Visiting Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall in Chiang Mai

This unique waterfall near Chiang Mai has high-traction rock surfaces that are fun to play on and make for epic photos

Nam Tok Bua Tong (น้ําตกบัวตอง) aka the Sticky Waterfall, is an incredibly cool place to check out when you’re in Chiang Mai. The water here bubbles up from a natural spring, and it has such high levels of dissolved minerals that it coats the rocks and tree roots it flows over in high-traction limestone. They call it the “Sticky Falls” because the stone has so much grip. It’s a waterfall and it looks like it should be slippery, so your eyes can’t quite believe it when you see people easily walking on the steep rocks. You can climb all over the waterfall here and go wherever you want to go. It’s crazy fun here, and a great place to get some really cool photos.

The Chiang Mai Sticky Waterfall is located under an hour and a half from the city making it a popular half-day trip, and it’s really worth the journey. The Chiang Mai sticky falls used to be fairly unknown but can get a bit crowded these days.

Keep reading to find out

Also, check out our video for a little taste of why the Sticky Falls are so worth visiting.

How to get there

The Sticky Waterfall can be found at this location and Google Maps can guide you there easily. It’s around an hour-and-twenty-minute drive from Chiang Mai and the roads are in good condition the whole way. There are three ways to get to Bua Thong Falls:

Drive yourself – If you’re an experienced rider, it’s pretty easy to get there on a motorbike which can be rented all over Chiang Mai. This option will be by far the most budget-friendly. You can also drive yourself if you rent a car which will end up costing roughly the same amount as a taxi. A car or bike obviously gives you much more freedom, but we only recommend this if you are comfortable with driving in Thailand.

Note: Police sometimes setup a checkpoint on this road. If they’re out and you don’t have a Thai or international license (with motorbike endorsement if you’re riding), you will be fined 500-1000 Baht.

By taxi – Chiang Mai is full of red songthaews – basically pickup trucks with two rows of benches in the back. These operate as a sort of bus system in the city, but many of them can also be rented as private taxis. You should negotiate before the trip how long you would like to stay at the falls, but an hour is the norm. We recommend pushing for an hour and a half. The price should be between 1000 and 1500 Baht (~$30-$45 USD) so it’s nice if you can get a few people together to share it.

On a tour – If you’re not trying to stick to a tight budget, booking a tour is a great way to get to the Sticky Waterfall without having to worry about driving or negotiating with taxi drivers. If you’re on an itinerary with a tight schedule, it is also nice being able to book in advance so your schedule is set. The best tours are listed below.

Sticky Waterfall tours

We almost always travel independently in Thailand and try to help other people do the same. At the same time, we understand there are some circumstances when it just makes sense to book a tour. Plus, the best tours get to places you almost definitely would have missed had you been on your own. We recommend the company Take Me Tour which operates similar to Airbnb Experiences; a local guide creates and runs the tours, and the company handles booking and payment. The company protects you from any scams, and the guides rely on maintaining a great rating so the tours almost always go above and beyond. Here are the three best Bua Thong Waterfall tours:

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