Chiang Mai Sticky Waterfalls Featured

Visiting Chiang Mai Sticky Waterfalls? Our Best Advice 2023

The Chiang Mai sticky waterfalls are a unique and fun place to visit when you’re in Northern Thailand. Be sure to plan a day in your itinerary here – and don’t forget your swimsuit!

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Climb The Sticky Waterfall!

If you’re looking for an easy and hassle-free way of visiting the Chiang Mai sticky waterfalls, then book yourself onto a fun day tour like this one. You’ll spend around 2 hours enjoying the strange sensation of climbing up the gushing water and lunch and hotel pickup are included in the price. Also, check out our top recommendations for accommodation in Chiang Mai for budget or boutique travellers!

The Famous Chiang Mai Sticky Waterfalls - Tips + Advice 2022!

Chiang Mai Sticky Waterfall

Chiang Mai really does have it all – temples, great food, buzzing nightlife, elephants and yes, incredible nature. It’s such a great city to visit because you can experience all of this and more without travelling too far in between attractions.

The Chiang Mai sticky waterfalls are just one of the cool things to do that are only a short while away from the city – perfect for those mornings where you want a little peace and quiet, but a fun adventure too!

If you’re unsure about climbing the Chiang Mai sticky waterfalls – and I don’t blame you because they sound crazy – then watch the video below before you read the post to get an idea of how fun and easy it is.


What Are The Chiang Mai Sticky Waterfalls?

The famous sticky waterfalls in Chiang Mai are just that – waterfalls that you literally stick to as you climb up! It’s a strange sensation, climbing up gushing water but not slipping backwards.

Waterfalls surrounded by trees

Locally known as Bua Tong, the waterfalls are nestled inside the gorgeous Sri Lanna National Park. It’s only around 60km away from the city centre, so it should take a maximum of an hour and a half to get there. Take a look at the map below to see how easy the journey is!

The actual waterfalls consist of 3 levels, and there is a mixture of wooden stairways and ramps to make your way down to the bottom. There are ropes tied to strong trees that will help you pull yourself up the rocks – this was helpful to me because I had a bag on my back so I was a little unbalanced at times!

Rope lying on rock at Chiang Mai sticky waterfall

The water comes from a spectacular nearby spring called Nam Phu Chet Si. You can’t swim in the bright aquamarine water here, but it’s a peaceful area.

As you walk towards the main area of the Chiang Mai sticky waterfalls, you should turn left and you’ll see a sign for Nam Phu Chet Si. Follow the boardwalk for around 5 minutes and you’ll reach a large open space – this is where the waterfall begins!

Brown sign saying Nature Trail in Thai and then Englihs, and also saying Chet Si Cold Spring in Thai and in English

Mineral deposits in the water stop the rocks from being so slippery – this is why they’re called the Chiang Mai sticky waterfalls! You can literally walk up the rocks and you’ll have so much grip on your feet.

There are a few areas where you could slip – these are the dark green or brown spots that have algae growing on them. Stick (ha!) to the lighter parts and you’ll cling on!


Read More: How To Backpack Thailand On A Budget!

Where Are The Chiang Mai Sticky Waterfalls?

The waterfalls are actually a little further north than Chiang Mai city. It’s just over an hour’s scenic drive and the roads and safe and well-kept. If you’re making your own way there without a driver or a tour, feel free to stop along the way to take in the gorgeous views!

Read More: Here’s How To Get From Chiang Mai To Bangkok By Sleeper Train!


How To Get To The Sticky Waterfalls In Chiang Mai

There are 3 main ways to get to the Chiang Mai sticky waterfalls. Everyone has their ideal option, whether that’s being the most budget-friendly, the simplest or the most adventurous. I’ve listed the ways to reach the Bua Tong waterfalls in order of ease, but feel free to skip ahead to the way that interests you the most!

The journey to the sticky waterfalls is beautiful. You’ll drive along winding roads, passing small villages, rolling hills and lush rice fields for around an hour. Make sure you keep watching the landscape because it really is stunning the whole way there!

Tour

By far the simplest way to visit the sticky waterfalls in Chiang Mai is to take a tour. You’ll get all of the fun of the trip without having to think about transport or food, plus there’s the added bonus of being shown around by a knowledgeable local.

You’ll be picked up by your guide at 10 am so you can have a nice little lie-in too!

Views at small

You can spend the next few hours exploring the area – don’t forget to visit the springs too! Your guide will be able to tell you all about the local area whilst you’re climbing Bua Tong. Ask if they can take some photos of you too – another benefit of having a guide is that they are usually more than happy to get some cool snaps that would be difficult to get on your own!

Once you’ve completed your climb, wandered around the park and relaxed in one of the pools, you’ll be starving so your guide will take you to a small local restaurant for lunch. It will be Thai food – think fried rice, pad Thai and noodles.

After you’ve eaten, you’ll be driven back to your hotel in the city, arriving at around 3 pm.

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 4 – 5 hours
  • Pickup Included: Yes
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Need To Take: Swimwear
  • Lunch Included: Yes

Click here to check availability and prices

You can also take a tour that combines other nearby activities, such as visiting a temple, taking a boat ride or exploring a cave!


Songthaew

If you don’t have your own transport but you don’t want to take a tour, another great way of getting to the sticky waterfalls in Chiang Mai is just to take a taxi! The red songthaews that you’ll see driving around the city are a great experience in themselves!

The price ranges from 1000 – 1200 baht. I wouldn’t haggle this price too much as that needs to cover the fuel and also the driver’s time for around 5 hours. We paid 1100 baht.

If you’re in a group then it will be the same cost for the vehicle so you can split it between you. These trucks could probably fit 6 adults comfortably – maybe you could ask people at your accommodation if they want to share the costs.

When you arrive, the driver might want to take a photo or video of you at the entrance. This is to prove that he is your driver and that you need to return to the city with him. I think this is fair enough as there will definitely have been tourists who somehow got a free ride home and pretended that they didn’t know who their driver was!

Pay at the end of your whole trip because otherwise there is no incentive for the driver to wait for you and you don’t want to be stuck 60km out of town with no way back.

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Motorbike/Car

The cheapest way to visit the Chiang Mai sticky waterfalls is to hire a motorbike and take a road trip. I would only recommend doing this if you’re experienced in driving a bike in Thailand AND you’re fully insured (always double-check your insurance because the chances are that you will only be covered if you have a full motorbike licence in your home country).

Don’t rent a scooter on your first day in the country – the roads to the falls are quite remote so if you have an accident you could be waiting a while for help.

You can hire bikes for around 250 – 300 baht per day, but you can shop around for the best deals because there are scooter rental companies everywhere in the city.

Also, make sure that you have a proper licence to drive in Thailand – you could be fined if you don’t.

If you would rather have a car then that is just as easy! Check out all your options here or use the handy search box below to see availability and prices.


What To Expect At The Sticky Waterfalls in Chiang Mai

The Chiang Mai sticky waterfalls have been carefully looked after, and the surrounding area is well preserved. It’s a great place to spend half a day climbing, relaxing and picnicking.

Open green space at the waterfalls

There are clean western toilets and two shower blocks with plenty of cubicles, which means you can easily get changed before or after your swim.

There are lots of bins and benches around, and everywhere is signposted, clean and tidy. It’s such a nice feeling when you visit somewhere that manages tourism well!

You don’t need to pay to enter the waterfall area, so don’t give any extra money to your driver or guide. It’s unlikely they’ll ask for it, but it’s good to be aware!

Red iced drink and fried rice in a white box on a bench

Don’t forget to bring some small change just in case you fancy an ice cream or a coffee too – there are vendors at the waterfalls! There is a restaurant too, selling Thai food but you could also bring your own lunch/snacks and just enjoy using the space to eat.

Read More: Try These Awesome Cooking Classes in Chiang Mai!

One thing that is great about the Chiang Mai sticky waterfalls is that you can pretty much choose how wet you want to get! We had a backpack to carry up the whole way so couldn’t completely dunk ourselves in, but we did only wear our swimming costumes so we didn’t have to worry about being splashed!

Man and woman in swimwear smiling at the camera st the Chiang Mai sticky waterfalls

Some people were walking up in swimwear like us and had plastic waterproof lanyards for their phones, and others were fully clothed, but just were barefoot. It’s completely up to you.

The picnic area and the small pools were all at the top on flat ground. There are some wheelchair paths so I would say that if you use one then you’ll be able to access these parts. You can swim in the top pool and relax enjoying the gorgeous views. Getting to the bottom of the actual waterfalls without walking down the stairs is impossible.

Flat ground with railings and information about local area

What To Pack For Your Chiang Mai Sticky Waterfall Adventure

Here is a list of all of our most recommended things you should be taking with you to the sticky waterfalls. Remember to click through if you want to see options and pricing.

ANLUKE Water Shoes

You will be extremely surprised how often you will be thinking to yourself that you WISH you had some water shoes. For example, any water activity/excursion you find yourself doing, or finding out the beach is not quite as soft and sandy as you originally thought. Hurting your feet, not being able to participate, or getting one of your pairs of shoes can ruin an experience.

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Waterproof Pouch with Waist Strap

This very affordable waterproof fanny pack is perfect for water excursions like kayaking and snorkeling but also for beach days when you don't feel comfortable getting into the water with all your valuables chilling on the sand. This one is a no-frills, 'does the job' pouch that we highly recommend to keep your valuables safe.

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GoPro HERO12 Black

The Go Pro Hero 12 takes the world-renowned Go Pro formula and hits even greater heights. The best of these has to be the Emmy award-winning HyperSmooth 6.0 for incredibly stable video during your wildest of travel adventures, and the front-facing screen for easy selfie and video capture! Find out even more by clicking through!

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GoPro Head Strap

If you have a GoPro, you probably love a little bit of adventure! This head strap is perfect for capturing the fun but hands-free! It's waterproof too. You can use it on your head or a helmet if you're wearing one, and is adjustable. This head strap is compatible with all GoPros and even other action cameras!

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Tummy Control Swimsuit

Looking for a stylish, flattering, complimenting swimsuit that shows off all of your best features whilst also being great for swimming and having fun? Then check out all of the incredible styles and colours these tummy control swimsuits come in.

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Barracuda Swim Trunks

Grab yourself some comfortable and stylish swim trunks for a decent price right here. They have a ridiculous amount of patterns and colours so remember to check out more if black is not your style. These will dry super quick and are made robsutly so should easily last your whole travelling experience.

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Sun Bum SPF 50 Sunscreen

We all know what sunscreen is and we all know how important it is but why go with Sun Bum? They are cruelty-free and are compliant with the Hawaii 104 Reef Act meaning that you will be helping decrease the amount of damage sunscreens have to the environment that you are swimming in. If that hasn't convinced you then click through to find out even more.

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Ranger Ready Picaridin Insect Repellent Spray

Do not let a brilliant experience be ruined by pesky insects biting you all over your body. Insect repellant is not expensive but not having it can affect much more expensive activities. Pick up a bottle of this Picaridin bug spray and enjoy your travel.

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JBL Flip 6 - Portable Speaker

The Flip series from JBL has been a huge success for years and rightfully so. Its compact size combined with its huge battery life (12 hours) and sound quality make it perfect for travellers and backpackers alike. JBL also do smaller versions if the size is a little big but I just love the sound quality the Flip 6 has to offer!

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The Best Time To Visit The Sticky Waterfalls

In terms of seasons, you can visit the Chiang Mai sticky waterfalls at any time of year because they’re not dependent on rainfall to flow. It rained a little when we were there and for some reason, a lot of people waited for it to stop until they started climbing the waterfall. I have no idea why people wanted it to stop raining before they got into WATER but there you go!

Staircase made from rocks with waterfall flowing down

Tour groups usually arrive between 11 and 12, so this is when the place will be at its busiest. To avoid crowds, it’s always best to visit in the early morning, but you knew that anyway!

The entrance opens at around 8 am so you could try to get there for then if you really don’t want to be around people. It closes at 5 pm so I wouldn’t recommend arriving any later than 3 if you don’t want to be rushed.


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Where To Stay In Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is literally full of amazing places to stay – you’d find it difficult to have a bad experience! We’ve found some great options for you to look at, so click on the links to check out their room availability and latest prices!


Frequently Asked Questions About The Chiang Mai Sticky Waterfalls

Can children visit the Chiang Mai sticky waterfalls?

Yes! It’s not difficult to climb the waterfalls, but they might need a bit of a leg up for some parts!

Can I bring my own picnic to the sticky waterfalls in Chiang Mai?

Yes definitely. There are lots of benches but you could buy food from the restaurant if you wanted.

Are there changing rooms at the Chiang Mai sticky waterfalls?

Yes, there are two changing room blocks with showers.

Are there restaurants at the Chiang Mai sticky waterfalls?

Yes, there is a restaurant and a coffee shop.

How far are the sticky waterfalls from Chiang Mai Old City?

It’s around 60km from the centre of the city.

Can you visit the Chiang Mai sticky waterfalls in the dry season?

Yes, you can visit all year round because the water is coming from a spring underground.


Have we convinced you to visit the Chiang Mai sticky waterfalls? Let us know if you are planning on going and we’ll answer any questions in the comments below!


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