Thararak Waterfall (Nam tok Thararak)

Mae Sot District / Phop Phra District, Tak, Thailand

About Thararak Waterfall (Nam tok Thararak)

Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2009-01-02
Date last visited: 2009-01-02

Waterfall Latitude: 16.5701
Waterfall Longitude: 98.69511

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

The Thararak Waterfall (Nam tok Thararak; 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.

Thararak_026_01012009 - The Thararak Waterfall
The Thararak Waterfall

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).

Thararak_010_01012009 - At a picnic area near the bottom of the Thararak Waterfall
At a picnic area near the bottom of the Thararak Waterfall

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 Thararak Waterfall, 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 waterfall with the Chedi Kho as you can see at the top of this page.

There was also a short but steep scrambling path right up to the rushing water at the base of the falls.

Thararak_029_01012009 - People scrambling around the bottom of the Thararak Waterfall
People scrambling around the bottom of the Thararak Waterfall

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 of the Thararak Waterfall.

Anyways, given its relatively light flow, it’s conceivable that this waterfall can go dry deep into the Dry Season as it seemed well on its way to do during our visit.


The Thararak Waterfall resides in the Mae Sot District near Mae Sot in the Tak Province, Thailand. To my knowledge, there doesn’t appear to be a government entity administering this waterfall. However, for information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you may want to try to visit the National Park, Wildlife, and Plants website.

Thararak_003_01012009 - View of chedi and Thararak Waterfall but from too far along the incorrect road (i.e. the one going to the chedi instead of the waterfall)
Thararak_011_01012009 - At the car park right in front of the Thararak Waterfall
Thararak_006_01012009 - View of the Thararak Waterfall as we were scrambling around looking to improve our view
Thararak_028_01012009 - As much of the Thararak Waterfall as I can see from the car park area
Thararak_031_01012009 - Looking upstream along one of the segmented streams beneath the Thararak Waterfall
Death_Hwy_to_Umphang_004_01012009 - South of Namtok Thararak, the Death Highway weaved its way through mountain terrain mixed with pockets of forests amongst denuded slash and burn areas

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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Sweep from bottom to top of the falls

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Tagged with: mae sot, phop phra, tak, death highway, death hwy, burmese refugees, burma, central thailand, thailand, waterfall, chedi, kho, taralak

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning 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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