The (Sticky) Bua Thong Waterfalls

My first Chiang Mai adventure is in the books! On Wednesday, Oct. 12, I took a trip up to the Bua Thong Waterfalls (inside Chetsi Spring Forest Park). The site is about 1 hour and 30 minutes north of Chiang Mai's Old City. Our crew traveled on scooter bikes, though, so you may get up there quicker in a car/songthaew.

When searching for places to see around Chiang Mai, the Bua Thong Waterfalls were a consistent hit...and it's easy to see why! Coming to Thailand, I expected to be surrounded by lots of greenery and sweating it under the hot sun. Well, this attraction meets those expectations as you are immersed in the forest on a mountain's hillside. Don't worry if you're heading up on a hot day (I would actually recommend it), as the waterfalls are sure to keep you cool. 

The "Sticky"-ness

The lure of this destination is the unique experience it offers. Waterfalls are always cool to see and play around in, but how often do you get to climb a waterfall with your bare hands

The Bua Thong Waterfalls are a series of horsetail waterfalls, where the water runs down the bedrock most of its length. The falls flow over multiple levels of limestone and, apparently, this creates a mineral deposit which consistently remains on the exterior surface of the rocks. While common knowledge dictates that waterfalls are slippery (due to smooth rocks and algae), this mineral deposit turns the rocks to be more grippy than slippery. Place your hand on a rock, and it'll "stick" enough for you to use it as leverage in your climb up the falls. Ah, science....

Parting Thoughts

Coming to Chiang Mai, it becomes obvious very quickly that the heat is here to stay. While some hotels/apartments offer a pool, if you want a unique way to cool off, head north to the Bua Thong Waterfalls. You'll see some of the countryside along your way out/back and you'll gain a fun, memorable experience.

Things to bring with you:

  • Towel
  • Change of clothes (at least another shirt if you're biking up)
  • Sunscreen (also for the ride up!)
  • Cash for snacks (or just eat beforehand)

Have you visited the Sticky Waterfalls? What was your experience like? Share a comment below!