On Land

The Kai Bae 5K Walk. A New Route to the ‘Secret’ Waterfall

This is a 5km loop around Kai Bae village.  It takes you from the beach, along easy to follow trails in the jungle to Kai Bae’s ‘secret’ waterfall. There’s a Googlemap, annotated photos and a PDF with written instructions for half day out sightseeing. ( This isn’t for everyone, as there is a tricky section at the top of the waterfall.)

Kai Bae Waterfall Loop

Following on from the longer Klong Prao Loop, this walk takes you on a walking tour of the highlights of Kai Bae, which a cynic might say is the reason   it’s a relatively short walk.

90% of it could be undertaken by anyone with the ability to put one foot in front of the other for a couple of hours. However, there is a tricky and unavoidable section in the middle of the walk which requires using upper body strength and having some confidence when navigating rocks adjacent to a 20 metre drop. So it isn’t for young kids or anyone who isn’t used to doing some physical activity.

The route on the map isn’t too accurate from points 9 to 16.   The reason being I don’t have a good GPS and so have to guess the route.   But this shouldn’t make any difference to you are there are no landmarks visible on Google Earth anyway and the route is pretty simple to follow.

Essential Equipment

As for equipment, a small backpack will useful as you’ll need somewhere to put water bottles & camera when you are on the tricky stretch. There will also be times when you need to get your feet wet – or when it is far easier to walk through shallow water than to try to find away around. Therefore walking sandals would be a better choice than trainers.   I wore flip-flops but there again I’m used to wearing them every day and walking long distances in them and you probably aren’t.

Because some clambering down steep rocks and also along river beds is required I wouldn’t advise doing the walk in the rainy season when the rivers are likely to be in flood and the paths slippery.

Time.

This is a half day walk.   Do it in the morning after breakfast and you’ll get better photos from the hillside viewpoint as the sun will be behind you. (Also if you get lost then you have more chance of getting back to civilization during daylight hours.)

In Brief

The starting point is at Kai Bae Beach Resort. From here you’ll head south along the sand before making your way up to the view point overlooking the six islands that lie off Kai Bae and Klong Prao beaches. From this official viewpoint, where you should stock up with   a couple of bottles of water,   you’ll then head ‘off road’ and head up the hillside further before making your way along the ridge of the hill. As the wide track ends a smaller one, used by local rubber farmers, meanders down into the valley.

The first sign of civilization you see is a simple shelter which is home to a rubber tapper. From here it’s just a short stroll to a small stream. This is where the fun starts. The trail heads into the rubber field on the opposite side, but you’re going to be heading down the riverbed. Following the path of the stream will eventually lead you to the top of Kai Bae waterfall. Peering over the edge you’ll see the pool below where you can take a swim in the cool, clear water.

The one problem facing you is that you have to get down to the pool, this is easier said than done as although there’s a route it isn’t obvious and it does involve lowering yourself down rocks using vines and an old rope.

From the pool another footpath will take you out of the jungle and you’ll emerge in Kai Bae valley. Then you’ve got a stroll through the fruit field to look forward to, stopping to see the wild pig farm, and then crossing over the river again and walking north along the path of the original road that led to Kai Bae. From here there are some more nice views. Then it’s time to cut through someone’s back garden and head back to the main road. The final stretch takes you off the road and to the shoreline at Coral Resort where you’ll get some great views north to Klong Prao beach followed by a stroll along the beachfront back to the starting point.

The Route

The Googlemap above shows the route and directions for each point with the main resorts also marked.

Photos.

These photo galleries have annotated photos.   The numbers correspond to those on the map at the top of the page:

Part 1 From the start along the beach.

Part 2 From the viewpoint along the trail through the jungle and over the hill.

Part 3 Along the riverbed to Kai Bae waterfall.

Part 4 Out of the valley to Kai Bae village and back to the beach.

Print Version

Right click on the banner below to either Open or Save the PDF file.

9 Comments

  • It’s a while since you wrote this so a lot has changed. The undergrowth has really take over parts of the path so you cant see your feet in places, be careful of snakes. The river bed part is very difficult especially in rainy season.

    You don’t need to do the climbing down the rocks bit, you can just take the trail on the right when you get to the top of the waterfall. That takes you to the bottom of the waterfall. Also it’s very difficult to get back past the bungalows because of the unfriendly residents, they don’t want you there. Also aggressive dogs that won’t let you past. I walked back across the river to the other side and found a path there instead.

  • Hi,
    I’m impressed, a really good and detailed description – thanks a lot. We’re staying at Sea View a few nights and have a son who loves wildlife and jungles so we really wanted to try the trail. But, reading the comments it seems too hard. He has a sister who is only 7…
    Anyone who would like to be our guide? Is there another way of reaching the waterfall? The opposite direction I suppose. Of course we would pay for the service :)

  • Thanks Martin. Good you enjoyed it. Other people I know did the walk last month, but I think the recent rain has caused a lot of undergrowth to grow over the trail. Usually it’s easy to follow. Agree the trees across the river can be a bit tricky, I’m quite small so can fit between gaps. :-)

    So if anyone else is thinking of doing it, you do need to be reasonably fit and agile – the rope and drop down to the rocks at the end also requires strength and a bit of self confidence.

  • I just walked This trail today. It was very challenging, but even more, simply awesome.
    This, although the trail was extremely difficult AT point 13 to 14 because several trees blocked the way through the riverbed and the Rocks were very slippery. In Addition the trail wasnt as obvious as expected (It seems as if there hasnt been anybody trekking through These Woods lately)
    All in all its a “must have done in a lifetime” but the description makes it Sound far more easier than it really is. The fact that I wore alpine Boots and long trousers helped a Lot.

  • We did this walk earlier this week and enjoyed it a lot. Thanks for the detailed description. It was very easy to follow. Fun times! Though, some ants were a bit too aggressive ;)

  • Completed the walk yesterday 31st December 2012 with my Brother, went to look inside the pig farm but was seen off by a very large wild Boar standing outside!
    Took a while to locate the rope at the waterfall otherwise all went OK, Thanks Ian.

  • Hi Alexej, Probably a mistake by me when i was typing it. You are correct, turn right after the small pig farm. Thanks for noticing it. :-)

  • I just did this trip today. I think there’s an error at 19. (PDF). After the pig farm I had to turn _right_. Neverless I really enjoyed this walk!

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