Klong Neung Waterfall in Salak Phet is perhaps the least known of the Koh Chang waterfalls, hidden away at end of an inland road which leads through the rubber trees and orchards. Though by no means the largest waterfall on Koh Chang, Klong Neung claims the highest actual drop, so if you manage to catch the falls in the rainy season or just after, when river and forest run-off are at their peak, you’ll witness a fabulously dramatic and noisy experience. In the dry season, despite the far less impressive water flow, it’s still a great adventure to clamber up the rocks and boulders to the drop itself, so the waterfall remains worth a visit
To reach Klong Neung Waterfall, you need to to head right down the east coast of the Koh Chang, a drive of some 25km, until your reach two general stores sitting opposite each other. There are large signs for Chang Noi Kitchen and Salak Phet Marina to give you a bearing. Turn right here, immediately take another right past the vegetable shop and continue on to the very end. To your left and just visible among the foliage, there’s a narrow path running for 10 metres or so to some rough natural steps, which in turn lead down to a concrete weir, the start of the waterfall ascent.
Klong Plu Waterfall in Klong Prao costs tourists 200bt (100bt for kids) to visit and that fee enables the National Park to provide roped and stepped paths all the way from the car park to the falls and their plunge pool. Here at the free Klong Neung, on the other hand, there are no useful tracks hugging the sides of the river to makes life a bit easier. Indeed, the only route to reach the waterfall drop itself is straight upstream, hot hard work. There is no best route, it’s just a question of scrabbling up over the boulders according to what seems the safest way. Tracking the same side as the water pipes makes sense, though try to avoid grabbing hold of them in case they break, as someone downstream relies on that pipe for their house freshwater. After about 15 minutes, you are confronted by a huge boulder. You can duck underneath this and emerge out the little hole at the top provided it is not blocked by old tree boughs or you will need to make one last tricky climb. In front of you is Klong Neung waterfall.
Of course, it will be much harder to attempt this ascent in the rainy season. You will be frequently slipping in and out the water either intentionally or not, so take extra care and wrap cameras etc in waterproof bags. Unbelieveably, high up here in the middle of the forest, you can get a phone signal.
As you dive away from Klong Neung Waterfall, a hundred metres along the slope, another old paved track leads off to the right. If you have time, shoot up here and follow the road back and forth along the gentle switchbacks. It’s lined with palm trees and hibiscus, part of someone’s grand plan that has long since been abandoned and at the top, there’s a decrepit thatched terrace. From it, the view over Salak Phet is one of the best in all of Koh Chang.
The photographs show the waterfall in both in dry season (top) and rainy season