Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Part 2: Nakhon Ratchasima Trip with Family- Waterfalls

Khao Yai National Park is part of a larger jungle area that is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During out trip to the area, we spent a day in the national park. We hoped to see some elephants in the wild, but all we saw of them was their trails and lots and lots of poop! Sorry, no pictures of the poop ;)
Elephant crossing sign
We did however come across a countless number of monkeys on the roads and in the trees as we hiked the falls, as well as some deer that were hanging around some of the camp sites in the area.

Friendly neighborhood 6 point
Mountainous area plus rain forest equals waterfalls.  We stopped off at several of those along the way. It hasn't rained lately so the water flow in all of the falls we went to was low, but they were still pretty and peaceful. I'm not sure if I'll get all of the names or areas correct, but here are the three waterfalls that we went to.
The gang at Haew Suwat Waterfall
The first one is called Haew Suwat Waterfall. It's said to be a 20 meter drop from the top to the pool below, but it looks less than that to me. I could have the translation of this waterfall's name totally off, but I think it means "Face of Beauty"...but again, that's translating from bits and pieces of the name and combining the words the way that makes sense to me ;) There are usually two good size falls side by side, but again, the water flow is very low this time of year.
Haew Suwat Waterfall from above
Our second waterfall is called Haew Narok Waterfall. 150 meter drop. This waterfall was a good kilometer or more hike pretty much straight down. The name translation is just great! "Haew" = "Abyss or Chasm" and "Narok" = "Hell".
Into the bowels of Hell? Beautiful!
How great is that for a waterfall that you have to walk down 200 dangerously steep steps to get to?! Abyss of Hell! Awesome! This was by far the most spectacular waterfall of the trip, if not the most physically challenging. Mom actually destroyed everyone going back up the stairs! Powerful woman!
Reminds me a little of Bridal Veil Falls
The last waterfall we took in is called Jed Sao Noi Waterfall or 7 Little Girls Waterfall. This waterfall was a series of seven small drops of less than two meters between levels (vertically). Each waterfall was situated anywhere between 100 to 400 meters from the next fall.
Along the river, 7 Sao Noi Waterfall
When we went, the first level was full of swimmers and picnic-ers, but the lower levels along the river were relatively empty. It seemed like we had the whole river walk to ourselves. The falls were lovely and the color of the water actually looked like it had a smooth texture.
Hey! It's us!
I had walked over to the edge of a fall in the water at the first level, but was quickly whistled back by a park ranger as I was in a no swimming area. The 6th and 7th levels of the waterfall were taped off so we weren't able to continue down the path. As we drove away from the area, along the river, I kept seeing one level after another of small waterfalls similar to the seven advertised. Must be nice to live in that area!
Family mini-vacation
I only included a few photos of the falls here. There are a couple awesome panoramic photos in a previous post. It was quite an enjoyable trip to the Khao Yai area. Being out in nature after being stuck in the grind of the big city for so long was super nice!

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