Raging fall and thriving wildlife
After all the partying by the beach in Cha-am or Hua Hin, Pa La-U Waterfall is a nice escape in a forest teeming with animal life and a rich diversity of plants and trees.
The waterfall is in the midst of a watershed jungle nourished by monsoon rain. It enlivens visitors with its clear stream which cascades over 11 tiers of rocks.
Lower down its course the stream is gentle but if you climb to the seventh tier, accessible via a testing trail, you will come to a big pool where the current is stronger. Beyond that the trail becomes extremely difficult and is accessible to seasoned adventure buffs only.
The ideal time to visit the waterfall is late October until end of December when you can enjoy nature without getting soaked by rain. It is part of the country's biggest national park, Kaeng Krachan, full of wildlife and plant diversity. Wild elephants, gaurs, leopard, and Sumatran serow can occasionally be spotted in deeper recess of the forest park.
The park is an ideal place for bird watching as numerous species thrive under its cover, such as the red-headed trogon, great slaty woodpecker, rusty-breasted cuckoo and others. It is also home to Karen people who have mastered the art of living in harmony with nature.
One of the more popular pastimes at Pa La-U is watching butterflies that can be seen in droves from April until July drawing nectar from plants growing near the waterfall. They lend colour to the surroundings and are a magnet for naturalists who converge on the park at that time of the year.
Bangkok Post December 05 www.bangkokpost.com
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