Huay Kaew Waterfall

September 3rd, 2008. Thailand
Huey Kaew Waterfall, photo by Nik

This photo was taken by Nik. He and his camera are much more equipped to capture the majesty of nature, but I am learning!!

Late Monday morning, Nik and I set out on foot to have lunch at the Huan Huay Kaew Restaurant at the edge of the Chiang Mai Zoo.  We had heard good things about the food and the scenery, which includes Huay Kaew Waterfall.  When we arrived, the restaurant was tucked away in the forest so we had to walk along a narrow path to find it completely empty with the exception of three college aged waiters.  We picked a table at the edge of the balcony overlooking the falls.  The menu was mostly in Thai, with only half of the dishes written in English.  We chose a pork curry and cashew chicken.  Each dish was 100-120baht (3x-4x normal) and not that good.  We were paying for the atmosphere only, not the food.  I do not recommend this restaurant.

Instead, stop and order a meal to-go on Huay Kaew Road on your way up to the falls, rent a bamboo mat for 20baht near the entrance, and find a shaded rock right next to the water.  A picnic lunch is definitely the way to dine at Huay Kaew Falls. The park does close at 6pm, so you won’t be able to have a picnic dinner.

Huay Kaew Falls is a fairly extensive series of small falls stretching from the northern edge of the Chiang Mai Zoo all the way up to Hwy 1004 that leads to Wat Doi Suthep.  Near the entrance, there are several large flat rocks that protrude into the stream and are surrounded by shallow water.  These are perfect for larger groups and families with small children that want to play in the water.  There is also a large flat  grassy area with a few picnic tables and plenty of shade just across a small bridge.  For the slightly more adventurous, there is a stepped path that leads through the grass to the top of the falls overlooking the city.  I believe that this area can also be reached from a parking area on Highway 1004.

View of Chiang Mai

View of Chiang Mai

For the more agile picnickers, there are rocky paths on both sides of the cascading waterfalls.  The path to the left goes about half way up the falls and has two or three larger areas as well as a few large rocks that perch above the water.  The path to the right snakes along the water all the way up to the top.  In the late afternoon, this is the perfect spot because it is shaded by the trees and rocks while the water is bathed in sunlight.  If you choose this path, be careful because the rocks are very slippery.

    Here are some of my attempts to capture the falls.  I was wearing a skirt and shoes with no traction, so I wasn't willing to venture as far onto the rocks.  Next time.

Here are some of my attempts to capture the falls. I was wearing a skirt and shoes with no traction, so I wasn't willing to venture as far onto the rocks. Next time.

Vacant Lot

A few things we found on our walk that we never would have noticed on motorbike.

We made it home exhausted from an active day right before sunset, and were greeted with this.

Sunset from our Window

Sunset from our Window

Nik’s Blog:Hot Walk to Huah Kaew Waterfall


I was actually at that same restaurant last week! I ordered a kaeng som (a sour tamarind curry) that I actually thought was amazing. It did frustrate me greatly though so much of the menu was in Thai- the kaeng som wasn’t actually even on the English menu, but was something I had heard they made well. -X


Xander, I’m really glad that you had a great meal at Huan Huay Kaew. I think you guys do better research than we do, so you know what to order!!! I also think our experience might have been lack-luster because we went around 2pm, so the main dining terrace wasn’t open, and the main cook probably wasn’t there. Maybe we’ll give it another shot and have the kaeng som this time.

I think that we likely just got lucky- or more likely, this could definitely be a case where we just had different opinions, or different experiences. For me, that’s one of the hard things about writing about food and travel- an experience (or a meal) depend on so many small factors, that it can never be repeated. I’ve written about cafes and restaurants that I’ve loved, and had other people comment that they had horrible experiences. And my boyfriend and I once spent a night in a town in Southern Laos that we hated- everyone we met was rude and unfriendly, even shopkeepers seemed to grumble when we bought from them; we later met two sisters who had been to the same town, and said they stayed there longer because everyone they met was so friendly.

Maybe when my blog finally catches up with me back here in Thailand, I’ll write about my meal- and you’ll definitely have to leave a comment relating your bad experience, so readers can gain a more informed opinion. 0X


I am very much interested in seeing this place. how do i get there?


Hi Natasha. These waterfalls are pretty easy to get to by motorbike or song-teaw from Huey Kaew Road. Just take it towards Wat Doi Suthep, and the falls will be about half way up the mountain on your left. There are a few different parking areas, but they all lead to them. It’s been a while since we were there, so I’m sorry that I can’t give you more detailed directions!!!

At last! Someone who udnertsadns! Thanks for posting!


Do we need to be covered up when visiting the waterfalls? Is it ok for women to wear their bikini while in the falls? Don’t want to offend any cultural traditions over there.


You’ll find that most of the locals have t-shirts and shorts on. I don’t think that wearing a bikini would be offensive, but you will probably be the only one. Hope that helps!

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