Khun Korn Waterfall Hike, Chiang Rai [2023]

Khun Korn waterfall is one of the biggest, and most impressive waterfalls in all of Northern Thailand.

You’ll have to be in Chiang Rai to visit it, but it is well worth the visit north from Chiang Mai to see this and a few other things Chiang Rai has to offer.

Set in a beautiful national park with the sound of birdsong, light breaking through the dense jungle, the trek through weaves its way through a mirad of plant life. Then you’re greeted by an incredibly tall, cascading waterfall.

Khun Korn and a tiny me for some scale!

Quick Facts about Khun Korn Waterfall, Chiang Rai

  • Distance: Less than 4km out and back
  • Time from Chiang Rai: Appoximately 30 minutes
  • Time needed: Give yourself 90-120 minutes on this hike
  • Best travel time: Early morning to avoid crowds
  • Difficulty: Some elevation gain, but nothing crazy
  • Waterfall height: 70m
  • Cost: Free

High Points of the Khun Korn Waterfall, Chiang Rai

  • Easy to reach from Chiang Rai
  • Incredible jungle trek to reach the falls
  • Deep enough for a good swim
  • Beautiful drive through the the trailhead
  • Unbelieavbly it’s free to visit, which is amazing!

Low Points of the Pam Bok Waterfall Pai

  • I had to wait over 1 hour for the worst rainstorm I’ve been in for many years!
  • Literally nothing, it was well worth the drive and the hike

How to get to the Khun Korn waterfall, Chiang Rai

It’s fairly accessible from Chiang Rai, and if you’ve got a scooter you can make light work of the drive and be at the National Park within 30 minutes. The road is fairly straightforward, and no special driving skills will be needed…

…just make sure you’re an expert at dodging dogs, chickens, and other scooters. As a very normal drive in Thailand!

Once you’ve gone through the national forest gates, it’s a lovely drive up towards the ranger’s station.

There are some toilets and picnic benches here for after your hike.

You’ll notice that the road continues before you turned off into the car park, and that is where you’ll head back to in order to start the trail. Once you’ve gone through the little archway, the trail is really straightforward and is a simple out-and-back type hike.

My Experience of the Khun Korn Waterfall hike, Chiang Rai

The fact that this place is still free, blows my mind. Easily one of the most impressive waterfalls in all of Northern Thailand. Not only that but the trail, and hike, to the waterfall itself are absolutely beautiful and would be worth it without the reward at the end!

I’d originally planned to set off super early, but a thunderstorm kept me awake. I delayed my sunrise mission which ended up being a good thing.

After the short, 30-minute, drive through the Khun Korn waterfall hike, the heavens opened. And I mean OPENED. At first, I thought, great! The waterfall will be heavily flowing and it’ll be amazing to see it in full force.

But no. It literally was some of the worst rain I’ve seen in years and there was no way I was risking camera gear or freezing my ass off in Northern Thailand for a heavy gusher.

Taking shelter under some toilets, I waited it out for an hour before deciding it was time to give it a whirl.

Luckily, one of the park rangers gave me a backup umbrella which was super kind. But thankfully I didn’t end up needing it.

The trail itself really is awesome. Winding its way through dense jungle with the excitement of potentially seeing Pit Vipers and a whole host of other animals along the way. The sound of the jungle was loud in my ears, leaves covered in water droplets and the faint light from the morning sun slowly breaking cover.

A section of the trail is a bamboo walkway. Bamboo is so fascintating, and how something so tall and slender can be so strong is mindblowing. Not to mention how it grows in clusters is wonderful to see.

Crossing some small creek waterfalls the trail continues through the bamboo walkway until you can gear the faint noise of water cascading in the distance.

Almost out of no where the waterfall appears in sight, and as they say, the rest is history.

Truly is one of the better waterfalls I have been too and if you’re in Chiang Mai considering if it is worth going to Chiang Rai. Then I’d say yes, just for this waterfall alone.

Personally, I would drive from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, just so that you’ve got a scooter when you’re in Chiang Rai so that you can see the temples and other waterfalls on offer.

If you’ve any questions about the Khun Korn waterfall, then drop them in the comments below and I’ll be happy to help.

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