Thararak Waterfall (Namtok Thararak)

Mae Sot District / Phop Phra District, Tak Province, Thailand

Rating: 1.5     Difficulty: 1
The Thararak Waterfall with chedi and manmade lake

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

The Thararak Waterfall (pronounced "tah-rah-RAHK"; though I've also seen it spelled Taralak) was one of the rare waterfalls where we saw it juxtaposed with a chedi (a particular style of Thai temple with a pointy top). I believe that golden chedi was called the Chedi Kho. And while the falls itself wasn't all that tall nor all that impressive (especially given its diminished flow during our visit), I still thought it was memorable. After all, how many waterfalls are there in Thailand (or southeast Asia for that matter) where you can see a chedi with it?

We thought of this waterfall as more of a locals waterfall because it was poorly signposted. Our guide and driver had trouble finding it even though we were able to see the golden chedi from the Death Highway (Hwy 1090). It wasn't until after a couple times of doubling back along the Death Highway in the general vicinity did I finally notice part of the waterfall (it's quite easy to miss) and alert our guide and driver.

Once at the base of the falls, we got our best views from the end of some kind of man-modified pool directly opposite the falls. It was from this vantage point that we were able to photograph the falls with the Chedi Kho. There was also a short but steep scrambling path right up to the rushing water at the base of the falls. I guess the point of that path was to get a little wet and cool off, which we saw quite a few locals do. However, this path wasn't for improving nor getting a different view.

Given its relatively light flow, it's conceivable that this waterfall can go dry deep into the dry season.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Further south of Namtok Thararak, the Death Highway weaved through mountainous terrain, which presented panoramas like this oneFurther south of Namtok Thararak, the Death Highway weaved through mountainous terrain, which presented panoramas like this one
While we were in Mae Sot, we checked out this local market where apparently lots of hard wood products (some of which might be smuggled like teak) could be foundWhile we were in Mae Sot, we checked out this local market where apparently lots of hard wood products (some of which might be smuggled like teak) could be found
Prior to showing up to Mae Sot then the Death Hwy, we had spent some time touring the historical park at Sukhothai, which might very well be the most impressive in ThailandPrior to showing up to Mae Sot then the Death Hwy, we had spent some time touring the historical park at Sukhothai, which might very well be the most impressive in Thailand
View of chedi and waterfall but from too far along the incorrect roadView of the chedi and waterfall but from too far along the incorrect road (i.e. the one going to the chedi instead of the waterfall)

At the car park right in front of the Thararak WaterfallAt the car park right in front of the falls

View of the Thararak Waterfall as we were scrambling around looking to improve our viewView of the Thararak Waterfall as we were scrambling around looking to improve our view

As much of the Thararak Waterfall as I can see from the car park areaAs much of the waterfall as I can see from the car park area

People getting wet and playing by a stream right beneath the Thararak WaterfallPeople getting wet and playing by a stream right beneath the falls

More of the stream beneath the Thararak WaterfallMore of the stream beneath the waterfall

South of Namtok Thararak, the Death Highway weaved its way through mountain terrain mixed with pockets of forests amongst denuded slash and burn areasSouth of Namtok Thararak, the Death Highway weaved its way through mountain terrain mixed with pockets of forests amongst denuded slash and burn areas


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Sweep from bottom to top of the falls


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

We spent about 25 minutes looking for the Thararak Waterfall after visiting Namtok Pha Charoen. The key was that the turnoff for Namtok Thararak was just one turnoff south of the one for Chedi Kho (the chedi's turnoff was signposted).

If you're looking for this waterfall, I'd start by looking for a golden chedi on the left as you're heading south along the Death Highway probably about 30-40 minutes south of Mae Sot. Then, start looking for the turnoff to Chedi Ko, but take the next turnoff instead to get to the falls.

For geographical context, Mae Sot was 351km (5 hours drive) south of Chiang Mai. 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.




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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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