Tucked away near the Mekong River in Ubon Ratchathani Province, Soi Sawan waterfall is the best waterfall in Thailand. A great waterfall is beautiful, and it is also fun. Soi Sawan is definitely both. It also gets shockingly few visitors which just adds to the experience. The sandstone geology of this area is pretty unique and creates a lot of cool natural features that are worth visiting. This waterfall is the best of them. The flowing water carves out deep holes in the stone, and that creates pools for swimming, cliff jumping, playing, and some amazing natural jacuzzis.
Getting the most out of the best waterfall in Thailand
From the parking lot you have to walk ten minutes, then another couple of minutes downhill to reach the waterfall. You’ll come to the highest waterfall first, and there are some nice photos to be had there. You could play under the falls there but there are more fun places to go. Cross the stream and head toward the second falls. Soi Sawan is actually two waterfalls from two separate streams joining together. For some reason, most people seem to focus on the higher falls, but there is much more to see at the other one.
The second falls
This stream flows over smaller falls down a small canyon carved out of the sandstone. at the bottom is a large bolder and some holes cut into the rock that are pretty fun to play in. You can see this area in the photo below. Most people visit the falls and only make it that far, but you should definitely climb up further. The sandstone rock has good traction and in the steeper places, there are some small grooves carved out where you can step.
Further up that canyon there are a number of pools, cool rock formations, and beautiful views. There is one pool deep enough that we could jump into from the rocks about 4 meters above, but you should only try this if you know what you’re doing and you check your landing first. The water is incredibly refreshing and the small holes in the water and so much fun to play in. Between the beauty and the fun, and the fact that there are so few people, we really felt like this is the best waterfall in Thailand that we’ve visited.
Probably the best activity in Ubon Ratchathani
We were honestly shocked by how good this waterfall is and how few people know about it or go there. Previously, we would have probably said that Sam Pan Bok aka the Grand Canyon of Thailand is our favorite Ubon activity. Soi Sawan waterfall has a lot of the same cool sandstone features though, and it has water running through it that you can swim in, as opposed to baking under the hot sun at the other attraction. Oh, and you can play silly games like in the video below.
Soi Sawan Waterfall entrance fee, hours and location
Soi Sawan Waterfall is located in Pha Taem National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติผาแต้ม). The park lies along the Mekong River which forms the border with Southern Laos in this area. The entrance price to the park for Thais is 40 Baht for adults, 20 Baht for children. They follow the government suggestion to charge foreigners a somewhat ridiculous 10 times the Thai price. The entrance fee is 400 Baht for foreigners, 200 Baht for their children. With that said, this park is actually worth the price if you can see the main attractions on the same day. Annoyingly, most of the attractions are far apart and not connected by internal roads, meaning long drives out to the main road and back into the park to see each location.
For visiting Soi Sawan Waterfall, this location in Google Maps is correct. The waterfall is open every day from 8 AM to 6 PM. Most of the people who come here will be Thai tourists so if you can avoid going on weekends and holidays that will be best.