Mae Sa Waterfall (Namtok Mae Sa)

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand

Rating: 1.5     Difficulty: 2.5
One of the Mae Sa Waterfalls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

The Mae Sa Waterfall was actually a series of 9 or 10 small waterfalls and cascades spaced anywhere between 100m to 500m apart from each other. Depending on your criteria, one might think there would be more than ten waterfalls while others might think there would be less. But in any case, we thought that the most interesting of the ones that we counted were the waterfalls identified as 4-8 as these seemed to be more photographable and had interesting shapes.

Most of the falls were signposted so we could identify them. But I tended to think of this attraction as more of a Thai picnic and swimming spot. That was because none of the falls individually were more than 10m tall I reckon, and we saw many Thai holiday-makers picnicking with friends and family. In fact, it was quite a popular place despite us showing up in the late afternoon, which didn't leave us a whole lot of time to experience all the waterfalls before it started to get dark. Thus, our visit here felt kind of rushed.

The way we did this excursion was by walking up to waterfalls 4-10 from the third and uppermost car park (out of three car parks). From there, we took the well-developed walks uphill all alongside the stream seeing one waterfall after the next.

Looking down at the sloping yet wide and segmented first Mae Sa Waterfall Even though we thought 4-8 were the most interesting, it wasn't easy getting satisfying photos of most of them. Even some of these could be construed as more like rapids or mini-cascades than waterfalls. But once we got beyond the eighth waterfall, we continued on to see what waterfalls 9 and 10 looked like, but there was no signage and I could've made the case that these last two were nothing more than rapids given how the terrain was flattening out.

After returning to the third car park, we shuttled down to the first car park (the lowermost one) where our driver waited for us as we went about our hike. I think when we hastily made this descent to see the remaining waterfalls, but it seemed like we only managed to notice waterfall #1 as waterfalls 2 and 3 either weren't a big deal or the path we took was too far removed from the stream (assuming there was another trail we should've taken on the other side of the stream).

In case you're curious, the ten labeled waterfalls of Mae Sa had the following names from the first (lowestmost) to the tenth (uppermost) waterfalls, respectively.

The first waterfall, which was near the first two car parks was named Pha Lard. The second waterfall, which was between the second and third car parks was named Wang Yao. Waterfall #3 was named Pha Tak. Waterfall #4 was named Wang Sam Muen. Waterfall #5 was named Wang Thao Promma. Waterfall #6 was named Tard Muei. Waterfall #7 was named Tard Phanarom while Waterfall #8 was named Pha Ngoeb.

Finally, even though we didn't identify and see the 9th and 10th waterfalls, I believe their names were Wat Hang and Lan Thay, respectively.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Roughly an hour's drive up the mountain from Mae Sa, we visited the Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, which featured panoramas as well as an attractive incense-filled worshipping complexRoughly an hour's drive up the mountain from Mae Sa, we visited the Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, which featured panoramas as well as an attractive incense-filled worshipping complex
Doi Suthep's summit was very busy during our visit, which followed a fairly hasty visit through the Mae Sa Waterfall. We had to make haste since we had to make sure to get to Doi Suthep before closingDoi Suthep's summit was very busy during our visit, which followed a fairly hasty visit through the Mae Sa Waterfall. We had to make haste since we had to make sure to get to Doi Suthep before closing
Just south of Mae Sa was the city of Chiang Mai and its atmospheric night markets.  When the Sunday Walking Street was not on, we checked out the night bazaarJust south of Mae Sa was the city of Chiang Mai and its atmospheric night markets. When the Sunday Walking Street was not on, we checked out the night bazaar
Roughly 1-2 hours drive south of Chiang Mai (where we based ourselves) was the city of Lampang, where we visited this religious site called the Wat Phra That Lampang LuangRoughly 1-2 hours drive south of Chiang Mai (where we based ourselves) was the city of Lampang, where we visited this religious site called the Wat Phra That Lampang Luang
Sign in Thai saying something about the ten waterfalls and their distances from the visitor centerSign in Thai saying something about the ten waterfalls and their distances from the visitor center

We don't recall if this was waterfall #3, #4 or #5We don't recall if this was waterfall #3, #4, or #5

This waterfall could very well be #5, but we can't say for sure.  It was probably our favorite one of the tenThis waterfall could very well be #5, but we can't say for sure. It was probably our favorite one of the ten

Signs trying to help us identify the Mae Sa WaterfallsSigns trying to help us identify the Mae Sa Waterfalls

Continuing further up the trail and checking out the sixth waterfall I thinkContinuing further up the trail and checking out the sixth waterfall I think

The sixth or seventh waterfall I thinkThe sixth or seventh waterfall I think

Picnic table overlooking what I think would be the seventh or eighth waterfallPicnic table overlooking the eighth waterfall

Sign confirming that this was the eighth Mae Sa WaterfallSign confirming that this was the eighth Mae Sa Waterfall

The eighth or ninth waterfall I thinkThe eighth or ninth waterfall I think

Rapids comprising waterfalls 9 or 10 I thinkRapids comprising waterfalls 9 or 10 I think

After visiting waterfalls 4-10, we backtracked to the first car park where we checked out the first waterfallAfter visiting waterfalls 4-10, we backtracked to the first car park where we checked out the first waterfall


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Sweep from left to right of one of Mae Sa's more attractive waterfalls


Sweep from left to right of Waterfall #6


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

We visited the Mae Sa Waterfall complex about 90 minutes after visiting Pong Dueat, which itself was an hour drive west of Mork Fa Waterfall. So I guess by simple arithmetic, it was merely 30 minutes from there to the Mae Sa Waterfall.

I think it was roughly about 30 minutes driving between this waterfall and Chiang Mai.

For geographical context, Chiang Mai was in Northern Thailand roughly 700km north of Bangkok. It would take around 9 hours to drive or a little over an hour to fly between the cities.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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