Hiking up Huay Kaew

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Exploring the scenic side of Chiang Mai with a hike to Huay Kaew waterfall


June 2015

After finishing up our very first class at Chiang Mai University, (as part of Cal Poly’s Thailand Study Abroad Program), myself and a few others decided to take a hike up to a local waterfall, Huay Kaew.

Our original intention was to hike all the way up to Wat Pha Lad, but the destination was a bit elusive, so we saved that for another afternoon.

We walked past Chiang Mai zoo and uphill toward Doi Suthep National Park.

We passed by an area with some public shrines, as well as multiple street vendors selling food, as well as flowers and candles for worship.

Seen in Chiang Mai

Seen in Chiang Mai

Seen in Chiang Mai

Seen in Chiang Mai

We eventually made it to Doi Suthep Pui National park, and strolled a bit into the jungle. It wasn’t long until we saw a stream at the base of the main waterfall.

View of the city of Chiang Mai, seen from the lower tier of Huay Kaew waterfall

View of the city of Chiang Mai, seen from the lower tier of Huay Kaew waterfall

We were already decently high up at this point, and could see that the stream dopped off to reveal a breathtaking view of rainforest, with the rooftops of Chiang Mai in the near-distance.

We then began our hike up the inclined trail toward the waterfall.

The trail toward Huay Kaew

The trail toward Huay Kaew

The area wasn’t crowded, although to be fair it was a weekday. We saw a few local families and some European tourists.

We quickly made our decent up the rock faces, stopping to assess the best methods of crossing muddy streams or getting up steep areas.

Hiking up Huay Kaew

Hiking up Huay Kaew

Eventually, we made it to a point that warned us against going further.

Don't tell me what to do

Don’t tell me what to do

However, there was a very clear worn-down trail past this area, with lots of tree roots and rocks to cling on to, so (sorry mom) we proceeded anyway.

We hiked up the steep damp dirt path, gawking at giant ants and swarming termites. At one point, we even crossed a stone bridge over the water.

The view from the top was picturesque, and we took turns going right up to the edge to look down.

From the top of the falls

From the top of the falls

Chiang Mai could be seen through the trees, but it didn’t easily turn out in pictures.

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2 thoughts on “Hiking up Huay Kaew

  1. Hello Rose! I can’t remember exactly how long it took us, but it was not long at all, maybe a half an hour at most. And then there are plenty of explorable areas to walk around the town once you are done. Very easy, and very doable for a lone hiker! There were a few other hikers when we went, which was on a weekday afternoon.

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