- Elizabeth Cochran
Waterfalls of Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai, known as the digital nomad hub of South East Asia is located in the mountains of Northern Thailand and is surrounded by beautiful nature. In Chiang Mai city there is a lot to do, but the real gem is just 30-50 minutes outside of the city. Where you can explore the nature and the serene waterfalls. There are many things to do in Chiang Mai, so lets break down the top waterfalls you should see when in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Chiang Mai is filled with cafes, but if you go just 30-50 minutes outside of Chiang Mai then you can explore serene nature. From hiking, trekking, camping, national parks, remote villages, and waterfalls. There are waterfalls located all over in Chiang Mai. Here are the top ones I recommend you see whilst in Chiang Mai. 1. Namtok Bua Tong (Sticky waterfall)
This is the number one waterfall to see in Chiang Mai. This one is well-known due to its sticky rock formations that enable you to climb it without falling. If there is only time for one waterfall for you to see in Chiang Mai, then this is the one to go too.
2. Mae Sa This one surprised me at its beauty as it was not only a waterfall, but placed inside a national park. There are many parts to this waterfall and it is recommended you bring some snacks and a day bag. The locals even packed an entire "picnic" with mats and different Thai foods chatting all day in the waterfall.
Photo credits: "Asia Travel Gate"
3. Huay Kaew If you are in Chiang Mai, go to Huay Kaew as it is only 20 minutes outside of the city centre or old city. This one is the easiest to get to as it accessible to the city. There is a sightseeing landmark if you hike up and you can see the city below. The red cars can take you to this waterfall for a normal fee as it is still in the city basically. Rides on the red car are 40 baht for a short ride (which is about $1.50 USD current exchange rate).
4. Mae Ya This waterfall can be seen inside the Doi Inthanon National Park. If you have time come see this one and explore in Doi Inthanon also. This is a huge waterfall and is a tourist destination. In the national park there is hiking, camping, strawberry fields, coffee fields, and more.
Photo credits: "Take me tour" 5. Pha Lat Tawanron This waterfall is in Suthep and is a very short ride outside of the city. This one can dry up at times, but there also are trails near this waterfall you can explore. If you want to do some hiking while visiting this waterfall try out the "Monk's trail" Wat Pha Lat.
Photo credits: "My Chiang Mai Tour"
6. Sai Yok Located in the mountains this one is windy getting to, but very quiet. Very good for relaxing and being in the nature. This one is more of an adventure getting to, so be prepared that it is really in the nature.
Photo credits: My Chiang Mai tour
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7. Huay Tung Tao Another gorgeous waterfall where you will do a slight hike and can enjoy the serene waterfall. Around this waterfall is a reservoir and places to watch the sunset with a beer. There are straw sculptures to see while here. This trail is very slippery and narrow. This particular waterfall is really not as well-known. Take your motorbike and do a bit of hiking for a waterfall most likely. It is a bit outside of this city north of Old city.
Photo credits: Trip.com
Disclaimer: I do not recommend to go to if its raining. As a general caution if it is raining or the rainy season doing sightseeing at waterfalls will not be ideal.
8. Namtok Mae Kamphong This one is more of a hidden gem and is located around 1 hour outside of the city. It is located in a remote hill tribe village in the mountains. The waterfall is very steep and I recommend you climb all the way to the top. There is a village and you can walk around there and find good places to eat and nice cafes too.
Photo credits: Dreamstime
This could be you!!!
This is the full travel guide to waterfalls in Chiang Mai. For travelling to any of the waterfalls rent a car or a motorbike, but just be mindful and careful of course while driving. If you are not comfortable driving then book a tour guide or book a small van or car with your friends.
As you can see there are many waterfalls to explore in Chiang Mai. I lived here for quite an extensive time and go to really see what Chiang Mai has to offer. This city is popular for digital nomads, nature lovers, and free nomadic types of people. Enjoy your time in the Land of Smiles and in Chiang Mai. Join my travel community at Lizzo's wanderer's on patreon, where we talk about insider's travel, travel guides, tips for female or solo travelers, live chats, how to go abroad, and more.