Huay Kaew Waterfall and Mon Tha Than Waterfall - 2 Peaceful Waterfalls on Doi Suthep Mountain, Chiang Mai
Huay Kaew and Mon Tha Than waterfalls make a lovely break to the journey up the mountain.
Neither waterfall is jaw-droppingly stunning (for that, head to Doi Inthanon National Park), but they are wonderful to visit nevertheless.
Huay Kaew has some great walks around (be careful if you go this way) or a bit away from the fall - follow the signposts there or use my map to help you....you can walk about 500 meters onwards from the fall to actually meet the main road.
| Huay Kaew Waterfall|
The actual waterfall is popular with Thais to sit around and in the warmer months have a dip....The four or five times I've visited the falls, I think I've been offered a whisky drink or some alcoholic beverage each time - there always seems to be small group of friendly young people having a picnic!
| Having a Chat and a Drink on the Rocks!|
| Friendly Smiles and an Offer to Join Them!|
Head there earlier in the morning and you're more likely to have the place to yourself. Butterflys seem to love waterfalls and there any many here. I was busy photographing some when the group photographed noticed me (probably rather comically) trying to photograph the insects and beckoned me to join them! There are numerous food stalls near the entrance. Entrance is free - I advise locking your motorbike/bicycle with a chain lock (if you have one) in the car park here as the the places gets relatively busy.
| Huay Kaew Waterfall from a Distance|
| You can climb to the right of Huay Kaew Waterfall, but Be Careful!|
Mon Tha Than is a waterfall I'll always remember but not for why you might think! I visited just once back in 2003 so my memory of the place is a little hazy - I do remember I was there in the early morning and my friend and I had the place to ourselves. Entry here is 100 baht for adults, 50 baht for children (Thais can enter much more cheaply 20 baht/10 baht). There's also a charge for your transport (Car - 30 baht, Motrobike - 20 baht, Bicycle - 10 baht). There's accommodation here - You can use provided tents for 150/180 baht per night (1/2 people). If you have your own tent, you can stay for 30 baht (think this might be per person rather than per tent...) Or you can stay in their more comfortable accommodation with bed and internet access (1,500 baht nightly though yu might like to double check this price).
The waterfall itself is not as dramatic as Huay Kaew.....however, it is enticing as you can walk/climb up the waterfall with relative ease (I'm not sure about this though in the wet season). BE CAREFUL if you are a bit adventurous to do this....I really can't say this more strongly because it is tempting to do but when I and a friend climbed, we, or I should say, my friend, had an extremely lucky escape.
| Butterflys are everywhere!|
You'll often be climbing up very smooth rock at quite a sharp angle but very...doable. The water flows over parts of this rock and not others so the trick is obviously to avoid the flow of water. However there are some points when you do need to get quite close to the flow in order to carry on climbing. My friend accidently put his foot in this flow and he was gone....I can liken it to one of these water park slides...he was gone....and quickly.....very quickly!...sliding down the fall.
Below us was 40 or 50 meters of this smooth rock. He picked up a lot of speed. That was when I lost sight of him as he careered around a corner. I thought at best he'd broken a leg..at worst....Thankfully his slide was broken by a pool of water that slowed him down just enough before he hit into a slab of rock. His body was slightly shocked but he walked out of there....needless to say, we decided to call it a day with the climbing then!
Return from Huay Kaew and Mon Tha Than Waterfalls to the Doi Suthep Mountain Page (Chiang Mai Adventure).