The Mae Sa Waterfall is actually a series of 10 small waterfalls and cascades spaced anywhere between 100m to 500m apart from each other. We visited these waterfalls with our travel buddies, Andy and Gayle, whom we had met in Bangkok and then traveled up north with. It took two or three tries, but we eventually found a songtaews that would take us to the waterfalls for 500 Baht total. That included the fare to the waterfalls and then back to the city center again. At only $2 per person for each leg of the journey, we though that was very reasonable seeing as the falls were about 45-60 minutes away. Our driver was very sweet, and he was more than happy to wait at the falls while we went off exploring for a few hours.
In order to get to Doi Suthep-Doi Pui National Park, where the falls are located, our songtaew driver had to take us through a number of winding roads. We were sitting on benches in the back, facing each other, which meant that motion-sickness was inevitable for Justin and I. We are both quite sensitive to nausea if we are not facing forward when we are in a vehicle. On this particular day, I was able to sense the nausea creeping up on me, so I changed my seating position and tried to concentrate on breathing deeply (this usually helps me). Justin was not as lucky, and unfortunately by the time we got to the the national park, he was looking rather pale and queasy! Even after a hour or two of not being in the vehicle anymore, he still fell ill. I really sympathized because I have felt this awful sickness far too many times in my life.
While Andy went off exploring, Justin lay on a picnic table trying to let the nausea pass. Gayle relaxed nearby, and I walked around seeing what I could find to photograph in the close vicinity.
This waterfall – level five – was quite pretty. We were able to walk behind it, and even jump into the water and swim around it. There were others swimming and picnicking around this waterfall, but overall the park was very quiet and peaceful. After a pleasant dip in the cool water, we continued hiking up the mountainous area to see what the other waterfalls were like.
That morning we had enjoyed a big breakfast at one of our favorite breakfast spots just down the road from our hotel. We couldn’t finish it all, so we wrapped the fries in a napkin and took them with us in our backpack. We knew that momma-to-be would be hungry within a couple of hours – or less – so it would be a good idea to take a small snack. While Justin, Andy, and Gayle walked around one of the higher waterfalls, I sat down to munch on my fries.
We stayed in the national park for a few hours, climbing higher and higher, to explore the waterfalls and paths. Even though most of the falls were marked with sign-posts, we must have wandered off the main path because we didn’t see signs for all 10 waterfalls. When we had done enough climbing, swimming and sightseeing, we started to head down to the main entrance again so that we could go and find our songtaew driver.
Back in Chiang Mai city center we parted ways to shower at our separate hotels, and then met for dinner at a shabby little spot we had stumbled upon in our first couple of days in Chiang Mai. This little hole in the wall place was not much to look at, but wow, the food there was authentic and amazingly tasty! This was another day well spent with good friends!
Location: Doi Suthep-Doi Pui National Park
How to get there: Songtaews are available from the city.
Opening Hours: Daily from 8:00am – 4:00pm
Admission: 200 Baht for foreigners, 20 Baht for Thais
Contact: 0-5321-0246, 0-5321-0244