National parks and waterfalls on Samui
Samui island as a whole has a nice tropical environment but there are no specially designated national parks as such. Only the Ang Thong Marine Park - an archipelago west of Samui - is protected. However the Samui highlands that dominate the centre of the island have some lovely waterfalls and nature areas that are worth seeking out.
The waterfalls on Koh Samui may not be the tallest youíll find in Thailand, but they are all certainly blessed with a personal and distinctive charm. Each is worth a visit during your stay, providing an instantly refreshing break from the lively and built up areas of the island. At the end of the dry season (April/May) you might find them to be disappointing however, but this does not distract from the overall tropical landscape they are set among.
Na Muang 1
is one of the more popular waterfalls on the island for its ease of access and picturesque swimming area. Youíll find the well signed turning off the 4169 Ring Road between Nathon and Hua Thanon in the southwest of the island. Natural rock formations form a steep and scenic stairway down to the base of the fall. Elephant trails run nearby, and seeing the elephants amble over waters downstream with trekkers on their backs adds to the other-worldly feel. The heavily populated pool at the base of the fall must be approached with caution as the waterfallís foam hides sharp edged rocks underneath.
Na Muang 2
is Koh Smuiís most beautiful waterfall, with stunning rock formations and verdant surroundings bathed in a brilliant natural light. An enjoyable ten minute walk leads you to the falls and is part of the fun. You can pick up something to eat and some souvenirs at Na Muang 1 to break up the trip. Follow the concrete road to the left, south of Na Munag 1 on the Ring Road until it becomes a walking track. Remember to bring a camera!
Wang Saotong Waterfall
is fairly tall by Koh Samuiís standards and is a special visit in that itís only been accessible to the public for one year. Youíll need to complete a one kilometer walk to get there, so bring along a picnic or a book to make the trip worth while, and spend an idyllic afternoon relaxing to the sound of the waters. Turn right off the Wat Kunaram 4169 Ring Road near Ban Tha Po, between Nathon and Hua Thanon, and drive into the hills for about 2km beyond Baan Chang Elephant Trekking.
Hin Lad Waterfall
is Koh Samuiís least populated waterfall (Na Muang 1 and 2 are on most island tour packages and are crowded in the afternoons) owing to a 2km walk to get there. The walk is along a stunning jungle path, and can be completed with a refreshing dip in the waterfall pool, so we think itís worth the trip. Bring food and drink and plan plenty of time to take in the sights; you wonít want to leave. Strong walking shoes and leg protection is recommended for the walk. Follow Route 4172 to the eastern end, 2km south of Nathon.