Klong Tha Pom (Tha Pom Canal) is a beautiful area to visit. Five kilometers in length, it is unique for its outstandingly clear emerald-green waters and its location on the tideline. The canal water is alternatively fresh or brackish depending upon the state of the tides. This has resulted in the development of three different forest systems in a very concentrated area.
For many years the area was regarded as sacred so the natural ecology was not affected by agriculture or settlement.
Tha Pom Klong Song Nam, is located in Moo 2, Baan Nongjit, Khao Khram Sub-district, Muang District, Krabi Province. To get there from Krabi town take the Krabi-Ao Luk road (Highway 4) and turn right at the Pom Khao Khram intersection after five kilometres. The route is signposted all the way. Car parking is available at 20 baht per car. Restaurants and souvenir shops are adjacent to the parking area. The admission fee for adults is 50 baht: children 30 baht. In order to preserve the pristine environment food and beverages are prohibited. You should not throw soap or oily contaminants in the canal, jump into the water or make a lot of noise.
Only 100 metres from the car park you will find the amazingly clear waters which allow sight of this underwater world. The fresh water is high in dissolved limestone which inhibits the formation of precipitates so that the water truly sparkles in the sunlight, as it flows between the mangrove-lined banks.
The local authorities have constructed a wooden walkway around six hundred acres of the forest so that visitors can experience their beautiful surroundings without damaging them. The walkway is about two metres above the ground and takes about 45 minutes to walk round. There are signboards along the trail which give information about the different species of animals and plants which occupy this ecological system.
The canal is a fascinating microcosm of Thailand's forest areas. Visitors will first encounter the mangrove wetlands with their characteristic tortuous tangle of surface roots but this gives way to the rarely found fresh water swamp forest with small trees and sparse vegetation. This in turn yields to typical rain forest with lush tree growths and shaded paths.
Further on past the prohibited area (Tha Pom Swamp) is the Chong Phra Keaw swamp which is a 40 metre wide expanse where the sea and fresh water actually meet. The waters on the land side are fed via a limestone cave network. It is a fascinating area.
Perhaps the best way to enjoy the reserve is by canoe. This offers unparalleled and silent access to all the wildlife which inhabits the banks and waters of this unique water paradise. Visitors can also observe the exact confluence where the clear fresh flows encounter the detritus heavy sea water. There are small fishing villages along the banks of the canal and by canoe one can observe a way of life which has continued essentially unchanged, for hundreds of years. If you are extremely lucky you may get to take your pick of the day's catch.
Canoes can be rented for 100 baht an hour or for 700 baht a day - depending on your stamina! The pick-up point is for canoes is near the entrance and the canal can take you all the way to the Andaman Sea via the Klong Palee (Palee canal) 3 kilometres further on.
Things to remember
Tha Pom Klong Song Nam Natural Trail can be visited all year round but low tides are the best time to see the crystal-clear waters at their best.
Please do observe the prohibitions on food and beverages, detergents etc. in the park area. The nature trail is becoming increasingly popular area for both residents and tourists so the Authorities have instituted a ban on swimming in the fresh water waters. If you wish to swim, this is permitted in the sea water sections. If in doubt, please ask for guidance from an official.