Attention! This blog post is written many years ago when I was not even dreaming about becoming a professional travel blogger. You are warned that the quality of the text and/or pictures might not be the best. 🙂
Chiang Mai is dubbed as the adventure capital of Thailand. That is very true – there so many more things to do and visit beside its (very rich) cultural side and its busy markets.
As I am currently living in Chiang Mai, I have this great opportunity to discover some awesome stuff, activities that usually tourist don’t do. Today I will tell you about Sticky waterfalls and cliff jumping!
Buatong waterfall (the real name) is the thing to be seen!
At first, I couldn’t really get it when people would explain me how it works. They said – “You can actually climb up the waterfall, because it is sticky!”. Wait, what?
It is a bit hard to imagine, but that is true. Due to the formation of calcium in the path of the flowing water, it is very easy and safe to climb it without using your hands. If you are barefoot, your feet actually kind of stick to it, right! Just make sure not to step to grey parts of the stones, those are growing algae and are very slippery. In some really crooked areas there are ropes that can help you climb.
In addition, you can walk around the area, following some trails, it is amazingly beautiful! For instance, we found this beautiful little lake with a liana, which I successfully climbed, imagining myself a Tarzan!
What to bring
Although, it is one of the most obvious things as you are going to a waterfall, many people tend to forget towels. You will get wet, so it is a good idea to dry yourself after it. There are toilets where you can change into your swimming suit, no problems about that.
You also might want to bring a mat and a lunch with you, the scenery is fascinating! But there are small cafes around, so you can grab a bite of something if you wish.
How to get to the Sticky Waterfalls
The easiest way is to rent a motorbike and go there by yourself. The road is pretty simple, you go straight 1001 from to the North for around 20 km and at some point turn on the right. The directions are here. The ride is not more than an hour, depending on your speed.
One more of the numerous adventures the city has to offer is cliff jumping (called sometimes the Grand Canyon of Thailand). Unlike the Grand Canyon in USA, what you see at the end of the cliffs in Chiang Mai canyon is not a view of valleys, but a body of water.
I went there with a group of friends and it was loads of fun! One of my friends made a great video of our trip, you can see I was actually a bit hesitant to jump! 🙂 But then, I saw some other people doing it, and then I did it too, and again, and again!
Even though it is not dangerous at all, there are “No swimming” signs. Why?!
Well, I’ve heard some people died in Chiang Mai Grand Canyon last year…
But what happened is that they did not know how to swim, it was not because it was too high or too dangerous to jump. I don’t know why would they do that, seriously, don’t ask me. Please do not jump if you cannot swim, but otherwise it is safe.
There are different cliffs you can jump from – around 10 meters and 20 meters, so you can try both, either go for a shorter one (like me! ;))
How to get there
This one is even easier to get – just 20-25 minutes down Hang Dong with your motorbike and you are there!
Where to stay in Chiang Mai
I hope by now I have convinced you that Chiang Mai is definitely a place to stop for a while. Except the abundance of adventurous stuff, Chiang Mai is considered to be the cultural capital of Thailand. There are tons of things to do, tons! That is why you should definitely stay for a while!
But where? Patience, I have some tips for you depending on your budget. Click the links to see the rates for your specific dates:
- Luxury stay – a 5* hotel named X2 Chiang Mai Nimman Villa has it all – great location, stylish decor and amazing reviews, I suddenly want to stay there too! Baan Saen Fang Chiang Mai can be a great alternative to X2 as it is luxurious as well, and it offers very attractive rates if booked in advance:
- Medium price range – zzziesta Chiang Mai is located very close to everything, offers free bikes and comfortable rooms with a kitchenette. Alternatively, BED Phrasingh Hotel is located literally in the heart of the old center, offers outdoor swimming pool and daily complimentary local breakfast snacks, great reviews!
- Budget stay – if you want to stay in the center and on budget, D-Well Hostel is your ideal place! 9.9 out of 10 is truly something! Book in advance! If you want to stay near the best Chiang Mai’s the night life, you should go for Wow’ House, the vibe there will definitely leave you speechless!
Bonus – where to rent a motorbike in Chiang Mai
I recommend Chiang Mai Scooter Rental – they are the best on the market at the moment!
These are just some of the perks you will get by renting from them:
- free motorbike delivery to the airport, railway station or your accommodation in Chiang Mai etc.;
- free bike pick up as well – if, say, you leave at 5 a.m. you can still use the bike to drive to the airport and just leave it there locking the keys;
- if something breaks you will only have to cover the dealer price of the broken part, not more;
- more then 60 bikes in perfect condition to choose from (including special ones for tall people)
- an anti-theft device;
- first-aid kit with everything you might need in case of emergency and a health insurance;
UPDATE: Find the best multi trip travel insurance in this article!
One other thing that I would definitely recommend you doing while in Chiang Mai is visiting night markets! And, if you happen to be there during a magical Yi Peng lantern festival, don’t miss your chance!!
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