One of the top holiday destinations in Thailand, tourists flock to visit the beautiful palm tree-fringed beaches of Koh Samui and relax in its laid-back island vibe. Its nearby islets also boasts of a great selection of natural attractions from coves, to lakes and lagoons. But there is more to Koh Samui than meets the eye. Deep within its lush jungles are majestic waterfalls that are all worth exploring. Discover the hidden cascades of Koh Samui as we list down the island’s top waterfalls that you need to visit.
1. Na Muang 1 Waterfalls
Na Muang Waterfalls 1 has a wide base, perfect for a leisurely swim
Na Muang is a pair of waterfalls located southeast of Nathon Bay. Na Muang 1 is the first waterfall you’ll reach, wherein you’ll be welcomed by a magnificent view of the falls. Visitors can enjoy an escape from the heat by swimming at the natural pool beneath where Na Muang 1 drops. There are also several stalls and vendors around the vicinity where tourists can buy snacks and souvenirs.
2. Na Muang 2 Waterfalls
Water cascading down the 80-meter rock face of the Na Muang Waterfalls 2
Just as stunning, the second cascade of Na Muang waterfalls is around a 30-minute hike away from the first one. Na Muang 2 has more rock formations and is surrounded by lush trees, making the hike all worth it. Na Muang waterfalls is Samui’s most popular falls and is part of most day tour packages. Also nearby is an elephant trekking tour and the Namuang Safari Park.
3. Hin Lad
Lush trees and boulders surround the Hin Lad Waterfalls
Getting to Hin Lad Waterfalls requires a short hike but the breathtaking viewpoints that you encounter along the way make the journey worthwhile. The Hin Lad Buddhist Temple that you will come across as you make your way to the waterfalls is also a must-visit. Hin Lad is the second largest waterfall on the island and is also one of the most visited falls of Samui. It cascades to freshwater pools where visitors can swim. Providing snacks are several food stalls and vendors along the trail to Hin Lad.
4. Tar Nim
An abundance of green foliage and mossy rocks flank both sides of the Tar Nim Warterfalls. Photo: Instagram @anitpeder
Tar Nim is a man-made waterfall and not naturally developed like all the other falls included in this list. It is smaller in size compared to other cascades but many people still visit the area because of the beautiful Buddhist garden that surrounds Tar Nim waterfalls. This garden offers visitors a relaxing retreat where they can bask in the comforts of nature. Rather than swimming, people go here for sight-seeing and picture-taking.
5. Secret Falls (Tang Rua)
Hidden deep within a thick jungle, the Tang Rua Secret Falls lives up to its name
Another hidden gem in the jungles of Samui is the Secret Falls. This waterfall is named as such because finding it needs skilled navigation and getting there requires a combination of driving and traveling on foot. Explorers who journey through the wilderness to reach the Secret Falls are rewarded with a breathtaking vista of Koh Samui’s 3rd largest waterfall, flowing down to a natural pool where they can take a refreshing dip. As the Secret Falls is nestled deep within the jungle, visitors can also enjoy the cooling shade from the towering lush trees that surround the area.
A woman taking a refreshing dip at the base of the Tartain Waterfalls. Photo: Instagram @gorn_d
Tartain Waterfalls is another Samui cascade that is quite challenging to get to. Getting there involves a bumpy ride along a curvy road through the mountains, followed by a short yet tough climb. The journey may be a bit rough but the beautiful views and scenery along the way are good reasons to take a short break for sightseeing and great photo opportunities. Tartain cascades down to a natural pool where tourists can take a relaxing dip after their hike. There is also a park built around the waterfalls with beautiful pavilions and swings. Light snacks and refreshments are made available by vendors and food stalls in the area.
7. Khun Si
A natural pool can be found at the bottom of the Khun Si Waterfalls. Photo: Instagram @stepan_photos
Khun Si Waterfalls is tucked within the durian plantations in the mountains of Bophut. The trail leading to the waterfalls offers a lot of stunning views and photo opportunities, away from the crowd. You will also come across friendly locals harvesting their crops in durian plantations along the way. Khun Si Waterfalls also has natural pools where you can take a refreshing swim, and since getting to the area is quite challenging, there aren’t as many tourists here compared to other waterfalls.
8. Lat Wanon
Water gushing down the rock crevices of the Lat Wanon Wateralls
A short driving distance away from the private villas of Lipa Noi area, Lat Wanon is accessible by car or scooter. The hike going to the waterfalls takes about 30 minutes, and requires extra care as the path can be slippery. Making the journey well worth it is the tranquillity of the area, surrounded by lush verdant trees, allowing visitors to be one with nature. There is also a natural pool at the base of Lat Wanon where you can swim amidst scenic surroundings.
9. Khao Yai
A beautiful statue adorns the Khao Yai Waterfalls. Photo: inspirock.com
Khao Yai is one of the more accessible waterfalls in Koh Samui. You can drive going to the waterfall, but the road is steep and curvy so riding a 4x4 vehicle is recommended. Part of Khao Yai waterfalls’ appeal is its surroundings, fringed by lush tropical forests and picturesque boulders. It is also graced by a beautiful statue and a spot where locals can give flowers as offering to Buddha. You can also climb to the top of the waterfalls by simply following the steps that have already been carved out.
10. Siva Tara
A man striking an Instagram-worthy pose in front of the Siva Tara Waterfalls. Photo: journeyera.com
Another easily accessible waterfall is Siva Tara, located just behind the Lamai Post Office. Siva Tara waterfalls is actually quite small, but the activities that you can enjoy while within the vicinity makes it worth a visit. Some of the activities you can enjoy here include swimming in the natural pool, climbing to the top of the waterfall, and have a fish spa massage in a small pool in the area. You can also hike to the observation deck nearby to enjoy breathtaking views of the island. The well-maintained garden in the area also makes a perfect spot for taking photos.
Where to find them
We’ve done the homework for you and included a handy map with pinned locations to each waterfall listed in this article:
Visiting these majestic waterfalls is definitely something you should consider including in your itinerary. Making it part of your trip is a great way of exploring the unseen side of Koh Samui. The experience also usually includes taking a refreshing dip in a natural pool, in the middle of a beautiful jungle for an extraordinary swimming experience. There are many day tours offered in Koh Samui that include visiting these waterfalls, and some of them include going to several waterfalls in one trip.