Among the many romantic experiences and options available in Phuket, visiting a waterfall stands out as offering something a bit different. There’s no shortage of Phuket romantic restaurants, beautiful beaches, amazing scenery and fascinating history and culture to explore together, but the waterfalls of Phuket are not so well known.
While not in the league of mighty cascades like Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe or the Niagara Falls on the American-Canadian border, the falls of Thailand’s largest island have a certain something. Hidden away in the jungle, one or two are a little tricky to get to, but the plunge pools are very refreshing and, so long as you don’t over-inflate your expectations, they can make for a romantic trip.
Perhaps the easiest of Phuket’s waterfalls to reach, Kathu Waterfall is naturally also the most popular. It’s particularly popular with local families, who come to enjoy the cool fresh water on a hot day.
The falls are more of a sequence of gentle tumbles than a single roaring cascade, but the gentle sound of the water and the dappled shade of the jungle make it a very relaxing scene. There are clear and level pathways up the hill alongside the falls, so getting up and around them is easy for those who haven’t packed for a hiking holiday – an especially convenient fact, considering it’s the closest falls to Patong Beach.
Bang Pae Waterfall
Bang Pae Waterfall ramps up the romance, compared to Kathu Waterfall, because there are one or two good-sized falls along the stream. The most popular of them is about a 10-metre drop into a narrow gorge, which then opens up into a pool that creates a popular spot for people to come and cool down.
The one downside to this particular waterfall is that it’s actually contained within the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, which requires a 200 baht entry fee (for foreigners). Additionally, the tracks around the park aren’t paved, so sturdy footwear is recommended. On the plus side, the park also contains the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre, which is an interesting extra attraction to visit.
Ao Yon Waterfall
Perhaps the hardest waterfall in Phuket to reach, the Ao Yon Falls are automatically more romantic simply because there’s more chance that you’ll get the place to yourself. You’ll have to climb up some pretty sharp rocks, so a good pair of shoes is highly recommended. However, once you’re up there, you’ll find a good selection of plunge pools to take a dip in. While they may be small, they’re big enough for two.
Ton Sai Waterfall
Up in the northeast of Phuket, Ton Sai Waterfall is found down a series of quiet rural roads, but is well signposted all the way from the main road, so don’t expect to have the place to yourself. Being in the same national park as Bang Pae, it is actually possible to hike from one to the other. If you like tropical birds, Ton Sai Waterfall is definitely the pick for you as it’s a popular spot for many unusual species. On the downside, there are fewer plunge pools as the falls mostly slide down sloped rock surfaces instead of plunging from great heights, so there’s less chance of a cooling dip.