The mountainous and verdant terrain surrounding Chiang Mai is criss-crossed by rivers and streams. The source of these waterways is in the mountains. On their descents down into the valley quite a number of these create gorgeous waterfalls and cascades. Waterfalls, namtok in Thai, in the regions around Chiang Mai are mostly located within the confines of national parks. The guide provided below gives a few tips on waterfalls noted for their beauty or as places to spend a few hours chilling out on hot days.
Waterfalls in Chiang Mai:
Huay Kaew | Mae Kampong | Mae Klang | Mae Sa | Mae Ya | Monthathan | Sri Sangwan | Wachirathan | Further Reading
*Note: Admission fees do change, we recommend you to check before visiting.
HUAY KAEW WATERFALL
Huay Kaew Waterfall is the closest cascade to Chiang Mai and is less than 10 minutes’ walk from the front entrance to the city’s zoo on Huay Kaew Road. Although the falls here are not as high and majestic as say Mae Ya, shade trees over the path and the waterfall itself do make it a relaxing spot to enjoy a picnic or paddle. Food and drink for the picnic is sold by vendors in the immediate vicinity.
Huay Kaew Waterfall: T. Suthep, Chiang Mai 50200 | Open: 08:00-17:00 (Daily) | Admission Fee: Free | Map
MAE KAMPONG WATERFALL
Situated in the lovely surroundings of Mae On District and 50kms from Chiang Mai, Mae Kampong Waterfall is an additional attraction rather than a destination in its own right. The multi-tiered cascades are awesome towards the end of the rainy season, but dwindle a little once the rivers start drying up. Mae Kampong Waterfall is a bonus draw when staying in the nearby village of Mae Kampong or zooming through the treetops at the Flight of the Gibbon.
Mae Kampong Waterfall: A. Mae On, Chiang Mai 50130 | Open: 24 Hours | Admission Fee: Free |Map
MAE KLANG WATERFALL
Mae Klang Waterfall is half a kilometre before the main gateway to Doi Inthanon National Park and a popular destination for Thai tourists. These falls are impressive and have lots of pools for swimming at their base. Rustic cafés near the car park serve up a full range of Thai delicacies for those who decide to have impromptu picnics.
Mae Klang Waterfall: #119, M. 7, T. Baan Luang, A. Chom Thong, Chiang Mai 50160 | Open: 08:00-16:30 (Daily) | Admission Fees: Adult 200 B, Child 100 B | Tel: +66 53 286 729 | Map
MAE SA WATERFALL
Mae Sa Waterfall is one of the numerous tourism attractions in the Mae Sa Valley. It is on the eastern edge of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park and a 40km drive to the north of Chiang Mai. Mae Sa is a series of 10 low waterfalls spread out along a river with a number of bathing pools as well as shaded picnic spots beside it. Food vendors just inside the park entrance sell Thai picnic fare such as grilled chicken, sticky rice and som tam spicy salad.
Mae Sa Waterfall: Km. 7, Mae Rim-Sa Meong Rd., A. Mae Rim, Chiang Mai 50180 | Open: 08:00-17:00 (Daily) | Admission Fees: Adult 200 B, Child 100 B | Tel: +66 53 210 244, +66 53 210 246 | Map
MAE YA WATERFALL
Mae Ya Waterfall is just inside Doi Inthanon National Park and 65kms from Chiang Mai. The access road to Mae Ya is signposted from the main road to Doi Inthanon. Mae Ya Waterfall is high, wide, awe-inspiring and a great backdrop for a selfie. The access road is paved and not busy unless it is a public holiday in Thailand. A trip to Mae Ya is easily combined with a Doi Inthanon National Park tour.
Mae Ya Waterfall: T. Ban Luang, A. Chom Thong, Chiang Mai 50160 | Open: 08:00-17:00 (Daily) | Admission Fees: Adult 200 B, Child 100 B |Map
Namtok Monthathan is only 10 minutes from Huay Kaew Waterfall, but is inside Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. The waterfalls here flow over nine levels and into a picturesque swimming pond. The woodland location here is cool and ideal to rest in after the short trek up from the park entrance.
Monthathan Waterfall: T. Suthep, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50200 | Open: 08:00-17:00 (Daily) | Admission Fees: Adult 100 B, Child 50 B | Tel: +66 53 201 244, +66 86 420 5242 | Map
SRI SANGWAN WATERFALL
Sri Sangwan Waterfall is a series of cascades washing over huge rocks in Pha Dang – Chiang Dao National Park. It is wide, high and resembles a sheet of frothing water. Sri Sang Wang is a short hike from Pha Dang’s main office. Hot springs, a trekking trail, diverse plants and trees are other reasons to add Sri Sangwan Waterfall to travel itineraries. Pha Dang National Park is 85kms from Chiang Mai.
Sri Sangwan Waterfall: M. 3, Baan Na Wai, T. Muang Na, A. Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai 501700 | Open: 08:00-18:00 (Daily) | Admission Fees: Adult 100 B, Child 50 B | Tel: +66 53 046 370, +66 93 158 5883 | Map
Wachirathan Waterfall is 12kms up the highway leading from the main entrance of Doi Inthanon National Park to the peak of Inthanon Mountain. The cascade at Wachirathan is around 50 metres high and, as it is fast-flowing, produces lots of mist and spray. Walkways give good views of the fall. Wachirathan Waterfall is more a sight to admire the raw beauty of and not one to bathe in.
Wachirathan Waterfall: #119, M. 7, T. Baan Luang, A. Chom Thong, Chiang Mai 50160 | Open: 08:00-16:30 (Daily) | Admission Fees: Adult 100 B, Child 50 B | Tel: +66 53 286 729 | Map