Pala U Waterfall, 90 minutes from Huahin city, it’s a part of a National Park with great views and 5 levels of waterfall. Tickets to the park are 300 Baht for foreigners.
The whole journey which lasted for about ninety minutes was a great experience. Hiring a taxi for this trip will cost you around two thousand baht. The taxi will wait for you to complete as much of the hike as you can and drop you back safely to your accommodation in Hua hin. Another option for you would be to rent out a scooter and ride there on your own. Although a bit riskier but also much cheaper and definitely a lot more adventurous
Riding a bike through the trees and feeling the fresh air was definitely worth it. A pro would be that you can make as many stops and move on your own time. There were many cozy looking cafes, mostly offering Thai food and drinks. Drinking my thai ice tea I looked at this strange but unique sight, opposite to the cafe. Seemed like vehicles from WWII, surprisingly I did see people having a photo shoot there.
Now, if there are pros there are also cons. You can make as many stops as you like but, do keep in mind that the falls open at 6am and closes by 6pm. Hiking up and down the track and taking pictures on the way can take you a good 2 hours. So, getting there before 4pm would be a good idea.
This is where you park your ride. The cars are parked on the other side of the road and that little booth is where you show your tickets to enter the falls. You need to buy those tickets at a military checkpoint shown in the picture above. It’s on the way about 10 minutes before you get to the parking area. The entrance fee for locals is a 100 baht and I found out only this time that it was 300 baht for foreigners. I guess they thought I was a local the last two times I went there but this time as I got too friendly and spoke more than needed, they figured out I wasn’t local. However, the extra buck spent I felt was definitely worth it. The entrance fee for your ride, that is if you haven’t hired a taxi is just 20 baht.
The best time of the year to visit this place is anytime but I personally like it during the winter (Oct – Jan). This is when you can escape the heat of the beach town and lose yourself in the misty mountains. Talking about mountains here’s a picture just above. I am not sure what this place is called, but it’s a great scene, and you will find it about 5 minutes before you get to the checkpoint where you pay your entrance fee. You will find many places worth stopping on your way to the falls. It’s just the right temperature, not hot at all and not really cold either, just perfect, I would say. This place is great all year round but do keep in mind that sometimes during the rainy season, heavy currents makes hiking dangerous. In these circumstances the military shuts it down for visitors. This happened to me once, so do check on the internet for information if you are going here during the rainy seasons.
The main attraction here would be the 5 level hiking route. The levels we figured this time wasn’t really set as levels of difficulty. Level 1 is easy as things are just getting started. You will find a few bridges and a trail paved with rocks and concrete. Levels 2 seemed to be the most challenging. This is where we had to hold on to ropes to make sure we didn’t slip, and also cross pretty big boulders.
Levels 3 and 4 were pretty easy, just a little too muddy I guess. Levels 5 was again a bit hard and slippery but not as hard as level 2. We got to level 5 around 5 pm where I decided to take a dip with all my clothes on. Level 5 ends about 20 meters above the direction I am pointing at. Having wasted quite a bit of time on my dip, I realized that the sun might go down before we get back. Not having bought any headlamps or any lights at all, we decided it was safer to go back through the slippery roads while there was still some light. All in all, it was a great hike, great exercise and it made me very hungry and tired. I guess I slept like a baby and enjoyed a nice deep sleep that night. This hike is definitely on the top of my list for things to do around Hua hin.