Jungle Trekking to Waterfalls: Chasing the Rush in Koh Chang

Jungle Trekking to Waterfalls: Chasing the Rush in Koh Chang

Koh Chang, Thailand’s third-largest island, is a nature lover’s paradise. Nestled in the Gulf of Thailand, this island boasts an untamed beauty that beckons adventurers. But for those of us who crave more than just sun-kissed beaches and crystal-clear waters, Koh Chang offers an unparalleled adrenaline rush: jungle trekking to its majestic waterfalls.

The Allure of Koh Chang’s Jungles

Koh Chang, which translates to “Elephant Island,” is a mountainous terrain cloaked in dense tropical rainforests. Its interior remains largely untouched, offering an authentic jungle experience for trekkers. The island is part of the Mu Ko Chang National Park, which provides a sanctuary for diverse flora and fauna. As you venture into the heart of the jungle, you’ll encounter everything from towering trees and exotic birds to mischievous macaques and colorful butterflies.

Preparing for the Trek

Before diving headfirst into the jungle, it’s crucial to gear up appropriately. Wear lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing that covers your arms and legs to protect against insects and thorny vegetation. Sturdy hiking boots with good grip are essential, as the trails can be slippery, especially after rain. Don’t forget a waterproof backpack stocked with essentials: insect repellent, sunscreen, a first-aid kit, a reusable water bottle, snacks, and a reliable map or GPS device.

The Journey Begins

Embarking on a jungle trek in Koh Chang is like stepping into another world. The cacophony of urban life is replaced by the symphony of nature: rustling leaves, bird calls, and the distant roar of waterfalls. The air is thick with the earthy scent of damp soil and foliage.

One of the most popular treks leads to the Klong Plu Waterfall, located on the island’s west side. The trailhead is easily accessible from the nearby beach resorts, making it a favorite among both novice and experienced trekkers. The trail itself is well-marked and relatively easy to navigate, winding through lush vegetation and across babbling brooks.

The Thrill of Discovery

As you delve deeper into the jungle, the canopy above thickens, casting dappled shadows on the forest floor. Each step brings new discoveries: a vibrant orchid clinging to a tree trunk, a tiny gecko darting across your path, or a colossal millipede inching its way along a fallen log. The anticipation builds with every turn, knowing that the waterfall is drawing nearer.

After about an hour of trekking, the sound of rushing water grows louder. The trail opens up to reveal the stunning Klong Plu Waterfall, cascading down a rocky cliff into a clear pool below. The sight is nothing short of breathtaking. The cool mist from the waterfall offers a refreshing respite from the jungle’s humidity. Take a moment to soak in the beauty and tranquility of this natural wonder.

Taking the Plunge

For adrenaline junkies, merely reaching the waterfall is not enough. The real thrill lies in plunging into the pool below. The water is refreshingly cool, a welcome contrast to the heat of the jungle. Swim up to the base of the waterfall and let the powerful cascade pummel your back, offering a natural massage. For the more daring, there’s often a spot where you can climb up and leap off a rock into the pool below. The rush of free-falling, even for a few seconds, is exhilarating.

Beyond Klong Plu: Hidden Gems

While Klong Plu is the most accessible, Koh Chang harbors several other less-visited waterfalls that promise equally thrilling adventures. The Khlong Nonsi Waterfall, on the island’s east side, offers a more challenging trek through dense jungle. The reward is a serene multi-tiered waterfall, perfect for those seeking solitude.

For the ultimate jungle trekking experience, head to the Than Mayom Waterfall. This trek is not for the faint of heart, as it involves navigating steep, rugged trails. However, the sight of the waterfall’s four tiers, each with its own unique charm, makes the effort worthwhile. Legend has it that Thai kings once bathed in these waters, adding a touch of historical intrigue to your adventure.

Safety Tips

While jungle trekking in Koh Chang is an exhilarating experience, it’s essential to prioritize safety. Always trek with a companion or group and inform someone of your plans and estimated return time. Stick to marked trails and be cautious of slippery rocks and sudden drops. Avoid trekking during heavy rain, as trails can become hazardous. Finally, respect the local wildlife by observing from a distance and never feeding the animals.

Replicating the Experience

If Koh Chang’s jungle treks have ignited your passion for adventure, you can replicate the experience closer to home or in other exotic destinations. Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Research Local Trails: Look for nature reserves, national parks, or wilderness areas near you that offer jungle-like environments. Many regions have hidden gems waiting to be explored.

2. Join Adventure Groups: Connect with local hiking or adventure groups. These communities often organize treks and can provide valuable insights and support.

3. Invest in Gear: Equip yourself with the right gear, such as hiking boots, moisture-wicking clothing, and a reliable backpack. Good gear enhances both safety and comfort.

4. Practice Responsible Trekking: Follow the principles of Leave No Trace by respecting nature, sticking to marked trails, and carrying out all trash. Responsible trekking ensures that these natural wonders remain pristine for future generations.

5. Plan a Trip to Similar Destinations: If you’re craving another exotic adventure, consider destinations with similar landscapes and trekking opportunities. Countries like Costa Rica, Indonesia, and Madagascar offer incredible jungle trekking experiences.


Jungle trekking to waterfalls in Koh Chang is a thrilling escapade that promises both adventure and tranquility. From the heart-pounding trek through dense rainforest to the refreshing plunge into a waterfall pool, every moment is a testament to the island’s untamed beauty. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or a novice adventurer, Koh Chang’s waterfalls offer an experience that will leave you yearning for more. So lace up your boots, pack your backpack, and set off on a journey to chase the rush in Koh Chang. Your next adventure awaits!

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Mr Khaosan
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