The spectacular Wachirathan Waterfall lies halfway up the mountain in Doi Inthanon National Park, Chiang Mai. This scenic spot is a favourite among locals and visitors alike. The waterfall has a steep drop of 60 meters with a powerful cascade falling over a granite escarpment into a deep waterhole below.
Trying to capture the beauty of Wachirathan Waterfall is somewhat of a challenge.
Firstly, many people go to the waterfall because it is very accessible. You can drive all the way up and the carpark is right next to it. This means you are “fighting” with others for that “ideal” spot that convincingly captures the waterfall in the background! Then there are those inconsiderate individuals who park themselves right in front of the sweet spot and refuse to budge! No matter what the distance, which angle you go for, they (or parts of them) always show up in the viewfinder!
Secondly, the spray emitted from this waterfall is so strong that you cannot get near it without getting wet! Yes, there is a little path built downstream for a better view of the waterfall. But I suspect this path remains muddy, wet and slippery most of the time, because water and wind make a strong combination.
Thirdly, it wasn’t raining during the drive up to Wachirathan Waterfall, but it started to drizzle quite heavily by the time I arrived at the carpark.
I must admit I was worried. To go all the way there and not have the chance to get one decent shot! I didn’t even dare to take out my camera for fear of it getting wet! I felt disappointed.
However, there was no way I was going home without at least one waterfall photo! I decided to make my way a little further downstream, away from the crowd. I then positioned myself under some tall trees and took out my camera. To my horror, my lens started to mist up again. In frustration, I turned away from the waterfall and tried to wipe the moisture away without damaging the lens. Even my spectacles had started to mist. I felt beaten and defeated. Another wasted journey.
Then I looked up…and couldn’t believe my eyes!
There right in front of me was a beautiful, perfectly formed rainbow!
The waterfall was completely forgotten! I looked around to see if there was anyone nearby. Nobody. No one to snatch this moment with their put-on smiles and artificial poses! Joy! Bliss! Jubilation!
After taking a few shots, I decided to take the risk and make my way towards the river to get a closer view of the rainbow. Unfortunately, it had disappeared by the time I got to the slippery path. In the end, I did manage to get some photos of the waterfall. However, it is the image of the beautiful rainbow that will forever be etched in my mind whenever I think of Wachirathan Waterfall!