Friday, 6 February 2015

Than Sadet Waterfall

The most famous place on the east coast of Koh Phangan is Than Sadet Waterfall. It is the place on the island with the strongest royal connections. The name ‘Than Sadet’ means in Thai ‘Royal River’. It is in honour of the Thai monarchy that has visited the area on several occasions.

In 1888 King Rama V acquired a steamship and proceeded to visit the far flung parts of his Kingdom. He fell in love with Than Sadet - he visited a total of 10 times to the area. On one of his visits he carved his initials into a rock near the waterfall. In doing this he set a precedent that was followed by Rama VII and the present King, Rama IX. The stone with three royal signatures is now an important tourist attraction, particularly for Thai people.

The waterfall is near the beach (Haad Than Sadet). It covers a 3 kilometre course. There are a few bigger drops but generally it is a fairly ‘flat’ waterfall with water tumbling through a course of rocks. There a few large pools along the waterfall’s path that are suitable for sitting in. The best time to visit Than Sadet waterfall is between May and October when there is more rain. Although the waterfall never runs dry, it does look more dramatic with a greater volume of water flowing.

As you can see from the short video clip the water is brown. That is the same for all the waterfalls on Koh Phangan. The heavy soil gets caught in the water and turns the water brown. It is however ‘fresh water’ and is used by locals for washing. You can see the blue pipe in the video. Other waterfalls on the east coast such as Than Prawes in Thong Nai Pan Noi serve as an important source of fresh water.

For the foreigner Than Sadet Waterfall might seem a slight disappointment if you have travelled far to get there. However, if you are staying on the east coast anyway it is a great half day trip to take a longtail boat to Haad Than Sadet check out the waterfall, have a swim in the sea and perhaps have a spot of lunch before heading back.

For more about Than Sadet see our earlier blog post -