The Mork Fa Waterfall took Julie and I by surprise because prior to our trip, we had never heard of it during our trip research so we didn't have much expectation of our visit. I somehow had this preconceived notion that it was going to be a dinky waterfall. But once we looked upon the real thing, we were impressed with its size and segmented characteristic.
We've been told that this one falls 60m (though we think it was more like 30-40m) and flows year round. However, given the amount of overgrowth around the falls, we never really got a totally clean look at it, which might cause us to underestimate its overall size. In any case, for a waterfall that we had never heard of going into our trip to Thailand, we shared this waterfall with many people as it sure seemed to be quite a busy place.
From the car park, we walked along a shady, mostly flat, forested trail. A little over half-way to the main waterfall, we noticed a much smaller waterfall that was signposted as the Ob Noi Waterfall. There was a short spur trail leading closer to this one, but I don't think we lingered too long once we got as far as we could go on the short detour.
Once we got to the main waterfall, we had to contend with obstructions by both cliff and trees that conspired to keep the falls from being completely visible from the trail (though we were still able to see most of it). So we went beyond the official end of the trail, crossed the stream, and went right up to the side of the waterfall where we got some decent profile views. We tried to get direct views, but it was too misty to get clean photos.
We saw a few people swimming or cooling off here. And I'd imagine more people would do this had it been a warmer time of year. However, we were here in late December, which was well into Thailand's much cooler Dry Season.
Given the inexact mappings of Thai-pronunciations into the Romanized alphabet, we've also seen this waterfall spelled as Mok Fah, Mok Fa, or Mork Fah. I even saw one website call this the Tad Mork Fah waterfall. Since I don't know Thai, I can't shed any light about what any of this means.
All in all, we spent roughly 45 minutes, which encompassed the hiking, the short detour to the Ob Noi Waterfall, and all the picture-taking.
From what we were able to tell as we were driven here on an escorted tour, we went north of the city of Chiang Mai until we got to Mai Malai-Pai Road. Then, we continued until Km. 20 where we turned left into a dirt road and took it for another 2km to the car park.
Overall, the Mork Fa Waterfall was around 70km away from Chiang Mai city. It took us roughly 80 minutes to get there from Chiang Mai.
Another thing worth noting was that about an hour to the west of the falls was the Pong Dueat Thermal Area. Here, there were hot springs that were both in use as well as boiling ones that could only be looked at.
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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