Asia-Pacific’s great natural spots for swimming

Kuang Si waterfalls in Laos. Pic: Elena Mirage /

TRIPADVISOR has a list of natural pools of note in the world, and no surprise, several Asia-Pacific spots were on it. This part of the world is known for its beautiful landscapes and majestic hidden spaces that will bring a tear to your eye. Those that made the list are worthy of praise indeed, but are but a sampling of the pools, waterfalls, lakes and other aquatic scenery one will find here. Read on for five of the best in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Kuang Si Falls, Laos

These serene falls are a major draw in Luang Prabang and made it onto the TripAdvisor list. They are known not for their size or steepness but rather the deep pools that form below them. It’s a great spot to visit whether you’re a backpacker, retiree or traveling with kids – after all, who doesn’t enjoy a lazy day spent swimming under a waterfall? You can hike to the top of the falls to work up a sweat before jumping in and soaking in the refreshing waters. Plan to arrive early, as the falls are quite popular and can get crowded during the afternoon.


Enchanted River, Philippines

This other-worldly looking river in Hinuatan is so named because of the deep blue hues of the water. It takes some effort to reach the river, but this place is well worth your troubles. Past visitors have said they spotted a number of exotic fish in the clear blue-green waters, and been mesmerized by the vibrant colors and surrounding jungle. Be warned that this once-secluded place has become quite popular, and aim to arrive in the morning hours to avoid the throngs looking to get in on the enchanted action.


Litchfield National Park, Australia

Wangi Falls in Litchfield National Park, Australia. Pic: Wikimedia Commons.

There is much to recommend this national park when you’re visiting Australia, but the waterfalls are a major reason to come. There are at least four sets of falls – the Wangi, Tjaebata, Tolmer and Florence. Set up near one of the falls and admire the natural beauty you’ll see at every turn in the park, or save a nice swim for after trekking about and visiting the various wonders, such as the magnetic termite mounds. This is can’t-miss place in Darwin – just be wary of crocodiles when you’re enjoying that swim.


Erawan Falls, Thailand

A day spent at the Erawan Falls in Kanchanaburi (home of the Bridge Over the River Kwai) can include everything from hiking to swimming to sunbathing to cave exploration in one of several caves in the park. The seven-level falls provide the option to climb all the way to the top and take in the view from above or simply splash around in one of the many pools created by the falls.The infamous bridge is the main attraction at Kanchanaburi, but the Erawan Falls are not to be missed on a trip there. You can go it alone and hire a tuk-tuk or rent a motorbike to go out to the national park, or join a group tour for an Erawan excursion.


Kutralam Falls, India

Kutralam, or Courtallam, Falls in India. Pic: Wikimedia Commons.

Considered the “spa of southern India,” the waters of Kutralam, also know as Courtallam, are said to run over medicinal herbs and therefore have healing properties that are transmitted to those who swim in the waters. They are also the source points for a number of Indian rivers. There are several different falls in which you can swim, and you can take advantage of the spa atmosphere by enjoying an oil massage or special treatment nearby.