuket (see Waterfalls in Phuket), and most are pretty small. The main attraction is the jungle ambience, and maybe a chance to jump in and cool off! I had heard that Ton Prai was worth a visit, and .. yes, it is! Even though we visited at the end of a very dry season, there was still plenty of water. Here's the first sight of Ton Prai at the end of the path ...
Yeh, it's not huge, but I like the water tumbling down the rocks. I guess after some rain it would look better. There's a shallow pool under the falls - often falls have deep pools but since the water is not falling vertically, it's not created a deep pool. My boy was straight in to check it out!
Is it cold? Well, let's say it's "refreshing"! And even a little jungle walk can make you sweat a little. So I jumped in too for a splash with the kids. It was easy enough to go and sit right under the waterfall. Would that be possible in rainy season? Not sure. Here's me enjoying a free shower ...
We're thinking of a little trip to Khao Lak sometime in the low season, so will check out Ton Prai again, as well as a return visit to Sri Phang Nga national park north of Khao Lak which features several waterfalls, including Tamnang which is quite impressive. There's also Lampi waterfall, just north of Ton Prai, also worth a look. Ton Prai deserves another look, and is easy enough to visit on the way to Khao Lak or on the way home.
Here's some more of that jungle :)
Next few blog posts will also feature the Khao Lak area. We took a speedboat day trip to Koh Tachai island, we visited a couple of tsunami memorials and really enjoyed a couple of easy relaxing days staying at a small resort by the sea. With low season prices, hotels in Khao Lak are a bargain for half the year! Only trouble is that Khao Lak gets very quiet and a lot of things close up. We'll see later this year!
Ton Prai Waterfall - Location Map
View Ton Prai Waterfall in a larger map