Tee Lau Su Waterfall
Tee Lau Su Waterfall
In the past, visiting Tee Lau Su was difficult as the 40-kilometer road from Umphang was arduous. However, the road today has been made easy for tourists, who can choose between two different routes. First, raft along from Umphang for a little over two hours, all the while enjoying riverside scenery, and then take a ten-kilometer bus drive to Tee Lau Su. Second, take a two-hour bus ride from Umphang straight to the waterfall. You can also choose to come back to resort at night or spend the night camping near Tee Lau Su. The first route with the night camp is, however, preferable by many tourists since it offers a closer bond with Taak’s beautiful nature.The trip starts early in the morning by getting to the raft at the resort. The river is called Huay Ya Mae and it originates up on the mountaintop down to Mae Klong River. The stream rushes wildly and the scenery is stunning. The most popular time when the forest is most beautiful is the winter.
Along the way, there are many spots where natural beauty will captivate you. First, is Tee Lau Su, or Saai Fon Waterfall, which resembles a big and delicate curtain of clear fresh water. Rock cliffs nearby are decorated with bright green moss. Not far away, Saai Roong Waterfall is waiting to shine its rainbow steam in the late morning sunlight as the name Saai Roong (rainbow) signifies. Next is the hot spring to where you need to get ashore and walk. In the winter, do not forget to take a relaxing warm bath. Raft on through the adrenaline-pumping Takobi cataract, Bong Cliff, and Taa Sai, a small sandbank where you take the bus for another ten km to Tee Lau Su Waterfall.
Tee Lau Su is situated in Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary. It takes thirty minutes walk or about 1.8 km to reach the waterfall and you will be faced with the massive size and immense power of this gigantic waterfall. Tee Lau Su is a Karen word for Black Waterfall, a name properly given considering the size and the fact that the limestone cliffs are not covered with algae. The height is 200 meters and the width is 400 meters. There are three levels. The first one contains a number of ponds and the second one can be quite easily climbed if there is not too much water. From the second storey, streams of water reflecting the sunlight and creating a magnificent rainbow can be seen in the late morning. A guide is needed if you want to climb up to the third storey and enjoy a sublime view from the top. Drive to Doi Hua Mod the next morning to watch the sunset and mountain mist from hundred meters above the ground.
How to get there
By Car from Umphang, take Highway No. 1090 Umphang – Mae Sot. Turn right onto Highway 1288. Turn left onto Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary. This road is the path for visitors in a pickup. Alternatively, 4-wheel drive vehicles with high performance can make the whole trip, which is a total distance of fifty-kilometers. A bus from Bangkok to Maesod district is also available. Best time to visit: Rainy season and winter