Hot spring west of Umphang

Discussion in 'Central Western Thailand Road Trip Reports' started by heilong, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. heilong

    heilong Ol'Timer

    Breakfast in Umphang. Ban Kru Sun coffee shop is really really nice.
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    By that time my girlfriend Mio already recovered from our Sangkhlaburi - Umphang "missing link" ride and joined me on this trip. A quick look at the map told me that Thi Lo Cho waterfall is really close to Umphang, so I was planning to visit it quickly and then continue to the Pha La Tha village. However it turned out that the waterfall, which on my GPS was only 150m away, is down in a deep valley, there are no roads or trails going down to it, and the sides are full of trees so I couldn't really see the waterfall. I found out later that to get to the waterfall, you have to start somewhere downstream and then raft upstream. The road I was riding on, though, didn't end there, and went further west, quickly turning into a pretty disused hiking trail full of fallen bamboo blocking it. On this day I made a note to self "Now I have a legitimate reason to finally buy a frickin' machete".
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    The trail gets pretty ugly at places, but I managed not to crash and eventually we came to the river. Couple of rafts are chained to bushes, but the main problem with crossing would be getting the bike down the high (several meters) steep riverbank. There is a spot where I think it would be possible with a few strong men, but my gf is not a bodybuilder so we stopped there. The trail on this side of the river also continues along the bank, but becomes too canted sideways to continue on the bike.
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    Actually this place is a hot spring! There are a couple of buildings and there was even one Thai guy doing something in one of them.
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    Anybody can read Thai?
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    The hot water comes from under a rock and flows into the river.
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    The water has the temperature of a perfect hot bath. On this hot day, though, I didn't really need one. A cold beer would be nice instead (or in conjunction)...
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    Mio and I enjoyed a short bath.
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    Bob "Beaver" Wild.
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    I swam to the other side to look for potential crossings. This spot is the shallowest but still pretty deep - at the deepest point the water went up to my hips (I'm 190cm tall), the current is also pretty strong. The riverbank on the opposite side could be accessed with a few strong men working with the bikes.
    The trails on the opposite side are pretty good condition and looks like they might go in two different directions. The 4x4 official road to the Thi Lo Su waterfall (unfortunately closed to all vehicles except 4x4 cars) is not so far to the west, I suppose one of these trails might lead to this road.
    There is also some hot water coming from under a rock on that other side. Overall, this area has some great camping spots.
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    http://heilong.razorscript.com/photo/2013/gpx/t00100_20130410_hot_springs.gpx
     
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Kudos to both you & Mio for exploring two-up like this.
    The red fire ants pic is a beauty & a reminder of some of the little "dangers" out there.
    Thanks for adding this little trip report - the Umphang area is going to be real popular soon.
     
  4. heilong

    heilong Ol'Timer

    It was no big deal two-up :) When it was too difficult/dangerous, Mio just had to hike a bit :)
    Just checked wikipedia about fire ants. I had no idea they are so nasty!
     
  5. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    It was "no big deal" because you have a seriously tough gf! :thumbup:
     
  6. heilong

    heilong Ol'Timer

    Heh that's the way to test her :)
     

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