Ti Lor Su Waterfall
Trip Start Nov 08, 2006
209Trip End Ongoing
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It was only about a 30 minute drive out to the national park. But once through the gates, it takes another hour down the most treacherous winding dirt road I've ever seen to get to the area near the falls. And Thai driving doesn't help. I think they're worse than Italians. They flew around sharp curves and passed on blind turns and inclines like they had a death wish. I kept reminding myself that they must know this path like the back of their hand, but when my feet finally hit firmly on the ground I could have knelt down and kissed it. They assured us they'd be back the next afternoon to pick us up, and we reluctantly waved them goodbye. I'm not sure if I was more afraid that they'd never come back or that they would and I'd have to face that drive and probable death again.
There were a dozen or so tents scattered about in a clearing so we decided to go ahead and set up before heading out to the falls. We found a perfect spot right by the river and couldn't believe that no one had chosen it. We excitedly set everything up and then grabbed our cameras and headed out for the waterfall. From the campgrounds it's about a 30 minute hike down a pedestrian path, cut into the middle of the jungle, hugging the river. For the most part, the river was invisible, swallowed up by the forest between it and the path, but we could hear the trickle and babble, and occasionally catch glimpses. Then the forest parted a bit, and I saw something that would have made the trip worthwhile, even if we never reached the main falls. The river divided into several different streams. The closest one moved at a slow meandering pace, slinking around trees and over large rocks, to swirl into pools and trickle out again. The water was shallow and a mysterious aqua-gray color. The stream curled back around to meet the main flow of the river, where some small falls fell into deeper pools of the faster flowing waters. It was absolutely beautiful. I told Dane that if Moody Gardens hadn't made this place, then fairies must have. It looked like something manufactured at Universal Studios. Too perfect and magical to be real.
I pried myself away, even more excited now to see Ti Lor Su. As we came upon it, we could hear we were close. The sound of rushing water grew more intense. It was no longer a trickle but a low roar. We turned a corner and there it was.
We spent all afternoon there and then nearly all of the next day as well. We climbed all over Ti Lor Su, enjoyed it from every angle, swam in its icy pools, explored further up its tributaries, and sat and basked in the natural wonder of it all.