Mae Ya Waterfall is nestled in the Doi Inthanon National Park, and this is an absolute must-visit waterfall if you’re in Chiang Mai. Approximately an hour’s drive away from Chiang Mai, and with plenty more to do and see in Doi Inthanon NP. This is by far one of the biggest, and most impressive waterfalls Northern Thailand has to offer.
Doi Inthanon is a popular spot when visiting Chiang Mai as it’s also home to Thailand’s highest mountain.
Whilst you’re visiting the National Park, it would be worth the short detour to come and visit Mae Ya Waterfall Doi Inthanon as when I visited I was lucky to be only one of a handful of people admiring the beauty of this wide, and tall, waterfall.
Quick Facts about Mae Ya Waterfall Doi Inthanon
- Distance: Approximately 3km round trip
- Time from Chiang Mai: Approximately 1 hour by scooter
- Time needed: Easy hike from the car park, but definitely take a picnic and enjoy it!
- Best travel time: Early morning
- Difficulty: Easy
- Waterfall height: Suggested height is 260m, probably more like 100m
- Cost: Cost 300 baht to enter the Doi Inthanon National Park
High Points of the Mae Ya Waterfall Doi Inthanon
- When I visited it was super quiet, which was amazing!
- Beautiful drive through the National Park
- Amazing multi tiered waterfall cascading into the valley below
- Technically free, as entry is for the entire National Park
Low Points of the Mae Ya Waterfall Doi Inthanon
- Genuinely? None. Great spot. Better than I had anticipated!
How to get to the Mae Ya Waterfall Doi Inthanon
Located South West of Chiang Mai, the drive by bus or by scooter isn’t too bad to be fair. The first section of the drive is on the highway, and then you’ll enter more back roads and windy turns which makes it a little more entertaining!
You can get here by scooter, via a tour guide, or as a stop off with a bus when visiting Doi Inthanon! I went via scooter as it’s the cheapest and quickest way to get to Mae Ya Waterfall Doi Inthanon.
Thai roads are super entertaining. Even when you’re on a boring stretch of road you’ve always got to keep your wits about you. You never know when a dog, another rider, or a chicken with 12 chicks is going to run out on you. No seriously, I nearly squished 12 chicks the other day. Oops!
- Drive south on the 108
- Take a right into the village
- Swing a left
- Check signs for Doi Inthanon National Park
- Once through the NP gates, it’s the first stop you come too
My experience at the Mae Ya Waterfall
This was the first stop off for a big adventure day inside the Doi Inthanon NP and boy, what a way to start!
I’ve gotten into good habits recently, of just pinning things on google and then just showing up without too much expectation. I sometimes feel a little underwhelmed when I let my ADD win and research every last droplet of every waterfall on planet earth.
That said, rocking up to Mae Ya Waterfall Doi Inthanon was an unreal experience.
There are some stalls/places to grab fruit and food where you’ll have to park so if you’ve not got anything with you, this is a good time to grab a bite to eat and a drink that you can take up to the waterfall.
From here, the walk is short but equally as beautiful. An easy road takes you up to the base of the waterfall where a mixture of sand, rock, and bridges takes you to the foot of the falls themselves.
There are so many different perspectives of this amazing waterfall and to see it in person is really something to behold.
Well worth the drive itself, let alone when you consider you’ve got so many other amazing waterfalls in Doi Inthanon National Park to see whilst you’re there too.
Rent a bike in Chiang Mai, fill it with fuel, and go fill your day with one awesome adventure whilst enjoying this incredible waterfall.
Would strongly recommend the trip out to Doi Inthanon National Park as there are many wonderful sights to see whilst you’re here.
Endless waterfalls, Thailand’s highest peak, lots of caves and caverns and an amazing insight into the real rural Thailand.