Bang Pae Waterfall at Khao Phra Thaeo National Park in Thalang, north of Phuket Town is a popular recreational spot for islanders. They use the site as a picnic place and for a fun swimming destination in the wet season, as well as enjoying a meal at the restaurants near the car park, by the lake and outside the gates.
It is Phuket's biggest waterfall but by international standards it’s quite a small affair. Still, visitors appreciate the cool water, shade and exotic surroundings. Many local hiking enthusiasts hike extensively in the nearby hills and countryside.
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Bang Pae Waterfall Highlights
In the rainy season this 10-metre high waterfall is quite precipitous but if you visit from December to May it slows down a little yet you can still 'go native' and take a refreshing dip in one of its drop pools or at the main drop itself. It's best to wear good shoes as the path can be slippery and if you expect to be there late afternoon take mosquito repellent as the jungle is quite dense.
This is also home to the Gibbon Rehabilitation centre and the sound of the gibbons through the jungle is eerie. Even though they are kept in cages, humans are not allowed to go very close to them. Just by the rehabilitation centre is a sign saying ‘No Food and Drink allowed around the Waterfall Please.’ Pass the restaurants and food stalls and follow the trail for 10 minutes and you will soon come to the waterfall.
Entrance to the National Park for foreigners is 200 baht. Keep the ticket; you may need it later if you visit the other parks within the same day. The parking fee for motorbikes is 20 baht/bike and 30 baht for cars.
The trail heading through the jungle is 'helped along' by some concrete reinforcements but you still have to duck under fallen tree trunks and, although you don't have to swing like Tarzan from creeper-to-creeper, it still is physically demanding.
Ton Sai Waterfall is another equally famous fall on the other side of the hill. It takes around 20 minutes by car to get there from Bang Pae. Give it a try if time allows – you can use the same ticket to enter Ton Sai.
Bang Pae Waterfall
- Opening Hours: All year round. Best time to go is around 09:00 – 16:30, so that you can spend time at the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre, too.
- Location: Take the east turnoff from the Heroine's Monument roundabout on the island's main artery, Thepkasattri Road, and head towards the national park. Follow this road for about nine kilometres until you reach the signage.
- Price Range: 200 baht per person for tourists (National Park fee)