Mae Pun

The waterfall descends from the lightly clouded blue sky in a gentle dog leg through the horseshoe of encircling trees and shrubs that form a veritable impenetrable wall on the almost sheer sides the waterfall drops through. Impossible to climb. The waterfall descends through at least nine huge steps as if carved as a stairway for some giant of the hinterlands in times gone by. Each step has a pool of varying depth. From a few centimeters to several meters deep where a rope attached to a tree attracts young boys and girls to swing, drop, splash and swim while the shallower steps exist just for paddling and younger kids. The final step being shallow now where the river exits the bottom of the falls to later join the mightier river further down from the mountain heights. Even now in summer the waterfall remains powerful enough for care to need to be taken, but in the rainy season it can be hazardous to all and few will forget the time four to five years ago when after a torrential downpour it decided to sweep down the road and through the town taking mud bank after mud bank and house after house and wall after wall with it showing scant respect for the man-made endeavours in its way while taking its revenge for years of abuse. And not stopping until the provincial capital in the distance was filled by its power in a flood that in places reached rooftops. And still nobody knows quite how many perished in that night of fury. Today however, in the over hot summer sun kids play and all that can be heard is the fall of water on rocks. It is a happy summer time for the kids before schools go back in earnest.

Today at the waterfall was a newly married couple. Young maybe late teens or early twenties and all was smile and fun as they played in the water and relaxed on a reed mat in the shade at the side of the water in the shade of the overhanging trees with their friends who took photos of the newly weds and of the husband as he swung on the rope and dropped into the deep central channel of the river at the bottom like the young boys did. Recapturing even a youth that had already left him to the joy of his new wife.


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