Here is another waterfall that is set in a peaceful location which is easy to visit for anyone with a scooter. You can combine it with a visit to the island’s best elephant camp which is located about 500 metres before you reach the starting off point for the waterfall walk. As with all waterfalls here, the best time to visit is from June to November. Outside this time expect the river to be dry.
To get there you need to take the road that leads inland from the 7-eleven in Klong Son village, in the north-west corner of Koh Chang. You will see hand painted signs for both the elephant camp and waterfall at this junction. Follow the concrete road into the valley, on the way you will pass the school and plenty of fruit fields. A couple of other things to keep an eye out for at the ‘faux Angkor’ entrance to a rich German guy’s pad and the cockfighting ring & golf driving range.
Around 2.5km into the valley you will pass the entrance to Baan Kwan Chang, the road soon becomes a dirt track and around 500 metres past the elephant camp it drops down to a ford across the river. This should be passable by scooter – but check before you ride into it. You are now at Klong Jow Laem bungalows & restaurant. They bungalows for rent on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
You pay 20 Baht to the owner and can then follow the signposted trail a few hundred metres to the river. at first you will be walking up the trail on the left hand side of the river. The first 5 levels are relatively close together and easy to access. when you get to the 6th things start to get more interesting as you then have to cross the river and make your way up up a few metres of slippery rocky incline before reaching the barely noticeable trail again.
From here on it is a similar story, I am sure there is a path that runs up the right hand side of the river but in many places I couldn’t make it our or it just seemed a lot easier to go the direct route, scrambling up rocks or walking on the river bed. Each level has a small sign with the number and distance to the next level marked on it. The last sign I noticed was for Level 7, but after this there were obviously more levels and it wasn’t hard to keep on walking and finding more small falls and pools.
I got to, I think, Level 10 – although I wasn’t paying much attention, after which a small tributary joins the main river on the right. I went another couple of hundred metres up the river bed from here but as I hadn’t brought my sandwiches and flask of tea I decided that seeing how much further the river went could wait for another day.
As you are following a river it is impossible to get lost, the only things to be wary of are that it can be slippery underfoot and there is no mobile phone signal. Go and have a little adventure and then on the way back there are plenty of pools where you can cool off. It isn’t spectacular but you will get a good sense of being alone in the jungle.
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