PLEASE DO NOT GO WITHOUT A GUIDE OR AT LEAST CONTACT ME SO I CAN GIVE YOU ADVICE ON WHETHER I THINK YOU ARE CAPABLE TO DO IT ALONE OR EVEN WITH A GUIDE, IT IS A LONG HIKE EVEN BEFORE YOU GET TO THE DANGEROUS LAST HALF WHICH BY THAT TIME YOU WILL BE TIRED BOTH PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY. THIS IS A DANGEROUS HIKE AND PEOPLE HAVE DIED HERE BEFORE DUE TO FLASH FLOODING. I DO NOT WANT ANYONE GETTING HURT, MY PARTNER AND I ARE VERY VERY EXPERIENCED HIKERS IN THE JUNGLE. YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCE LEVEL TO BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT A LOOSE ROCK LOOKS LIKE, WHAT A SLIPPERY ROCK LOOKS LIKE ETC ETC SO MANY THINGS. BE SAFE THANKS
THIS HIKE IS NOW CLOSED TO UNGUIDED 'EXPEDITIONS'.
Elevation gain - Approximately 780m
Elevation of Krok E Dok - Approximately 900m
Height - Approximately 350-400 m total elevation
Entry coordinates - 14°27'25.8"N 101°11'30.4"E
Trail length - Approximately 12 km
Time required - 1-3 hrs for ascent & 1-3 hrs for decent
Rope - There is rope in some places but with ants
Difficulty and danger - High. Tigers and elephants present on the trail or in the area. Narrow edges with high drops onto rocks
Water intake - 2 litres per person and take a high protein snack
Krok E Dok waterfall or tiger valley, lies on the west edge of Khao Yai National Park. It is in Saraburi province and is about a 2hr30min drive from most areas of Bangkok
The last 7-11 is on the 3222 heading north just before you turn right onto 3113. There is a camp site here. you will be able to buy water, snacks and some thai food along 3222, as there are many granny shops
There is a parking area and some poorly kept toilets in front of the trail. Last time I checked the toilets didn't have any water running, welcome to hiking in Thailand. There is sometimes a mafia of dogs near to the the trail head. They really do just stand in front of your car until you feed them.
The trail starts with a leisurely stroll through a fairly exposed area and then jungle. You will cross over the waterfalls stream twice before the gradient starts to steepen. This first section is pretty straightforward with a pretty clear trail. When you get to the second stream crossover, just walk up the stream for 10 metres and then you will see an entry to another trail on your left.
It is really stunning jungle and the feeling of isolation is amazing. We have never seen anyone else on the trail other than two locals who head up to the top level to collect various flowers and roots. At points you sway quite far from the waterfall but again, the trail is pretty clear until the last section.
The first few levels are small and pretty easy to cross and climb. There is rope in place but in a few places the ropes are covered in black or red ants. These little guys bite for fun so be careful, always preempt a bite so it does not shock you and throw you off balance. A few sections have sheer drops to your right and the trail is narrow and slippery.
A word of warning. From the 2nd to 5th level you are in a danger zone. If you go during the rainy season and it has and continues to rain on your hike, you could be swept away in this section. This is because you are not hiking a trail along side the waterfall but going right through it. After the 5th level where there is a big pond with the trail to the left with a rope, you will be safe again as this part of the trail is high above the waterfall stream. However this section, as I write below, has its own dangers in the form of a crumbling trail and a sheer drop onto rocks.
As you can see by the last few pictures above, it starts to get steeper, slippery with sheer drops to the right. The last picture in particular, is a bit of a leap of faith. The trail is crumbling away down into the waterfall valley. Try testing your steps before putting all of your weight on that step. There is a rope but its more like a red ant walkway than a rope.
Now we are deep into the valley, you are all alone with some klicks between you and safety. You are dirty, sweaty, the trail is getting shittier by the metre and you have already been bitten quite a few times. So, I should mention that we heard a tiger 5555 literally. I have tried to get confirmation if tigers come this far to the outskirts of the national park but not far from here a possible poacher was killed by one. I would advice being up and down through this stretch before 3 pm. I did post a picture of where we heard the tiger but quite rightly a reader of ours thought that not such a good idea what with so many poachers about, I would tend to agree. Therefore, the location will remain a secret unless you are lucky enough to hike up Krok E Dok with me (I go twice a year). Tigers tend to be awake at night and sleep most of the day, about 18hrs of the day but always be cautious when you are in the wild, wild animals movement patterns are not always predictable and can change due to circumstances in weather or feeding.
Below is one of my favorite shots. It is the last you will see of the waterfall until you reach the last level and you are looking down into the valley.
After you have crossed that step the trail has a lot of loose rocks which makes moving fast difficult. You will then actually have to move up a smaller waterfall which joins the main waterfall to the left. There is a rope there but after heavy rainfall this can be quite a test. Once you have passed this you will go quite vertical through some jungle. As you gain altitude you will notice the change in flora and the air will be slightly cooler.
From the step that is crumbling away to now, the trail is clear but challenging. You will then enter a banana tree field. From here you basically have to pick your path as there is no clear trail. Remember the waterfall is on your right so do not go too far left. Look for this fallen tree you see in the picture to the left.
Once you have hopped over the fallen tree, you will see Krok E Dok. Keep left where there is a flat rock section. There used to be a rope here but someone burnt it, I know wtf who and why?
You will have arrived at the last level of Krok E Dok. Depending on the water you can spend some time exploring the area and enjoying the view. My partner and I like to take an hour just hanging around and relaxing. It is nice and cool and there are some areas with shade. We are hoping to take the climbing gear soon and try and get to the ridge of the mountain which, as you can see from the pictures below, is not far away. I imagine you would then get an amazing view over Khao Yai national park.
A good hike through some tough terrain. I would advice you didn't do this alone as there are areas where the alone factor might put you in a dangerous situation. There are water leeches but I have never seen the land leeches. as I mentioned above, there are tigers and elephants in the vicinity so be on your guard. Tigers tend to sleep most of the day, about 18 hrs of the day in fact, so go and be gone by darkness.
Krok E Dok is one of my favorites; It is not just a waterfall or hike, but a rewarding challenge and experience. The isolation is healing and the sight, sense and smell of life is awe inspiring. With so many problems in the world, a journey such as Krok E Dok, has the power to truly heal your pain.
Please feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Below are some random photos; mostly of the abundance of life. enjoy!