Khlong Lan Waterfall (Namtok Khlong Lan)

Khlong Lan District, Kamphaeng Phet Province, Thailand

Rating: 3.5     Difficulty: 1.5
The Khlong Lan Waterfall

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

The Khlong Lan Waterfall was the last major waterfall we saw on our trip to Thailand. It was a 100m tall by 40m wide giant that was said to have good flow all year long. There were many trees that had grown near its base which made the waterfall a little difficult to photograph without a bit of creativity so that kind of kept this waterfall from being rated higher by us. However, with the falls' easy accessibility, it was an understatedly popular place as we didn't encounter some of the crazier crowds like in many of the country's other waterfalls that we visited.

The area around the falls contained pretty obvious walks leading to both sides of the stream each affording close-up views. The path on the right side of the waterfall's stream allowed us to get almost besides the waterfall itself, which was probably as close to it as safely possible. From there, the falls took on an almost split appearance as a large protrusion in the cliff (possibly a huge fallen rock) split part of the falls on its way down. With the amount of mist swirling about the plunge pool here, only a few daring types braved the turbulence of the plunge pool with the bombardment of water overhead.

Meanwhile, the path on the left crossed a bridge before meandering amongst trees. Some of these trees were wrapped with colorful fabrics fronted by makeshift shrines for some spiritual purpose. Speaking of spirituality, we happened to be sharing the waterfall with a group of orange-robed monks who were also enjoying the falls as most tourists would taking photos, posing, and just sharing the experience as a group. I don't think in all of our travels that Julie and I have ever encountered monks at legitimate waterfalls before.

All in all, Julie and I spent about 90 minutes enjoying this waterfall from both its sides. The walkway to get closer was well-developed, but we didn't swim here like some of the locals did (none of the monks did).

Even though we didn't do it, we knew there was also a 2-hour return walk (said to be 0.9 miles in each direction) from the entrance gate to the Khao Hua Chang viewpoint where supposedly we could get a distant view of the waterfall surrounded by the forest as well as its mountainous backdrop. The park literature said this was actually a good spot to see the sunrise and sunset. Maybe next time, we'll spend a bit more time and give that option a go.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

This was one group of monks with whom we shared the Khlong Lan Waterfall from its left sideThis was one group of monks with whom we shared the Khlong Lan Waterfall from its left side
The nearest city to Khlong Lan Waterfall is Kamphaeng Phet (where we spent the night; roughly an hour's drive away), which features UNESCO World Heritage ancient ruins in the city's historical parkThe nearest city to Khlong Lan Waterfall is Kamphaeng Phet (where we spent the night; roughly an hour's drive away), which features UNESCO World Heritage ancient ruins in the city's historical park
About 121km north of Kamphaeng Phet city is the city of Sukhothai, which also features a UNESCO World Heritage historical park with such attractions like this large BuddhaAbout 121km north of Kamphaeng Phet city is the city of Sukhothai, which also features a UNESCO World Heritage historical park with such attractions like this large Buddha
The ruins and monuments at Sukhothai were so elaborate yet extensive that we actually had to hire bicycles to cover just its highlights like this concentrated series of prangs and statuesThe ruins and monuments at Sukhothai were so elaborate yet extensive that we actually had to hire bicycles to cover just its highlights like this concentrated series of prangs and statues
On the walkway approaching the Khlong Lan WaterfallOn the walkway approaching the Khlong Lan Waterfall

Colorful fabrics tied around trees before the Khlong Lan Waterfall for some spiritual purposeColorful fabrics tied around trees before the waterfall for some spiritual purpose

While we were on the left side of the Khlong Lan Waterfall's stream, we tended to get more direct views of itWhile we were on the left side of the waterfall's stream, we tended to get more direct views of it

View of the Khlong Lan Waterfall from the left sideView of the falls from the left side

Julie approaching the Khlong Lan Waterfall from the right sideJulie approaching the falls from the right side

Getting closer to the Khlong Lan Waterfall while there was one lone dude having a swim at its plunge poolGetting closer to the falls while there was one lone dude having a swim at its plunge pool

Another group of monks posing for photographs from a mistier spot before the Khlong Lan WaterfallAnother group of monks posing for photographs from a mistier spot before the waterfall

Me having a seat and chilling out while looking at the Khlong Lan WaterfallMe having a seat and chilling out while looking at the Khlong Lan Waterfall

A trio of Buddhas (including a reclining one) at the Kamphaeng Phet Historical ParkA trio of Buddhas (including a reclining one) at the Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park (roughly an hour's drive northeast of Khlong Lan Waterfall)

At the Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park, the ruins seemed to be older so the statues here possessed an alien-like property devoid of features, or they were being reclaimed by the elements like this oneAt the Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park, the ruins seemed to be older so the statues here possessed an alien-like property devoid of features, or they were being reclaimed by the elements like this one

The Sukhothai Historical Park complex (about 121km north of Kamphaeng Phet) was so extensive that Julie and I needed to tour the complex on bike!The Sukhothai Historical Park complex (about 121km north of Kamphaeng Phet) was so extensive that Julie and I needed to tour the complex on bike!

But for impressive sights like this, riding a bike to take in Sukhothai Historical Park was worth the time and exertionBut for impressive sights like this, riding a bike to take in Sukhothai Historical Park was worth the time and exertion


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Sweep from bottom to top seen from a distance


Sweep from bottom to top from the left side of the falls


Sweep from bottom to top of the falls near the base on its right side


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Khlong Lan National Park is roughly an hour's drive southwest of the (fairly-off-the-beaten-path) town of Kamphaeng Phet (pronounced "kahm-PANG pet"). Since we were on an escorted tour, we could only provide the sense of time and logistics but not specifics in terms of driving directions.

Kamphaeng Phet was roughly 2.5 hours drive south of the UNESCO World Heritage Sukhothai. Sukhothai was about 300km (4 hours drive) south of Chiang Mai and 173km (3 hours drive) east of Mae Sot.

For general context, Chiang Mai was roughly 700km north of Bangkok. It would take around 9 hours to drive or a little over an hour to fly between the cities. Had we continued driving south from Kamphaeng Phet, we might have returned to Bangkok in over 4 hours after traversing the 360km distance between the cities.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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