The Emerald Pool & The Hot Spring Waterfall

If you can tear yourself away from the beach while you’re visiting Krabi, it’s well worth taking an hour-long ride out to the Khao Pra-Bangkram Wildlife Sanctuary in the Thung Teao Forest Natural Park.

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The trail starts out by this spirit house, where you have a choice to go straight on a dirt road or right on a boardwalk.

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We chose the narrower route along the river. The sign at the trailhead says that this is “a virgin forest in peat swamp forest,” and it’s definitely wet — we walked on a kilometer-long raised trail …

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… that ran alongside a stream and small pools of clear water.

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Lots of trees grow happily right in the river:

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We kept an eye out for pitcher plants …

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… avoided the spiky stalks of the snake fruit (salak) tree…

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… and tried to remember to look up:

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This park is a haven for bird watchers, especially those in search of the rare Gurney’s Pitta — a bird so protected that half of the park is closed to hikers during their winter nesting season. But the only animals we saw were small lizards:

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Eventually the trail offers a view of Glass Pool (no swimming allowed, but you can admire its perfect reflective quality):

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It then runs through a mossy section …

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… and finally opens up to the star of the show: Emerald Pool:

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Hundreds of people come here every day to swim in this aqua expanse.

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And while it’s a little crowded, the water is perfect.

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I also really appreciated this sign, which says everything you need in a very simple way:

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We enjoyed the Emerald Pool, but an even bigger highlight for us was the Hot Spring Waterfall. To get there, we drove about ten minutes past palm oil plantations and tiant stands of rubber trees:

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The rubber is collected by making cuts in a tree’s bark and letting the sap drip down into little black cups near the base of the tree’s trunk:

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To get to the the Hot Stream Waterfall, more formally known as the Klong Thom Thermal Waterfall, you walk down an asphalt drive to a short trail that runs along a warm stream (you can feel the heat coming off it as you’re walking). Then you come to this sign…

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… this spirit house …

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… and this waterfall:

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The falls are about five meters high and ten meters wide, and there are several perfect natural bathing pools along the top expanse.

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The water is 42 degrees Celsius — and while that may seem warm on some days in Thailand, we thought it was just perfect. We could have spent all day here just sitting in the pools …

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… clambering around to lie on different rocks …

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… and looking out at the muddy river’s expanse below:

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For lunch on our return, we stopped at a restaurant whose name I have been unable to translate well (it’s either “Asa” or “Volunteer,” according to Google Translate):

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But I need to mention it because it had the yummiest tom yum fish soup with coconut milk I’ve ever had — so good! And the setting was lovely …

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… and of course, I loved the spirit houses!

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One response to “The Emerald Pool & The Hot Spring Waterfall

  1. Pingback: Ten Things to See in Krabi | Traveler Tina·

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