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Mae Sa Waterfalls – Chiang Mai, Thailand

April 4, 2016

As you begin to ascend into the mountainside you can feel the texture of the air change, you are suddenly surrounded by green and are starting to feel dwarfed by the large trees who’s shadows you stand beneath. Not too far now, keep going. Next thing you know you are meandering through a beautifully cared for national park with a pristine waterfall system running right through it, be sure to give yourself lots of time as you have 10 tiers of falls to explore. Mae Sa is a haven for nature lovers, photographers and anyone who wants to wash off the Chiang Mai chaos.

Before you reach to Mae Sa we suggest to stop and pick up some supplies like drinking water, some fruit and snacks. They do have restaurants on site and also small snack and drink stalls but you will be charged a premium rate. So stock up and have a picnic by the falls.
Once you have paid your entrance fees, given your tickets to the collector and slapped on some sunscreen and mosquito repellent (please make sure to use organic / natural versions if you plan on swimming we don’t want to kill the animals) your adventure and day of relaxation can begin.

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[ Drew and his mum taking a refreshing dip]

We have visited the park many times and yes it can seem chaotic on weekends but don’t let that stop you from visiting as generally you won’t find the locals past tier three, leaving another seven falls for you to swim at and enjoy. We headed out on Christmas day 2015 with our family who were visiting and it was pretty quiet, for most of the day we had a swimming hole to ourselves as we were at (I think) the fifth tier.

[Arrive early and have the place to yourself]

[Photo by Drew Hopper Photography – Arrive early and have the place to yourself]

We like to take our time usually getting to the park before 11:00am and slowly making our way up to our favorite spot. Keep in mind if you visit on a weekday morning you are more than likely to have the park pretty much to yourself!

[Just enjoying one of our waterfall adventures]

[Just enjoying one of our waterfall adventures]

The lower tiers have lots of picnic tables and rubbish bins and larger open spaces to swim making them much more popular than the higher tiers which of course requires an easy but uphill walk to reach.
If you choose to set up at one of the upper tiers please be mindful to take a spare rubbish bag with you to collect your trash and pop it in one of the lower bins on the way back down, there is nothing worse than finding an amazing spot to swim but to have had the last people not clean up after themselves!

[Walking back to the car park before closing time]

Extra Information:

Entrance Fee:
100B Foreigners
50B   Children (Foreigners)
20B   Thai Nationals/ Thai drivers license holder.

Parking Fee:
20B Motorbike
30B Car

Opening Hours:
8:00am – 5:00pm

Food:
Food and drink are available in the car parking area, there are also some small souvenir shops.

Getting there:
It will take 30-40 minutes from Chiang Mai old city / 25kms.
By scooter/ motorbike follow Google maps (do take care part of the road is highway and some winding valley)OR – Hire a car and organise a pickup and drop off time.
We hired an 8 seated car to drop us and our family out at 9:30am and pick us up at 4:30pm and it only cost 600B which we felt was quite reasonable.

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