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Tad Leuk is the most popular destination in Phou Khao Khouay, but it is by no means crowded. It is ideal for relaxing, swimming and camping, or as a starting point for trekking in the surrounding forests. As someone put it: “What a paradise here! If I’d knew it before, I’d come here for more than just a day.”
Tad Leuk is a waterfall within the Nam Leuk, one of the three major rivers of the reserve (‘Tad’ means waterfall, while ‘Nam’ means river). The riverbed is a relatively wide sandstone plateau, dotted with numerous, sometimes deep holes. These so-called ‘whirl pools’ have been drilled into the ground by water currents, setting quite big and heavy stones into motion.
The waterfall itself is not a very high one, only about 6 meters high, but can be quite a noisy experience during the rainy season, when the river turns into a wild and torrent ‘beast’. The amount of water varies considerably with the seasons, thus the river will get calm and gentle during late October/November, falling nearly dry thereafter.