Hiking to the Hill Tribes & Waterfall

Chiang Mai, Thailand

I hike through the jungle and take a dip in a massive waterfall.


After our homestay in Mae Kapong, we piled back into the vans and continued our weekend trip away from Chiang Mai University.

We stopped a couple of times to see portions of The Royal Project, an environmental & cultural conservation effort initiated by the current king.

Then, we hopped out of the vans to take a hike through the jungle.

We divied up into groups and went into the jungle one group at a time.

Hiking through the jungle

Hiking through the jungle

We hiked downward through the jungle, slipping on muddy banks and enjoying the shade that the canopy provided. At one point, I slipped and fell, no thanks to my comfy shoes.

We could soon hear roaring water, and we made our way toward the source.

Looking down from the top of Mae Sa waterfall

Looking down from the top of the waterfall

A series of white cascades sprayed below us. We walked down the hiking trail alongside the first portion and posed at the bottom in front of the wall of water and slick stone.

Mae Sa Waterfall

The Waterfall

After spending a few moments taking pictures and enjoying the cool spray of the falls, we continued down the trail, still along the same falls.

Soon, we made it to the bottom, which was a massive basin underneath the largest cascade of all.

We stripped down to our bathing suits, and gingerly stepped over slippery rocks so that we could swim.

Changing into bathing suits to swim in Mae sa

Changing into bathing suits to swim under the falls

The water was freezing, and the current was strong. I didn’t spend too much time swimming, but I definitely had a blast.

Swimming under the falls

Swimming under the falls

(Unfortunately, these the only¬†pictures of the waterfall that we swam under. They don’t give a great perspective on the enormity of the falls or the basin. I also can’t find the name of the falls on google. Please comment if you know.)

Waterfall swim

Waterfall swim

After we all got out again and put our hiking clothes back on, we continued along the trail. A series of pipes were cut into the land, transporting water from the falls.

We suddenly found ourselves on the side of a clifface.

View on our way to the Hill Tribes

View on our way to the Hill Tribes

The view was spectacular.

Rice Terraces in Northern Thailand

Rice Terraces in Northern Thailand

Rice fields were cut into the mountain in terraces.

Rice Fields on rice fields on rice fields

Rice Fields on rice fields on rice fields

Rice Fields and other various crops

Rice Fields and other various crops

We hiked down the trail, and soon were on the same level as the fields.

Rice fields reflecting the sky

Rice fields reflecting the sky

Working the Rice Fields

Working the Rice Fields

Hill Tribe children playing in the rice fields

Hill Tribe children playing in the rice fields

Workers in the rice fields of Northern Thailand

Workers in the rice fields of Northern Thailand

We stopped at a village to sample local coffee and tea

A Hill Villiage in Northern Thailand

A Hill Villiage in Northern Thailand

We saw a pig nursing her piglets, as well as many chickens.

Piglet!

Piglet!

I’m not sure if this was just an extension of the village we stayed at, or if it was a separate community entirely.

Either way, we did a bit more walking before our final destination: the hilltribe overnight stay.

Toward the Hill Tribes

Toward the Hill Tribes

Heading to the Hill Tribe

Heading to the Hill Tribe

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