Kai Bae Waterfall Koh Chang
If you’re looking for a bit of adventure then head to Kai Bae Waterfall Koh Chong island in Thailand for an off the beaten path trek in the jungle. Although you may get lost or find it difficult to tell the difference between the waterfall path and elephant paths, you can count on an immersive jungle experience. We visited the island as soon as it opened back up from the coronavirus quarantine shutdown, so we were practically the only people there.
The combination of it being the rainy season and the fact no tourists had visited the island for over 3 months meant that the path was very obscured and overgrown. This was not the only factor that made this hike difficult, as the muddy meandering path through the thick and thorny forest with its fair share of aggressive insects and eventual river crossing added to the difficulties. This was not a very easy hike for my girlfriend who was only wearing sandals, which ended up breaking when she slipped on a muddy slope.
Unlike the Khlong Phlu Waterfall which is well maintained by the national park team, the path to this waterfall does not have any paved pathways or steps. Despite these things, the destination was very rewarding and provides an amazing pool for swimming at the base of the falls.
The Secret Waterfall
Enough with the foreshadowing, I’m a really adventurous person and actually really enjoyed the hike through the jungle, although the lack of signs was a bit annoying as we wondered if we were even heading in the right direction or even on the correct path. Eventually, our efforts and perseverance paid off when we finally reached the waterfall that really does exist!
Despite not being marked on any of the printout maps and kept relatively hush-hush about within online local and ex-pat communities, the secret waterfall on Koh Chang is an excellent little daily diversion. You don’t have to pay a national park fee to visit this mythical waterfall about 40 minutes from Kai Bai Beach, or 5 minutes from Lonely or White Sand Beach.
As mentioned before, as long as you have appropriate walking shoes you should be fine, I even walked barefoot most of the way as it was quite muddy and we had to cross the river anyway. This would be a perfect place to chill out for an hour or two with family or friends, assuming everyone is physically capable. I wouldn’t recommend this hike for the disabled or elderly.
The best time to visit is from May to November when the pool at the base of Kai Bae Waterfall is overflowing with rainwater, making it a perfect place to rinse off all the mud, sweat and bugs from the hike in.
Kai Bae Waterfall Location and Directions
Heading Northeast from our bungalow at Nature Beach Resort, which is located on a lonely beach it was only about a 6-minute drive on our motorbike. It’s a pretty secluded place to visit so plan on bringing water and any other supplies you would feel more comfortable with like a hat and walking stick.
You’ll end up coming down the small hill seen in this picture and will want to follow the bridge to the right.
If you take the bridge to the left and end up seeing a road with a river crossing then you’ve gone too far!
Once you’re back on track, the dirt road now meanders through a pomelo field, there’s a new apartment building being built on your right, still under construction in mid-2020. Then you pass some simple homes and a large water tower on your right. There’s also a couple of signs for the waterfall and bungalows to rent in this area, so you know you are on the correct route.
This was the easy part of the journey, following this quickly disappearing path into the jungle where all the real fun begins. Try and wear pants if you have some to avoid getting your leg tore up by ants and other bugs like my girlfriend did. I would also recommend water shoes to cross the river and a walking stick would be very useful.
Most of the path winds through the jungle over rocks and large protruding tree roots until you reach a point where the path leads to the river. With the sound of the waterfall nearby you’ll need to cross the river at this point to get to your destination. Don’t take any paths running across the main one as those are just elephant camp paths where the local elephants occasionally roam around.
Kai Bae Waterfall Koh Chang
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