Get back to nature by visiting a lovely waterfall at Tonsai in the northeastern part of Phuket. Although it’s inland and far from the beachs, visitors will appreciate the scenery along the road from Thalang Town’s junction heading to the fall. This three-kilometre road has delightful rural views and farmland and things get even get better once there with the green virgin forest and its peaceful surroundings.
The waterfall itself is easier accessed than that at Bang Pae but is not as big or impressive. Still, it's a great cool spot for a day out of the sun.
Tonsai Waterfall is on the western side of Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, a green area of 22.28sqkm. In fact you can walk through the park from waterfall to Bang Pae with a hired guide who can point out the fauna and flora.
There is also an information centre where you can ask about a guide for hire but all posters and announcements are in Thai script. There is also a two-kilometre, well-signed trek around the back of the waterfall. You also could get cold drinks and snacks at a small restaurant near the information centre.
Those who are interested in tropical plants will enjoy seeing the rare white backed palms (kerriodoxa elegans). This elegant palm was first discovered in Thailand. It has beautiful big circular leaves shaped pretty much like a fan and is green on the upper surface and white underneath. Nowadays it’s getting very popular and has been introduced to the landscaping around many local tropical homes and resorts.
Tonsai Waterfall is a nice place for bird watching. Witness many colourful local birds (the red-billed malkoha, the greater racket-tailed drongo and red-backed sea-eagle are among them) as well as those that migrate here every year such as Siberian blue robin and forest wagtail.
There are several places to sit in the shade along with ample WC facilities, a car park, a small children's playground as well as a space available for you to pitch your tent. The gardens are attractively maintained and all in all it's a good spot for an outing as it's very family-orientated.
Local girls jump into this small natural pool of water and frolic around with their clothes on (meaning T-shirt and shorts). If you don’t want to stand out, avoid wearing a bikini at any Thai waterfall.
- Location: Thalang
- Price Range: 200 baht per person for non-Thais (National Park fee)
- How to get there: Take the road east at Thalang’s main traffic lights and follow the signs. The fall is only three kilometre away from the turn. If coming from Phuket Town, Tonsai is about 20km away.
Indication for taxi: น้ำตกโตนไทรอยู่ห่างจากตัวเมืองภูเก็ตประมาณ 20 กิโลเมตร ขับรถออกจากตัวเมืองตรงไปตามถนนเทพกษัตรี เลี้ยวขวาตรงสี่แยกไฟแดงถลาง (เลยวัดพระนางสร้างประมาณ 50 เมตร) จากนั้นขับตามป้ายบอกทางมาเรื่อยๆ ประมาณ 3 กิโลเมตร