In theory if a waterfall is impressive enough for not one but two Thai kings to have made the effort to visit well over 100 years ago, it should be well worth a look. However, Than Mayom Waterfall always leaves me with a serious “Is that it?” feeling. Sure there are a couple of nice pools to swim in but there isn’t any ‘Wow’ factor.
It is one of the easiest waterfalls to visit, no real effort is required, which also accounts for it’s popularity. If you can walk 200 metres then you can see it. Unlike other waterfalls that require a bit more effort to get there.
Than Mayom is one of the two waterfalls on the island where visitors have to pay the National Park entrance fee , 200 Baht for Foreign adults & 100 Baht for kids. However, if you visit the far more interesting Klong Plu waterfall, on the west coast of the island, and Than Mayom the same day you only pay to get into the park once.
Getting there will require you having your own transport as Than mayom is located mid-wa down the east coast of the island. Park your scoooter by the National Park offices on the main road, or if you are seriously lazy, pay the entrance fee and then ride about 150 metres to a parking area outside a small restaurant where they will cange you 20 Baht to park. From here it is a 200m walk along the riverbank to the falls.
On the way you have to traverse the river, a rope is provided to make this easier and reduce the number of people falling flat on their face after slipping on wet rocks. Once at the falls you can clamber up to a couple of pools and if it is quiet then it’s a nice spot to swim. If you do go, then avoid weekends when Thai groups visit.
Than Mayom is also the place where a trail across the island ends. Years ago there was a footpath from Klong Plu to Than Mayom and this was marked and also had 10 signs on the way which gave information on plants or natural features of interest. You can follow this trail up a very steep hill and to flat land where it peters out at a small rubber plantation.
On the main road there is a National Park visitor centre which doesn’t appear to be visited by many visitors. There are a couple of dusty posters on the walls, an empty desk where a staff member once sat and a few fading photos on the wall. I had a look a round and the most interesting thing I could find was a stripped down chopper parked behind a partition. The only thing worthy of your attention is the grass question mark ‘?’ right outside the visitor centre. You may well wonder “Why?’ after visiting
Than Mayom is only 5 minutes drive from the less popular but far more interesting Klong Nonsi waterfall. This costs 10 baht, the parking fee to a local, and then you follow a trail through fruit fields to the river and up to 3-4 levels. Not as much water coming over the top as Than Mayom but quieter and far more interesting in my opinion.