Haew Narok Waterfall (Nam tok Haeo Narok)

Khao Yai National Park / Khorat Plateau, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand

About Haew Narok Waterfall (Nam tok Haeo Narok)


Hiking Distance: 2km round trip
Suggested Time: 1 hour

Date first visited: 2008-12-27
Date last visited: 2008-12-27

Waterfall Latitude: 14.29004
Waterfall Longitude: 101.38785

In our minds, the Haew Narok Waterfall (Nam tok Haeo Narok) was Khao Yai National Park’s most impressive waterfall.

It was said to tumble in three drops combining for a total of over 150m in height.

Haew_Narok_012_12262008 - Haew Narok Waterfall
Haew Narok Waterfall

However, we were only able to see the uppermost leap from an overlook at the end of a 1km (each way) trail.

Despite our attempts to get a more comprehensive view of the falls, we ultimately had to settle for a view of just one of the three drops, which you can see in the photo above.

Experiencing the Haew Narok Waterfall

From the official car park, the walk started off flat and relatively wide through a dense jungle area.

It eventually crossed over a bridge spanning a gorge and stream that ultimately fed the waterfall.

Beyond the bridge, we eventually reached a section with a lot of steep stairs, which descended towards the overlook of the uppermost waterfall.

Haew_Narok_006_12262008 - Crossing the bridge over the gorge and stream responsible for the Haew Narok Waterfall
Crossing the bridge over the gorge and stream responsible for the Haew Narok Waterfall

That was where the trail stopped.

Some of the steps were so steep that it kind of reminded Julie and I of some of the temple steps like the Wat Arun in Bangkok where we could literally use all four of our limbs to climb up while sitting and scooting on our bums on the way down (sort of).

Yet despite these obstacles, the trail was popular (i.e. very busy).

A concrete path lined almost the entire way so just about anyone who could handle the stairs could visit the falls.

We even noticed some women do the walk in bedroom slippers or even high heels.

Haew_Narok_040_12262008 - Looking back at the steep steps that we took on the way down to the official viewpoint of the Haew Narok Waterfall
Looking back at the steep steps that we took on the way down to the official viewpoint of the Haew Narok Waterfall

Nonetheless, we weren’t sure how they were confident enough to do the steep steps, but I guess different strokes for different folks, as they say.

The uppermost drop of the Haew Narok Waterfall was said to drop some 50-60m, but I tend to think this might be exaggerated.

It was still an attractive waterfall regardless of what the height figure might end up being.

All in all, the walk was probably a little over 1km in each direction.

We spent about an hour, which encompassed the hiking and all the picture taking.

Attempting to get the best view of Haew Narok Waterfall

The full view of Haew Narok courtesy of TAT

In our attempts to get that better view (like the one that the Tourism Authority of Thailand [TAT] showed; photo on the right), we talked with staff with the help of our guide to speak the local language.

I somehow got the feeling that there really was a way to see it, but neither our guides nor staff were willing nor able to let us get that view.

I guess that’s the way it rolls sometimes even though I was bumming we couldn’t see the falls in its entirety.

Nomenclature

Finally, you might see the name of the falls spelled in many different ways.

In addition to the way we’ve shown it above, we also saw the falls spelled Haeo Narok, Heo Narok, or Hew Narok.

Haew_Narok_037_12262008 - Haew Narok Waterfall in long exposure when the sun was momentarily blocked by clouds
Haew Narok Waterfall in long exposure when the sun was momentarily blocked by clouds

I suspect that these variations in the spelling had to do with the inexact way of Thai pronunciations being romanized into English text.

We weren’t sure if there was even a standard or consensus phonetic conversion between Thai and English similar to the way pinyin would be used for romanizing Mandarin Chinese.

Authorities

The Haew Narok Waterfall resides in Khao Yai National Park near Nong Nam Daeng in the Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand. It is administered by the National Park, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation Department. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Haew_Narok_003_12262008 - Monkeys on the road as we were driving to the Haew Narok Waterfall
Haew_Narok_001_jx_12262008 - Sign near the trailhead for the Haew Narok Waterfall
Haew_Narok_002_jx_12262008 - Sign indicating the waterfall was about 1km away
Haew_Narok_004_12262008 - Julie and Pang on the concrete trail to the Haew Narok Waterfall
Haew_Narok_005_12262008 - Looking towards the bridge traversing the stream responsible for the Haew Narok Waterfall
Haew_Narok_007_12262008 - Looking along the stream responsible for the Haew Narok Waterfall as seen from the bridge
Haew_Narok_041_12272008 - Looking upstream from the bridge at the reflections in the water
Haew_Narok_009_12262008 - Descending steep steps towards the overlook for Haew Narok Waterfall
Haew_Narok_011_12262008 - Our first look at the Haew Narok Waterfall
Haew_Narok_022_12262008 - It can get quite busy at this overlook of Haew Narok
Haew_Narok_034_12262008 - Our last look at the Haew Narok Waterfall

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This waterfall sits in Khao Yai National Park, which apparently is more known for wildlife and is one of the few places in the country to possibly get lucky and see a rare endangered tiger (obviously that wasn’t the case for us).

The exact directions are sketchy since we were driven here on an escorted tour.

However, we can say that it took us 2 hours to drive east from Ayutthaya (“aye-OO-tay-uh”) towards the Khao Yai Visitor Center area, then another 30 minutes to get from there to the official car park for the Haew Narok Waterfall.

After visiting Khao Yai National Park, we overnighted in the nearby town of Pak Chong.

It was said to be a 90-minute drive from Pak Chong to the falls.

For further context, it was roughly a three-hour drive to traverse the 200km between Pak Chong and Bangkok.

Sweep from right to left of the uppermost tier of the waterfall

Trip Planning Resources


Tagged with: khao yai, national park, khorat plateau, nakhon ratchasima, bangkok, thailand, waterfall, ayutthaya, pak chong



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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