The town of Na Thon has a hidden treasure, one that many tourists who go to Ko Samui don’t know about – Namtok Hin Lat. Although it is fairly accessible, it is not as popular as the other waterfalls on the island. You can reach the trail going up the waterfall by car or by motorbike. It is not difficult to find: you will see road signs directing you to it as you drive along. When you get to the place, you can leave your car on the small parking area by the trail.
If you’re in the mood for a bit of an adventure and you’re prepared to do lots of walking, you may also go there by public transportation. From Na Thon, board a songthaew going south. After about 2 kilometers, alight when you see 7-11. Walk along the main road toward the southern part of town. When you reach the first major intersection, go left and continue walking about 2 kilometers down the road until you see the vendors. The vendors indicate that the waterfall is near.
Going up to the Namtok Hin Lat is a different story. This waterfall, which is fed by the Lipa Yai River, is multi-level, meaning there are several waterfalls within one waterfall system. In some of the levels, you will find pools of water that are deep enough to swim in. The trek to the highest level takes about an hour and involves some climbing over large rocks but the trail is not that difficult as long as you have good footwear. When you reach the top, you will find yet another pool where you can go swimming to relax after a long trek.
To say that the Namtok Hin Lat waterfall is beautiful would be an understatement. It is not a large, majestic waterfall, but what makes it beautiful is the thick foliage that surrounds it. The trail really takes you deep into nature. The waterfall, together with the green trees and large rocks, gives you a sense of serenity and calm. Perhaps it’s the sound of the rushing water. Or maybe it’s the quiet of the jungle, interrupted by the sound of rustling leaves and animal sounds in the background. Whatever it is, the entire picture of the waterfall provides a perfect place for you to sit back, relax, and enjoy some reflective me-time. Having quality reflection time in the midst of natural beauty certainly makes this waterfall worth the climb.
If you are planning to go to Namtok Hin Lat for some peace and quiet, keep in mind that timing is key. Weekends often find the waterfall a crowded place as many tourists go here to take a break from the beach. The best time to visit here is during weekdays. If you’re lucky, you might even find yourself alone. You may bring some food in case you get hungry during your trek, and don’t forget to bring water. There is a temple, called Hin Lat Buddhist Monk Sanctuary, near the waterfall. If you wish to visit it, be mindful of the moral guidance that you can see carved on the tree trunks at the foot of the waterfall.