TAD HAM WATERFALL
Dropping 15 meters over massive rocks into a large, clear pool, Tad Ham Waterfall marks a point in the Nam Ham River where a legendary search ended. According to a generations-old story, Boten had a fishpond housing a giant, poisonous serpent. A bamboo fence kept the creature inside, but one-day the 12-nostril snake transformed into a huge crab and snatched the king’s daughter, prompting the king to rename the river, Thanang (Young Woman).
A fortune teller and elders searched for the girl along the Nam Hoy River, and found her red shirt at a deep section they named Vang Sadaeng (deep red water). They continued into the evening, saw rabbits at a set of rapids, and branded them Kaeng Kaday (Rabbit Rapids). A bit further upstream, they lit candles, and designated this point Kaeng Thian (Candle Rapids). Then rain fell, triggering another change in the river’s name to Nam Ham. They continued the expedition until reaching the Nam Ham Waterfall, and couldn’t go on.
Location: Visitors can retrace the way to the falls along a 3 km road from the Boten District center. A trail from the road leads to the peak of Phou Phadaeng (Red Mountain), one of the area’s highest, and a great view of the red limestone formations all the way to Thailand.
Note: this trek is recommended for young, experienced climbers, who should be accompanied by a guide.