I am so un-fit.
This wasn’t more true than when we visited Na Muang Waterfalls, Koh Samui. Being on a budget means we have decided to walk as many places as possible. If we can walk it, why take a taxi? We save money, get a little exercise and see the world as we go. Walking is perfectly fine, I can handle that, but when you have to walk up-hill, in the fiery sun, with no wind to cool you down, nope. Just nope.
We arrived at Na Muang National Park via a Songthaew (a type of open taxi/bus van thing). These vehicles drive round Thailand and you can flag them down like you would a taxi. However, they aren’t private, anyone can get on board and the driver then drops you off on the way to somewhere else. We paid 200 Baht (£4.50) per person, per direction, to get from Bo Phut to the south side of the island. To compare, our hotel were charging 800 baht for a private taxi, one-way.
The air was getting thin we were so high!
We arrived at the gates and started our walk towards the falls, 800m to waterfall 2. The walk became a climb, a steep steep climb. We conquered it (yay!) to reach the welcome sign (wooh!) Then… more walking. The air was getting thin we were so high! (Slight exaggeration). I was struggling though, my heart was practising its drum skills, whilst my legs were practising their dead lifts.
The difficultly of this walk can only be compared to the time I went to Leeds festival. The traffic was horrendous, and we thought we were pretty close, so we got dropped off and walked the rest of the way. An hour and a half of lugging my huge rucksack wedged with cider cans, a tent, a sleeping bag, a chair and clothes, falling out with my best friends and peeing on a spider, we made it to the camp site.
Note; if you hire a private taxi they will take you right to the main entrance (the sign of the park) Also note; after that you can take a 4×4 off-road car to drive you to the first pool. Again, if you are on a budget, you can walk it.
The Safari Park is a little unusual. I say this as there is more to it than just the waterfalls. At the entrance you can also take a photograph with a tiger. This is not something Pete and I can condone, if you have read previous posts you may have seen we are big David Attenborough fans! You can also ride elephants, (again, we feel the same about this). To ride the elephants you queued as though you were about to get on board a log flume ride. The elephants were lined up ready as the people hopped on, toured a bit of the park and then dropped them back off, one after another after another.
Back to the falls, if you decide to walk it (it’s really not that bad) when you get to the fork in the road, go down the left path. We, unfortunately went up to the right unknowingly. Here you enter the falls via the tropical gardens where you have to pay 50 baht each. You do get a bottle of water with a that so that’s a little perk. But if you walk on the left, we think it is free entrance.
The water is the coldest water you will find in Koh Samui.
The first pool you come to is the biggest and the busiest. Here you will see the power of the waterfall, a cool, green pool (great for bringing your temperature down), climbable rock formations and pretty people posing for Instagram. Apparently, the water here is the coldest water you will find in Koh Samui. After a little dip, a little paddle, we headed up the path, following the waterfall upwards. Scrambling over rocks, we reached a second pool/flat break of the fall. Much quieter here and a much better backdrop for that all important photo-op. The higher we went, the less tourists, the better the view.
We spent a good few hours here and didn’t even have the chance to walk to waterfall 1! But we really enjoyed exploring, climbing and adventuring over the rocks and seeing how high we could get. Wear decent shoes and take plenty of water, if your stamina is as bad as mine, you’ll need it.