Uncover the Enchanting Khe Kem Waterfall: A Captivating Gem in Pu Mat National Park

Nestled in the heart of Pu Mat National Park in the Con Cuong district of Nghe An province, Khe Kem Waterfall has been hailed by scientists as Vietnam's most primeval waterfall.

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Local Thai ethnic people refer to Khe Kem as “Bo Bo waterfall”, which translates to ‘white silk strip’ in their native tongue. Originating from a height of 500 meters, the waterfall is segmented into three layers by rocks and trees. From the base of the waterfall, Khe Kem resembles a silk strip weaving its way through the mountains and forests.

Khe Kem Waterfall is located within Pu Mat National Park – a forest situated on the eastern slope of the Truong Son range, southwest of Nghe An province. It covers an area of nearly 95 thousand hectares, spread across three districts: Anh Son, Con Cuong, and Tuong Duong.

Local Thai ethnic people refer to Khe Kem as “Bo Bo waterfall”, which translates to ‘white silk strip’ in their native tongue. Photo: Nhan Dan

The waterfall meanders through the mountains and lush vegetation of Pu Mat National Forest, creating a picturesque and majestic landscape. At the foot of the waterfall lies a sizeable body of water, with clear streams cascading down from above. Visitors can immerse themselves in the serene ambiance by standing on the cliff to admire the scenery or taking a refreshing dip in the cool stream.

Khe Kem waterfall is an ideal spot for swimming and savoring delectable specialties prepared by the Thai ethnic groups, including sticky rice, grilled fish, and barbequed chicken.

The waterfall meanders through the mountains and lush vegetation of Pu Mat National Forest, creating a picturesque and majestic landscape. Photo: Traveloka

Adventure enthusiasts can embark on a trek to the summit of the waterfall and continue their hike to Khe Bu Valley or Pu Loong Mountain, which takes approximately six to eight hours for a round trip.

Currently, a paved road connects Con Cuong town to Khe Kem waterfall. Several accommodation options and tourist services are available to cater to visitors. After enjoying a refreshing swim and capturing picturesque moments, visitors can indulge in the culinary delights of the Thai ethnic group: bamboo-tube rice, purple sticky rice, Mat fish from the Giang river, and honey-grilled chicken. Khe Kem waterfall is a popular tourist destination in Con Cuong, attracting visitors from all over the country. The locals are known for their warm hospitality. The dishes prepared by the Thai people are unique and flavorful, available at affordable prices.

Numerous surveys and studies have been conducted on Khe Kem waterfall. Scientists have recognized this site as a treasure trove of rare and medicinal plants.

Khe Kem Waterfall is located within Pu Mat National Park – a forest situated on the eastern slope of the Truong Son range, southwest of Nghe An province. Photo: Bao Nghe An

There are no accommodations in the immediate vicinity of Khe Kem Waterfall, but there are a few options in the surrounding area. Con Cuong town offers several basic guesthouses along the main street, as well as the upscale Muong Thanh Hotel, which features mid-range rooms, a swimming pool, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

However, the most authentic accommodations can be found in the local homestays just outside the town. There are clusters of homestays in Khe Ran village (just across the bridge from Con Cuong town), Yen Khe village, and Mon Sơn village. Hanh Chien Homestay and Quy Thoa Ecolodge are highly recommended.

Along the stream, there are stone slabs that serve as comfortable resting spots for visitors. By sitting on these rocks and immersing their feet in the stream, tourists can experience the sensation of fish swimming around them and gently touching their skin.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the serene ambiance by standing on the cliff to admire the scenery or taking a refreshing dip in the cool stream. Photo: Nhan Dan

As a natural gem in Vietnam and Nghe An Province, Pu Mat National Park stands out for its breathtaking landscapes and diverse ecosystem. Beyond its scenic beauty, the park offers a multitude of experiences for visitors, including fishing, exploring majestic waterfalls, and encountering rare wildlife.

Pu Mat National Park has been a popular ecotourism destination in Central Vietnam for many years. In the Thai language, “Pu” refers to a mountain peak. Pu Mat is the name of the highest peak in the region, rising to an elevation of 1,841 meters above sea level. This mountain’s name is used to designate the national park.

Pu Mat National Park Vietnam is home to over 2,494 plant species, representing 931 genera within 202 families. Notably, 68 of these species are classified as endangered in the Vietnam Red Book, constituting 2.73% of the ecosystem’s total species. Additionally, the park encompasses a 100-hectare ancient forest with towering trees reaching heights of up to 50 meters. The pristine nature of this area provides visitors with an extraordinary experience.

After enjoying a refreshing swim and capturing picturesque moments, visitors can indulge in the culinary delights of the Thai ethnic group: bamboo-tube rice, purple sticky rice, Mat fish from the Giang river, and honey-grilled chicken. Photo: Nhan Dan

Pu Mat is a sanctuary for more than 132 animal species belonging to 11 orders and 30 families. This diverse range includes 42 large mammals, 39 bat species, and 51 small mammals, including notable species such as elephants, tigers, saola, black-and-white langurs, brown-footed ferrets, pig-tailed macaques, and Truong Son muntjacs.

Furthermore, the park is home to 324 bird species from 49 families and 15 orders, with 10 species listed in the Red Book. Pu Mat also provides habitat for approximately 86 amphibian and reptile species, 83 fish species, 459 butterfly species, and 78 ant species.

Charlotte Pho