Tatai Waterfall varies significantly through the year in terms of the volume of water that flows over it. This is seasonal, depending on the amount of rain, and can vary noticeable even during a single day. It also varies in terms of the number of people you can expect to see there. There tend to me more people in the dry season, and particularly during public holidays.
It is a beautiful spot and well worth a visit at any time of year. At its driest, there only a small flow of water and a large pool to swim in and even jump into. There are also rocks to climb up and you can wander around and swim some more above the waterfall. At its wettest, it is a spectacular raging torrent. In between, there are a number of smaller pools that are suitable for relaxing in at different times of the year.
There are also beautiful spots above the falls and, at times when the main falls area is likely to be busy with people, we can take you to a more secluded spot upstream.
“The lake” is another beautiful spot that is normally void of people. It is about 5 km upriver from Tatai Waterfall and only accessible by jungle trails. Like the falls, it varies significantly through the seasons and, after very heavy rains, is not much like a lake at all (as you can see above). It was given its name when we first saw it in dry season. There is a quite large rocky area that can be explored. It often attracts some beautiful butterflies.
The Mangrove Walkway
Nearer to Koh Kong, there is a raised walkway through the twisted roots of an area of mangrove forest. There is also a bridge over the estuary that leads to a viewing tower. If you climb the tower (minding your head as you go) you can get quite a view over a section of the mangrove forest. At the bottom of the tower, you can also hire boats to take you on a short trip through the forest. We can arrange transport from to and from the walkway. This is best done by tuk tuk because you can get some great views over the delta along the way. The walkway is quite an experience, especially if you take your time to appreciate the strange environment and to look for crabs, large conical snails and even mudskippers.
Visiting the mangrove forest is an awesome experience. The forest around the coast of Koh Kong Province is vast. We can get to it directly by boat from Rainbow Lodge. We can also take kayaks for exploring inside the forest.
We offer two guided walks through the jungle. Both walks start from Rainbow Lodge and climb partway up the hill directly behind Rainbow Lodge, and into Tatai Wildlife Sanctuary. After a short but fairly steep climb, there is a flat ridge. When we reach a T junction in the path, the shorter trek turns left and follows the ridge along the south side of the hill before descending to Tatai Waterfall, where you can enjoy yourself eat lunch. This trek usually takes between 2 and 2.5 hours.
The longer trek turns right and follows the path on the east side of the hill, climbing up to the top of different (and lower) part of the hill before descending to “The Lake”. After a break at “The Lake” for lunch and a swim and/or exploring the rocks, we walk to Tatai Waterfall along a ridge on the northwest side of the hill. Each leg of this trek usually takes between 2 and 2.5 hours.
You have two options for getting back to Rainbow Lodge from the waterfall: you can take a relaxing trip by boat; or we can take kayaks around to the falls for you to kayak back to Rainbow Lodge. If you don’t want to go anywhere in particular, and just fancy a short walk, there is a small nature trail at Rainbow Lodge, which goes down to the small rainy-season stream that borders the property. It starts down near the river and does a short circuit to end up back down near the river.
You can enjoy a swim in the river right here at Rainbow Lodge. For most of the year the flow of the river is very gentle. It is tidal here, so the level changes throughout the day. In the dry season the water is brackish. You can also swim at Tatai Waterfall and “The Lake”.
You can explore the river by kayak, free-of-charge. If you go upstream from Rainbow Lodge, you can go for about 8 km before you get to the Hydro-electric plant. Along the way, there are a number of small streams that empty into the river. You can explore these at your leisure. You can spend the whole day kayaking, if you so desire, taking a packed lunch with you. Alternatively, you can kayak to Tatai Waterfall (approx. 4.5 km).
We offer a number of boat trips. If you are not up for trekking or kayaking, we can take you to Tatai Waterfall by boat. We can also take you upstream from Rainbow Lodge, which is less frequently visited. We also offer a sunset cruise, which takes in a cocktail at the Canvas & Orchids Retreat.
In addition, we offer a full day trip to the mangrove forest. We take kayaks to explore deeper in the forest, where the boat cannot go. We also visit the island of Koh Sralau, which is home to a fishing community.