5 Places to Cool Off in Chiang Mai Hot Season

5 Places to Cool Off During Chiang Mai’s Hot Season

5 Places to Cool Off During Chiang Mai’s Hot Season

Hot season in Chiang Mai, which is between March to June and peaking in April and May can be energy sapping, uncomfortable and if you’re not prepared outright unpleasant.  Temperatures regularly exceed 40 degrees celsius (105 degrees fahrenheit) and it rarely rains making doing any activity an arduous task.  That said, with a little preparation there is no reason you can’t continue to enjoy what Chiang Mai has to offer and there are several great places around the city to cool off during Chiang Mai’s hot season.  It is very important in whatever you do to always take plenty of water with you, put on plenty of suncream and wear breathable clothes.

Ob Khan National Park 
This little known National Park is located approximately 30km south from downtown Chiang Mai and covers and area of 484 square kilometers.  It is the river source of the Wang River, the Win River and the Kan River, with the topography comprising of limestone and igneous rock mountains with evergreen forest, pine forest, dry evergreen forest, mixed forest and deciduous dipterocarp forest.  The area around the headquarters is perfect for swimming in the hot season and popular among locals.  We recommend walking the 2km nature trail to the furthest point where a beautiful canyon awaits with a pool up to 2m deep in places.  It is very unlikely anyone will have walked to this point and is certainly worth getting a sweat on to reach it.  Entrance to Ob Khan National Park is free and there are various basic facilities on site such as toilets and a small coffee shop.  This trip is highly recommended for a half day visit.

Swimming in Ob KhanSeldom visited canyon in Ob Khan National Park

Mae Teang

The Mae Teang river is home to a number of white water rafting companies including 8Adventures and if the rainy season rapid classes of 2-3 can be expected.  During the hot season the water level drops significantly but it is still worth a visit to swim and relax or join an inflatable kayak or bamboo raft trip.  Coffee shops and restaurant line the river allowing guests to sip their coffee’s with their legs dangling in the river.  Some sections are still deep enough for a swim and for the more adventurous we recommend driving to Sop Kai and hiking along the side of the river.  There are no houses, roads, or many signs of people along this stretch so be prepared with water and supplies.  The water is much clearer here and there are some lovely deep sections for wallowing in.  Mae Teang is approximately 1 hour 30 from Chiang Mai and also home to many other attractions such as Elephant Nature Park.

Mae Teang RiverInquisitive buffalo’s cooling off in the Mae Teang river.

Huay Tung Tao

Closer to the city, and very popular among locals is the man made lake, Huay Tung Tao.  Huay Tung Tao is located just 5km north of the city at the base of Doi Suthep Pui mountain.  Entrance to the lake is 50 THB and dotted around the lake is a number of Thai style restaurants serving a delicious array of food and drink.  All of the restaurants are bamboo huts over the water so feel free to just jump in the water when feeling the heat.  Whilst the water is not particularly inviting because of the colour, it is clean.  You can also rent pedal boats in certain areas.  A top tip is to hike the 5km roundtrip to Dtaat Mork waterfall which is a lovely waterfall, seldom visited by anyone.  Whilst the pool at the foot of the waterfall is to small for swimming it is a great hike with some amazing views.  We highly recommend downloading maps.me app however as the trail is often overgrown and not signposted.

Dtaat Mork WaterfallDtaat Mork waterfall is 2.5km from Huay Tung Tao.
Huay Tung TaoHuay Tung Tao at sunset.

700 Year Stadium

If you’re looking for a quick swim, do some laps or some exercise the swimming pool at the 700 Year stadium is a great place to visit.  The pool was used for the South East Asia games in the 1990’s and is a 50m outdoor pool with an additional diving pool.  It costs just 60 THB for non members and there is a good chance you will have the entire pool to yourself.  The pool is just 3km from the city and is open from 8am to 8pm.

700 year stadium swimming poolGreat for a few laps of the 50m pool.

Bua Tong / Sticky Waterfall

Bua Tong waterfall, also known as the stick falls is a stunning waterfall located 1.5 hours from Chiang Mai.  The water is crystal clear and cool, coming from a mineral spring nearby meaning water is flowing year round.  The waterfall gets its name from the lime deposits left from the flowing water which feels a bit like pumice stone.  This makes it very grippy and its possible to scramble up the 5 levels of waterfalls with relative ease.  Just be careful of certain areas which have a layer of algae thus are very slippery.  The cream colored rocks contrast beautifully against the verdant green jungle and the entire area is very photogenic.  Bua Tong has become quite popular in recent years so there will no doubt be groups of Thai’s picnicking on the various levels.  It is free to visit the waterfall and there are various amenities on site such as restaurants and toilet facilities.  To arrange a tour to Bua Tong please contact us.

Sticky Falls Chiang MaiBeautiful Bua Tong / Sticky falls.

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