With the ever increasing popularity of the Koh Chang islands, Koh Kood itself has seen a corresponding rise in visitors and its west coast bays and beaches, its inland natural attractions and east coast fishing villages are now widely explored. However, up until very recently, one spot remained off the map, its location known only to locals and the odd intrepid tourist – the mythical third waterfall.
The Koh Kood waterfalls at Klong Chao and in the north
The number one waterfall on Koh Kood is inland at Klong Chao and can be easily tracked down by taking the little road that skirts the river as far as PD Guesthouse and its new neighbour, the popular hangout spot, Bartist. Once here, take a left and continue on for a few hundred metres until you reach the walking bit. The second waterfall is located at Klong Yai Kee and involves a motorbike ride up the north west coast, heading either for Klong Mad or Ao Salud and then following the signs for the falls or the resort, Bann Makok.
Both waterfalls have unattended parking and visitor areas which have seen better days, but they are free to visit and the gentle if unspectacular drops at the end, complete with their small plunge pools, make a fine place to relax and take in the stillness of the forest.
The road to Koh Kood’s secret waterfall
The third waterfall, Huang Nam Keaw, it can now be revealed, lies in the centre of the island, in the same forest as the wonderful ancient trees, Sai Yai and Makayuk. Head for the main road which runs from the north west to the north east (Ao Salud) and keep going until you see the sign (and straight-on option) at the small store on the bend. A little along here, the wide rough road towards the trees is obvious enough and before long, Sai Yai, is first up on your right.Beyond it, there used to be a narrow forest trail that led to the second tree, Makayuk and for those that knew, this trail continued on for a near hour long trek to our secret waterfall, hence its myth. Suffice to say, very very few people ever actually got there, despite what they may have claimed.
Well, the powers that be have put that right by widening the main path which leads to the Makayuk fork and then going one step further beyond this, by constructing a magnificently unnecessary almost two lane gravel highway. This twists and turns for an absolute age through the forest, until emerging upon an equally magnificently unnecessary visitor centre and parking lot, fit for daily numbers up there with a Bangkok shopping mall. Curiously, there is a small house here as well, which hopefully came after the construction of the road or the unfortunate hermit in residence woke up with one almighty shock the morning the first JCB broke through.
After availing yourself of the parking facilities, you can walk/drop down a steep slope to the waterfall itself and then clamber up over the boulders to get to the plunge pool. Though the falls are most probably dry, there is a great view out over the canopy. All done and dusted, you can then ponder on the local authority’s planning meeting which signed off on the project as you make your way back to the main road.