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Huay Kaew Waterfall In Chiang Mai Thailand
Huay Kaew Waterfall
The Huay Kaew Waterfall is one of my favourite attractions in Chiang Mai. The fact that it is free to visit makes it the best choice for waterfalls in Chiang Mai. Most of the other waterfalls are located in national parks, and there is an entry fee of 200THB. The Huay Kaew Waterfall is popular with locals as it is close to the city, and it doesn't cost anything to enter. On a nice sunny day you can expect to see families or couples enjoying the piece and quiet and breathtaking views. Some people will sit and enjoy a few beers, relax and enjoy the scenery, others will hike up to the top of the falls and enjoy the view overlooking the city.
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The Huay Keaw Waterfall is located just a 5 minute drive from the city center. To get there you follow the signs to Doi Suthep Temple. You will pass the Central Kad San Kaew shopping center, and continue to the the Chiang Mai Zoo. Just a few hundred meters past the zoo, up the hill and around the corner you will turn left when you see the sign. There are a few simple restaurants and vendors at the entrance, just a few hundred meters past that you will find the waterfall.
The restaurants at the front entrance are offering Thai Style B.B.Q. chicken,pork and sausage. They also have papaya salad and other local favourites. All of these places will be selling cold beer at a reasonable price as well. Some of the restaurants even have a bamboo patio with a view of the falls. My son and I enjoyed some delicious B.B.Q. chicken while sitting on the patio, I had thought it would be worthwhile to go back to this restaurant for a few beers sometime, but I have not yet been back. The prices are very reasonable at all of these places, and they have take away in case you would like to have a picnic near the falls.
If you hike through the bushes up the hill a little ways, you will find quite a few places where there are pools of water deep enough for swimming. I certainly enjoyed swimming in the deeper pools under the water fall, because the ice cold water reminded me of swimming back in Canada. I did not notice any Thai people swimming in the water, and my son said it was far to cold for swimming. It is so refreshing on a hot day to swim in ice cold water, it feels great once you get used to the temperature.
You will have to keep an eye out for broken glass on the path heading up the waterfall, I noticed a fair amount of broken beer bottles scattered on the trail. This is often the case in Thailand as people here are not so concerned about preserving a clean and natural environment. Littering is not nearly as frowned upon as it is back home. Another thing to look out for on the path would be snakes, I did not see any but I am sure they are in the area. You can minimize the risk of encountering a snake by sticking to the main path, and by stomping around with purpose, making a little noise. You don't want to tiptoe around quietly. Cobras are very common in this area, but even more deadly Kraits have also been spotted in the area.