Wat Hin Lad & Waterfall

Keith Burgie

It is probably fair to say that the temple at Had Lin is more popular with the Thais and the waterfall is more popular with the westerners, but they both have something special to offer. "Wat Saunthamma Pala Nikrotharam", or Hin Lad waterfall temple, as it is commonly known, is a peaceful, shaded temple in a lovely forest setting, and is located at the start of the trail to the waterfall. It is quite busy on weekends and public holidays when Thais come here to make merit and try to find ways to solve problems in their personal lives. There are many monks and nuns on hand here to help them meditate and seek enlightenment. But on weekdays it is very quiet and is a good place to linger a while and take a relaxing break from all the hustle and bustle back at the beach resorts. There is a well-kept garden, and nice path to wander down featuring a number of Buddha images and sculptures as well as a meditation area. The temple is to the left of a bridge where the trail to the waterfall commences. You can buy food for fish in a nearby restaurant and spend a few minutes standing on the bridge, helping the poor starving fish to put on a bit of weight… When you are fully rested and feeling calm and serene, it is time to take the trek to the lovely waterfall. Those with a good level of fitness can make it there in around 30-45 mins, but families with kids (not too young) can take up to 90 minutes for the same journey through a jungle teeming with wildlife, including butterflies and lizards. Best visited during or just after the rainy season, make sure you are well stocked with drinking water and make sure you are appropriately dressed - especially good footwear as the trail is quite rocky. The waterfall has two tiers, with a shallow pool at the base and if you go across the rocks and climb further, you will see the second tier with a pool that is also quite shallow, but deep enough for a refreshing swim. Admittedly not one of Thailand's most splendid "Nam Toks", it is nevertheless a pretty place, especially for nature lovers, and it provides a nice change from the non-stop partying at Chaweng and Lamai. There are a few local restaurants along the road leading to the temple, which is open all year round during daylight hours. Admission is free. It's located at Lipa Yai, less than a 10-minute drive south of Nathon Town. You can catch a songthaew from one of the beach resorts or Nathan town.

Map of Lower Gulf of Thailand

Lower Gulf of Thailand-Map