Waterfall Trips: 1 – Huaykaew Waterfall, Suthep

Huaykaew Waterfall is a picturesque spot close to the mountains of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park and the city. The waterfall is ideal for a short trek or a pitstop on the trek towards the National Park. I took the hiking trail leading north of the waterfall, winding up to Wang Bua Ban viewpoint. Furthermore, visiting during the dry season meant the water levels were lower, hence I could climb further. At the entrance I saw the Kruba Srivichai Monument, a small Buddhist shrine which is beautifully decorative. To read about additional waterfall trips in Chiang Mai Province see the following blog post.

Each waterfall is at the red pin on each map. The blue dot shows Santitham, where I live in Chiang Mai.

Waterfall Trips: 2 – Mae Sa Waterfalls

Mae Sa Waterfalls were spectacular and an enjoyable spot to swim.

Mae Sa is a ten-tiered waterfall around 25km north of the city. When I moved to Chiang Mai I soon discovered that it is a popular destination. The waterfalls are in the Mae Sa valley, close to a number of Elephant sanctuaries and adventure activities. I experienced all ten levels as well as the stunningly green rainforest on these waterfall trips. The higher I climbed, the less people there were and the environment beautifully tranquil. For instance, the amount of subsidiary waterfalls gave us superb sights. For those that like swimming, you can frequent the plunge pool available. Similarly, for keen campers, you can rent tents at scenic camping spots.

3 – Bua Tong (Sticky) Waterfalls

The ‘Sticky’ Waterfalls were surprisingly easy to scale given that we visited at the start of the rain season.

Located in Mae Taeng district, 60km north of Chiang Mai, Bua Tong waterfalls took us about 1 hour, 30 minutes drive. My girlfriend and I decided that the most convenient option was to hire a car for a day. The waterfalls were wonderfully striking and you could climb up and down the rocks with relative ease. The ‘sticky’ reference comes from a mineral deposit that enables excellent grip in spite of descending water. When we approached the top, the ground became slippy although there were ropes to assist. Additionally, at the bottom we swam in the water and then climbed back up the waterfall. The Mae Taeng National Forest Reserve is a spectacular setting and a remarkably natural environment.

4 – Wat Phra Lat Waterfall

One of my favourite early photos taken in Chiang Mai, at Wat Phra Lat.

Wat Phra Lat is not as illustrious as Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, but certainly has the setting to rival. Nestled in the remote forest, crowds and food stalls are absent, creating great serenity. Although the location is concealed, the views are breathtaking and I regard the temple as a hidden gem. I recommend taking a moment to sit on the rocks and embrace the surroundings with the flowing waterfalls. In addition, the water trickles down to the opening of the tree canopies, producing remarkable views over Chiang Mai. To read more on the temple, hiking routes and onward travel sites, see Doi Suthep-Pui National Park.

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