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On the day before the departure of our guests we planned to experience Chiang Mai’s famous Mae Sa Waterfalls. We had all been constantly talking about how nice the cool mist from the waterfalls would be since the weather was particularly hot during the days leading up to the weekend. We took off down Highway 107, and zipped around the curves of the Mae Sa loop. We felt a couple of rain drops during our ride, but nothing that would leave us soaking wet.
Mae Sa Waterfalls Entry and Food Cost
We arrived the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park gates at around 1:00 pm and shelled out 100 baht per person, and 20 baht per motorbike. We had all woken up late and hadn’t had anything to eat yet, so as you might imagine we were acting a little like four angry Betty Whites from that Snickers commercial. To our satisfaction there were food vendors lining the main parking area closest to the trail. We ordered four ice coffees, two large portions of freshly barbecued chicken, and two heaping portions of sticky rice. The damage for this meal? About 90 baht ($3 USD) a head.
After our meal we started feeling more like ourselves and began to explore the Mae Sa Waterfalls. We had already gotten our feet a little wet having had to cross a stream barefooted to get to the picnic tables, so we were ready! We took the harder route up a very steep hill to waterfall number five, which is the main waterfall with the largest swimming area. We joked about idea of our scooters being able to make it up such a sharp incline. We agreed that it might be possible, but only with a very long head start.
We were very surprised to see that there were no other foreigners at these very scenic waterfalls. The only people enjoying the area were local Thai people. Most of them were younger Thai couples and families with small children. We felt welcome, which is always such a nice feeling.
The Pools Can be Deceivingly Deep
After we took turns snapping a couple of photos of each other we started up the trail to the top of the waterfall number five. I thought it would be nice to get my feet wet again, but upon entering the water I found myself waist deep with my wallet, phone, and motorbike keys still in my pockets! With my quick reflexes I was able to get out just as fast as I got in. I took a moment to dry of my belongings and then quickly returned to the water to wash away my embarrassment.
Small Steep Trails Surround the Waterfalls
While I was chilling out for a little while Angela and Amanda did a little exploring in the areas surrounding the waterfalls. They came back shortly after and let me know that there were some other pretty awesome waterfalls just up ahead, so we regrouped and made our way further up the trail. We took a couple more pictures along the way.
I felt like a little kid, and had to get in and play at each one of the waterfalls. Although I was not ready to leave as soon as the others were, I realize that we are lucky enough to live here and there is nothing stopping us from revisiting the Mae Sa Waterfalls one day soon.
We left the park around 4:00 pm, but the ride home wasn’t as smooth as the ride out to the waterfalls. We hit a big rainstorm as soon as we got onto the main highway, and were forced to pull off of the road for about ten minutes. With rainy season slowly creeping in we have to remember to bring our rain jackets with us from now on. By the time we made it home we were soaking wet, but as the Thais say “Mai bpen rai” (rough translation – “no worries”). We had a great day, and an awesome week with our friends Amanda and Dusty. We will miss their company, but look forward to seeing them in the US sometime next year. Safe travels!
NOTE: The total cost of trip including food was about $7 USD per person. Waterfalls close at 5:00 pm.