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Bua Tong Sticky Waterfalls Chiang Mai

Sticky Waterfall with people at the top

Welcome to the land of smiles and home of the stunning Sticky Waterfalls, also known as Bua Tong Waterfalls, located in Sri Lanna National Park in Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai Province. This isn’t your typical waterfall – it’s a natural wonder that offers a unique climbing experience on its cascading limestone layers. Nestled in lush forests about an hour and a half drive from Chiang Mai city, this hidden gem is popular with both locals and adventurers from around the world. Here you can spend a delightful day climbing the waterfall barefoot, feeling the fascinating ‘stickiness’ of the limestone. Thanks to the mineral deposits, you won’t slip, but will be able to climb up the bubbling cascades like Spiderman.

Remember that your visit to Chiang Mai isn’t complete without experiencing this remarkable attraction, and don’t forget to pack your picnic basket – there are some nice places where you can relax and enjoy the surroundings after your climb.

Climbing the Waterfall – What to Expect

Climbing the Sticky Waterfall at Bua Tong is indeed an exciting adventure that will give you unforgettable memories. What makes this natural wonder so distinctive is the unique nature texture of the waterfall’s rocks, which almost magically resist slippery moss and allow climbers to ascend barefoot with relative ease. This is due to the mineral-rich properties of the limestone, which prevent slippery moss from taking hold. The rocks under the clear, cool water provide an interesting, grippy sensation for the feet, almost like a natural spa treatment.

Climbing barefoot is part of the fun, but if you prefer extra protection or have sensitive feet, it’s highly advisable to wear appropriate water shoes. These will protect your feet while providing the support needed to climb the limestone layers.

As for essentials, pack a waterproof camera or phone case (for those perfect Instagram photos), a towel, sunscreen and snacks or a picnic lunch. Also, don’t forget to bring plenty of water so you can stay hydrated during your adventure.

Climbing Sticky Waterfall can be challenging for some. However, don’t be discouraged. You can go at your own pace and stick to the flatter steps if you don’t feel confident climbing all the way to the top. There are also ropes on the sides of the waterfall to help visitors make the climb safely. And remember, it’s not a race – it’s about enjoying the unique experience at your own pace and in a safe manner as you immerse yourself in the lush Chiang Mai countryside.

Why is the Sticky Waterfall Sticky?

Sticky Waterfall at the bottom

The fascinating stickiness of the Bua Tong waterfalls is no accident, but the result of a fascinating scientific process that is constantly underway. Let’s break it down in a simple and understandable way.

The secret lies in the flow of the waterfall, which isn’t just ordinary water. It contains a high percentage of calcium bicarbonate, a compound commonly found in limestone areas. As the water cascades down the waterfall and is exposed to the air, a chemical reaction takes place that leads to the crystallization of calcium carbonate.

This reaction creates the unique mineral deposits on the surface of the waterfall that form the hard, porous Tufa limestone. Tuff is a unique mineral deposit that forms fascinating microscale bumps and ridges on the surface of the waterfall rocks. These small formations interact beautifully with the surface of our skin, creating a ‘gripping” effect that allows us to climb the waterfall without slipping. These mineral deposits are in fact the “sticky” elements that give the waterfall its name and its particular climbing ability.

Now imagine that the surface structure of the waterfall, filled with these mineral deposits, interacts with your skin. The structure created by the crystallized calcium carbonate maximizes the electrostatic forces of attraction between your skin and the surface of the waterfall. As a result, the limestone layers have a sticky effect when touched, allowing us to climb the waterfall barefoot without slipping.

So while you enjoy your climb and admire the magic of this unique natural phenomenon, remember that it’s the perfect combination of nature and science that makes the Sticky Waterfall of Chiang Mai truly sticky!

Nam Phu Chet Si Spring

Hidden in the same lush green landscape as Sticky Waterfall, you’ll find another jewel – the fascinating Nam Phu Chet Si Natural Spring. It’s directly related to the Sticky Waterfall, as it’s the mineral-rich water from this spring that cascades down the waterfall and gives it its unique “stickiness.”

The spring is topped by a naturally formed mineral geyser that spews cool, clean water into the air, creating an enchanting spectacle. And then there are the stunning blues – a heavenly mix of turquoise and azure that dance under the Thai sun. These blues are so luminous, you’d think they were applied by an artist’s hand.

The Nam Phu Chet Si spring isn’t only a feast for the eyes, but also shrouded in local lore. Legend has it that the spring was discovered by a wise old man who followed a mythical deer to this hidden oasis. When the deer disappeared, it left behind a spring gushing water so pure that the old man named it Nam Phu Chet Si, which translates as ‘The Water of Seven Minerals.”

Whether you’re in the mood for the sticky adventure of the nearby waterfall or just want to relax by the tranquil, mineral-rich pool of the Nam Phu Chet Si spring, this magical place has something for everyone.

When to Visit The Bua Tong Waterfall

When planning a trip to Bua Tong Sticky Waterfalls, timing can play a big role in enhancing your overall experience. Knowing when is the best time to visit this natural wonder can make your adventure even more magical.

During the rainy season, the waterfall is in its full glory, with a powerful flow of water and bright green surroundings. During this time, the climb is even more exciting as the water flows abundantly in cascades and the surrounding flora blooms and flourishes lushly. However, it’s open all year round and offers a unique experience at any time of the year.

To experience the waterfall in all its glory, you should come as early in the day as possible, around 8 to 9 am. At this time, the waterfall is usually quiet and still, offering a peaceful environment perfect for meditation, contemplation or simply enjoying the breathtaking beauty.

However, if you prefer tranquility to hustle and bustle, you may want to avoid the weekends. Weekends tend to be busier, and it can get quite crowded. If you choose to visit during the week, especially in the early morning, you’ll have a quieter experience.

So remember, with the right timing, your visit to Sticky Waterfall can be an unforgettable mix of adventure, tranquility and nature appreciation.

Sticky Waterfall Entrance Fee

One of the best aspects of planning a visit to Bua Tong Waterfall is that it’s not only an exciting adventure, but also an incredibly affordable day trip from Chiang Mai. Believe it or not, Sticky Waterfall doesn’t charge an entrance fee!

Yes, you read that right! You can spend a day exploring this magnificent natural wonder, climbing the unique mineral-covered cascades and enjoying the tranquil beauty without spending a single baht on admission. The only costs you’ll have to bear are the round trip transportation and the cost of snacks and picnic items you’d like to bring with you.

This is a major draw, not just for backpackers on a budget, but for anyone looking for an incredible, wallet-friendly adventure. Whether you’re a local exploring the hidden gems of Chiang Mai or a tourist looking for a unique Thai experience, Bua Tong Waterfall offers an unforgettable day trip that won’t break the budget.

Opening Times for Sticky Waterfall

To plan a visit to Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall, you also need to know when you want to visit. Fortunately for explorers, the waterfall is open every day from 8 am to 5 pm.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind to make the most of your visit. While the site is open for eight hours, the typical peak hours are between 11am and 3pm. If you want to avoid the crowds and experience the quiet beauty of the waterfall at your leisure, an early morning visit is highly recommended.

If you arrive at the waterfall around 8-9am, you will not only be able to avoid the crowds, but you will also have a head start on your ascent. This way you can enjoy the experience at your own pace without feeling rushed.

Another handy tip is to arrive no later than 3pm. Then you will still have a couple of hours to enjoy the facility. This will give you enough time to climb, relax and enjoy the tranquil environment before the facility closes for the day.

Remember that knowing the opening hours and planning your arrival time wisely can help make your visit to Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall a memorable one.

How to Get to the Sticky Waterfall

Getting to Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall is part of the fun, because there are several ways to get there. Depending on whether you prefer comfort, convenience, cost or the thrill of the journey, you can choose from different modes of transportation. Below we present three popular methods: a tour with us, a ride with a local songthaew, or traveling on your own by motorcycle or rental car. Each of these options offers a unique experience that makes visiting Sticky Waterfall a real adventure.

Visiting the Sticky Waterfalls with Our Travel Agency

Finding your way to Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall from Chiang Mai can be an adventure in itself. While you can make your own way, why not leave it to us to take care of the logistics while you sit back and enjoy the journey?

Our agency offers guided tours that depart directly from Chiang Mai, combining the breathtaking experience of Sticky Waterfall with other must-see destinations in the region. One of these popular tours is our Bon Voyage Thailand Tour, a locally devised and executed experience that not only promises authentic Thai adventure, but also protects you from possible tourist scams.

Imagine a day that begins with an exciting climb up Sticky Waterfall, followed by a visit to an elephant sanctuary where you can meet and feed these gentle giants. Later in the day, you may discover the secret second Sticky Waterfall, a lesser known but equally enchanting site that we have included in our tour only for the most curious adventurers.

With our guided tours, all you need to do is pack what you need, put on your adventure shoes and leave the rest to us. Enjoy the simplicity of arranging transportation, itinerary and the knowledge of local experts so you can focus on your trip to make unforgettable memories.

Using Songthaew

If you’re up for a little local adventure, why not take a songthaew to the Bua Tong Sticky Waterfalls? Songthaew translates to ‘two benches’ and is a common form of public transportation in Thailand. These are essentially pick-up trucks with two rows of seats in the back.

A songthaew is an affordable option, especially if you’re traveling in a group, as the cost can be split among the passengers. A half-day trip to Sticky Waterfalls and back usually costs between 1000 and 1500 baht. This includes the cost of the driver waiting for you while you enjoy your time at the waterfall and the return trip to Chiang Mai.

Before you leave, be sure to negotiate the price with the driver. Remember that the price should cover fuel and the driver’s time for about 5 hours. Once you have agreed on the price, the driver may ask you to take a photo or video at the entrance of the waterfall. This is customary to prove that he’s your driver and to ensure that you return with him.

Going to Sticky Waterfall by songthaew isn’t only a cost-effective option, but also offers you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture, making your adventure to Bua Tong Sticky Waterfalls even more memorable.

Motorbike or Car

For those who prefer a more independent means of transportation, renting a motorcycle or car is a good option to reach Bua Tong Sticky Waterfalls.

Renting a motorcycle is very popular among many visitors. It offers the freedom to ride at your own pace, stopping at will and soaking in the scenic landscapes along the way. Motorcycle rental prices range from 500 to 1000 baht per day, depending on the model and rental agency. Before you set out, make sure you’re comfortable with the motorcycle as you’ll be riding through hilly terrain and winding roads on the trip.

If you prefer a more comfortable and safer way of traveling, renting a car is a viable option. A rental car costs around 800 to 1,200 baht per day, which can be cost-effective, especially for a group.

Whether you go by motorcycle or car, the estimated travel time from Chiang Mai Old Town to Sticky Waterfall is about 1.5 to 2 hours. The route is relatively easy, and you can find your way around at GPS.

Remember to always wear a helmet on your motorcycle, and make sure your car has enough fuel for the return trip. Also, pay attention to the traffic rules and drive carefully.

Exploring Chiang Mai and Sticky Waterfall by motorcycle or car is a very personal and unique experience, where the ride itself becomes an integral part of the adventure.

Packing List Essentials

Bua Tong Sticky Waterfalls in Chiang Mai

Planning a day trip to Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall isn’t just about choosing a mode of transportation and a suitable time to visit. It’s also important to pack properly to make your trip as enjoyable as possible.

Start with a good daypack or carry-on. In it you’ll store all your belongings for the day. Make sure it’s comfortable to carry as you’ll be climbing up and down the waterfall.

Don’t forget to pack your travel or action camera to capture those unforgettable moments. The Sticky Waterfall offers fantastic photo opportunities – whether it’s a panoramic image from above or an action shot of you climbing the limestone cliff.

Since the clear blue water of the waterfall is hard to resist, be sure to pack your swimsuit. After climbing, you’ll probably want to take a dip, and having your swimsuit handy will make that much easier.

Since you’ll be out in nature where there are no charging stations, it’s a good idea to bring a multi-adapter and a powerbank. This will ensure that your electronic devices, including your camera and phone, stay charged throughout the day.

If you want to join a tour, be sure to check availability and prices and book your tour in advance. Sticky Waterfall is very popular, and spots book up quickly.

If you pack properly for your adventure, your visit to Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall will be a smooth and memorable experience.

Wrapping Up Your Adventure at the Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall

A visit to Bua Tong Sticky Waterfalls promises a unique adventure off the beaten path. At this natural wonder in Chiang Mai, you can climb a limestone waterfall barefoot, take a refreshing dip in the crystal blue waters, and witness a scientific marvel all in one trip.

Whether you set out on your own or opt for a guided tour, getting there is an adventure in itself. From haggling with songthaew drivers to navigating a motorcycle or rental car, the journey to Sticky Waterfall is a true experience.

Remember that packing properly can make the difference between an enjoyable day and a stressful one. Remember essentials like a daypack, swimwear and a travel camera, and do not forget to book your tour in advance when you travel with us.

So, what are you waiting for? Put on your adventure shoes and embark on an unforgettable journey to Sticky Waterfall. See you in Chiang Mai!