Sticky Waterfall in Chiang Mai: 7 Mesmerizing Reasons to Visit Today

Nestled just north of Chiang Mai, Thailand, lies a unique and intriguing natural attraction that has piqued the interest of travelers from all around the world. Bua Tong, also known as the Sticky Waterfall, is a stunning multi-level waterfall with several cascades, including several near-vertical sections. This marvel of nature draws people in not only with its mesmerizing beauty but also with its fascinating ability to allow you to cling to its walls and ascend, much like Spider-Man.

This extraordinary waterfall is located approximately 60km north of Chiang Mai, making it an ideal half-day trip for those looking to experience the magic of its “stickiness.” Getting there is possible through various transportation options, such as going by yourself, hiring a taxi, or even joining a tour. No matter how you choose to reach this captivating destination, one thing is certain – it’s a must-visit location for a unique and unforgettable experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall is a fascinating natural attraction located near Chiang Mai, Thailand.
  • The waterfall allows visitors to climb its walls due to its unique “sticky” feature.
  • Multiple transportation options are available for those looking to experience the magic of the Sticky Waterfall.

Overview of Sticky Waterfall

Sticky Waterfall, also known as Bua Tong Waterfall, is an extraordinary multi-level waterfall nestled in lush greenery, just about 60km north of Chiang Mai, Thailand. What truly sets this waterfall apart from the rest is its unique feature that allows visitors to climb the cascading water without slipping – almost like Spiderman!

The secret behind this sticky sensation is the mineral-rich water that continuously flows over the rocks and tree roots, coating them with an high-traction limestone deposit. The result is a natural wonder that not only looks impressive but provides a fun and interactive experience for visitors.

When planning your trip to Sticky Waterfall, it is important to allocate enough time to fully appreciate this unique attraction. It takes approximately 1.5 hours to reach the waterfall from Chiang Mai by road. Once there, you will be greeted by several near-vertical sections that can easily be climbed without any special equipment, thanks to the amazing grip offered by the limestone-coated rocks. A set of steps also leads down the hill, alongside the waterfall, for a more leisurely descent.

Surrounded by serene natural beauty, Bua Tong Waterfall is an ideal place to unwind after a thrilling climb. Visitors can lounge nearby and take in the sights or take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear mineral spring pools located at the base of the waterfall. This is also a great spot to capture some stunning photos and create memories that will last a lifetime.

We highly recommend adding the Sticky Waterfall to your Chiang Mai itinerary. It’s not just another ordinary waterfall; it’s a one-of-a-kind experience that combines adventure, nature, and relaxation for a truly unforgettable day out.

Location and Getting There

The Sticky Waterfall, also known as Bua Tong Waterfall, is a unique natural attraction located about 60 km north of Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. It is situated within the Sri Lanna National Park, and its unusual texture allows visitors to walk up or down the waterfall without slipping. To help you plan your trip, we’ve rounded up various transportation options to reach this fascinating destination.

By Car

Renting a car is a convenient option if you prefer more control over your travel schedule. Numerous rental companies are available in Chiang Mai, and you can easily follow Route 1001 straight towards the waterfall. The journey typically takes about 1.5 hours. Don’t forget to use Google Maps for real-time traffic updates and accurate directions.

By Taxi

Hiring a taxi is another easy option for getting to the Sticky Waterfall. Make sure to negotiate the fare beforehand, which usually ranges from 800 to 1500 baht for a round trip. You can ask your hotel to arrange a taxi for you, or flag one down in Chiang Mai city.

By Motorbike

For the more adventurous travelers, renting a motorbike offers a thrilling experience and an opportunity to explore the scenic countryside. Several rental shops are available across Chiang Mai, and you can follow the same route as if driving a car. Just make sure you’re comfortable on a motorbike and wear appropriate safety gear.

By Red Truck

Red Trucks, or “songthaews,” are local shared taxis in Chiang Mai. Though not as comfortable as private taxis, they are a wallet-friendly option for getting to the waterfall. Simply locate a red truck and negotiate the fare, which should be cheaper than taking a private taxi. Keep in mind that you may need to wait for additional passengers to fill the truck before departing.

By Songthaew

Another local option is the songthaew, which is similar to the red truck but often more spacious and with fixed routes. Check at your hotel or local tour agencies for schedules and routes that include the Sticky Waterfall. This transportation option may take longer but is a more authentic and budget-friendly experience.

By Grab

Grab, a popular ride-hailing service in Southeast Asia, is also available in Chiang Mai. You can arrange a ride to the Sticky Waterfall using the Grab app, and the fare is usually more reasonable than traditional taxis. Note that you’ll need an internet connection and the app downloaded on your smartphone to use this service.

In conclusion, there are multiple transportation options to suit different preferences and budgets for your journey to the Sticky Waterfall. Do your research, choose the option that best suits your travel style, and prepare for an unforgettable experience at this one-of-a-kind natural wonder.

Climbing the Sticky Waterfall

Using the Ropes

Climbing the Sticky Waterfall in Chiang Mai is an exhilarating experience. To make the most of it, we recommend using the ropes provided. The ropes are placed along the steepest parts of the waterfall, allowing us to maintain a firm grip as we ascend. Though the hard mineral surface of the waterfall has a high coefficient of friction, having the ropes for extra support can make the climb less tiring and more enjoyable.

Climbing Bare Feet

When climbing the Sticky Waterfall, going barefoot is the way to go. The natural grip of the waterfall’s limestone-covered surface is similar to that of a rock climbing wall. Wearing shoes might make it more slippery and challenging to climb. With our bare feet, we can feel the grippy texture of the rocks, giving us better traction and making it easier to find secure footholds.

Safety Precautions

Though the Sticky Waterfall is a safe adventure, taking some safety precautions is essential. Here are some guidelines we like to follow:

  • Stay on the marked path: It’s crucial to stay within the designated climbing areas, as straying off might lead to steeper, less stable sections.

  • Use the buckets provided: To maintain the waterfall’s natural grip, it’s essential to keep it free from debris and slippery substances. We can use the available buckets to splash water on the surface to clean it and maintain a firmer grip.

  • Hold onto the ropes: Utilizing the ropes for support helps us feel more secure, especially during more challenging sections of the climb.

  • Be conscious of others: Ascending the waterfall in a large group can lead to congestion. Give fellow climbers enough space, and ensure everyone takes their time to climb safely.

By following these safety precautions, we can enhance our experience while climbing the Sticky Waterfall in Chiang Mai and ensure we make it to the top with ease and enjoyment.

Facilities at Sticky Waterfall

When visiting the Sticky Waterfall in Chiang Mai, there are several facilities available for your convenience. These facilities ensure you have an enjoyable and comfortable time exploring the waterfall. In this section, we’ll cover key amenities such as restaurants, bathrooms and lockers, as well as picnic areas.


At the Sticky Waterfall area, you’ll find small, local restaurants nearby serving Thai cuisine. These establishments offer refreshing drinks and tasty dishes to help you regain energy after a thrilling climb. We recommend trying some local dishes like Khao Soi and Pad Thai to enhance your experience. However, do note that these restaurants are limited in their options and might not cater to all dietary preferences.

Bathrooms and Lockers

Toilets can be found at the entrance area near the parking lot, making it easy for you to freshen up before or after your adventure. Don’t worry, they do provide toilet paper! There’s also a small changing area within the bathroom facility for visitors to change their clothes. However, lockers are currently not available at Sticky Waterfall, so we advise keeping your valuables safe and secure by carrying a waterproof bag or leaving them in your vehicle.

Picnic Area

The Sticky Waterfall vicinity offers a lush, green picnic area near the falls, where you can relax and unwind amidst nature. Bring along a picnic blanket, some snacks, and drinks to make the most of your time there. A great way to bond with your travel companions, a picnic area at the waterfall allows you to take in the breathtaking surroundings while enjoying each other’s company.

Remember, during your visit to the Sticky Waterfall in Chiang Mai, make the most of these facilities to enhance your experience and create lasting memories.

Interesting Features of Sticky Waterfall

Mineral Deposits

One of the fascinating aspects of Sticky Waterfall, or Bua Tong Waterfall, is the unique mineral deposits found along its cascades. These deposits create an almost grippy surface that allows visitors to climb and explore the falls without slipping. As we venture closer to the waterfall, we can witness the natural phenomenon that makes it possible for us – almost like Spiderman – to cling onto the walls and ascend.

Limestone Layers

The limestone layers at the Sticky Waterfall found within Sri Lanna National Forest also contribute to its distinctiveness. These multi-tiered formations, coupled with the rich minerals and calcium carbonate present, give the falls their “sticky” characteristic. As we traverse through the different tiers, we can observe how the limestone deposits play a significant role in creating an unforgettable experience at the waterfall.

Natural Springs

The origin of Sticky Waterfall’s flowing water is an essential feature to appreciate. The falls are fed by natural springs, providing a constant supply of pristine water for both locals and tourists. These springs not only showcase the beauty of Sri Lanna National Forest but also offer an eco-friendly attraction to explore in Chiang Mai’s vicinity. The fresh, cold springs invite us to immerse ourselves in its cool embrace, making our visit to Sticky Waterfall a truly refreshing experience.

Visiting Sticky Waterfall

Located just outside Chiang Mai, the Sticky Waterfall (Nam Tok Bua Tong) is an unforgettable experience. Its unique feature is the natural dissolving minerals that coat the rocks and tree roots, allowing visitors to climb the waterfall easily. Now, let’s dive into the details of planning your perfect Sticky Waterfall adventure.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Sticky Waterfalls is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. The weather is cooler and more comfortable for outdoor activities during these months. Even though it’s drier, the natural spring keeps the waterfall flowing throughout the year. Keep in mind that unvaccinated individuals are not allowed entrance in 2023, so ensure you’re fully vaccinated before planning your trip.

What to Bring

When visiting Sticky Waterfalls, pack the essentials including:

  • Swimming gear (swimsuit and towel)
  • Non-slip water shoes, as the rocks can be slippery
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Bottled water
  • Snacks
  • A waterproof camera or phone case for capturing memories
  • A small first aid kit for any minor scratches or injuries

Don’t forget to bring your sense of adventure!


While there aren’t any hotels or guesthouses located directly at Sticky Waterfall, you’ll find various options in Chiang Mai – a city nearby. From budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels, Chiang Mai offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every traveler’s needs.

Budget and Costs

The entrance fee for Sticky Waterfall is typically free for both locals and foreigners. However, if you’re looking for a guided tour, prices may vary. Renting a motorbike or hiring a songthaew (a red truck taxi) to reach the falls from Chiang Mai will cost you around 100-200 THB (3-6 USD) per person.

When budgeting for your visit, consider additional expenses such as:

  • Food and snacks (30-100 THB or 1-3 USD for local dishes)
  • Souvenirs (100-300 THB or 3-9 USD for small items)
  • Travel insurance for peace of mind during your adventure

With a bit of planning, including Sticky Waterfall in your Chiang Mai bucket list is an affordable and memorable experience. Enjoy the climb!

Experiences at Sticky Waterfall

Climbing Adventure

At the Sticky Waterfall, or Bua Tong Waterfall, we found a thrilling climbing adventure like no other. Thanks to the high-traction rock surfaces, we were able to climb like Spiderman without any worries of slipping. The hard mineral surface allowed us to easily grip and ascend the falls, even on steep sections, making for an exhilarating experience. After our climb, we couldn’t help but feel accomplished and ready to explore more.

Picnic at the Falls

We decided to take a break and enjoy a picnic near the falls. Surrounded by the lush green landscape and the calming sound of cascading water, we found the perfect spot to relax, refuel, and take in the beauty of the Sticky Waterfall. Remember to pack a tasty and filling picnic basket, as well as a comfortable blanket to spread out on. It’s the ultimate way to cool off and unwind during our adventure.


With epic photo opportunities throughout the Sticky Waterfall, we couldn’t resist capturing the memories on our cameras. The unique geological features made for stunning images that showcased the otherworldly nature of the falls. Whether you’re a professional or amateur photographer, make sure you bring your camera (or smartphone) to capture these precious moments against the incredible backdrop of the Sticky Waterfall.

Staying Near the Falls

While exploring the Sticky Waterfall, we discovered several accommodations options nearby, ranging from budget to luxury stays. This allows you to extend your visit and immerse in the breathtaking nature surrounding the waterfall. Just a short drive from Chiang Mai, you can find beautiful and unique places to rest and rejuvenate after your day’s adventures.

In summary, we had an unforgettable experience at the Sticky Waterfall in Chiang Mai. From the thrilling climb to a relaxing picnic, and capturing incredible photographs, it’s a must-visit destination for any adventure-seeking traveler.

Tours of Sticky Waterfall

One of the best ways to experience the unique natural wonder that is the Sticky Waterfall (also known as Bua Tong Waterfall) in Chiang Mai is by taking a guided tour. These tours often include knowledgeable local guides that will provide you with interesting insights about the area, making your visit both enjoyable and educational. In this section, we’ll discuss how to book a tour and why going with a local guide is a fantastic choice.

Booking a Tour

There are several websites and agencies through which you can book a tour to visit Sticky Waterfall. Some popular options include Viator and Take Me Tour. These platforms offer various tour packages that may include transportation, lunch, and even visits to other nearby attractions.

When booking a tour, consider the following factors:

  • Duration: Tours can range from half-day to full-day experiences. Choose one that fits your schedule and desired level of exploration.
  • Group size: Some tours accommodate large groups while others offer more intimate experiences with smaller groups or private tours.
  • Inclusions: Make sure to check what is included in the tour package, such as entrance fees, transportation, meals, or additional activities.

With a Local Guide

Hiring a local guide for your Sticky Waterfall adventure can greatly enhance your experience. Local guides are familiar with the area, its history, and even some hidden gems that you may not find on your own. They can provide you with specific details about the waterfall, like why the natural high-traction limestone makes it “sticky” and easy to climb. They can also offer valuable tips such as the best time to visit, safety precautions, and even recommend other nearby attractions or activities to make the most of your time in Chiang Mai.

Moreover, by opting for a local guide, you will be supporting the local economy and encouraging sustainable tourism.

In summary, booking a tour with a local guide is a fantastic way to get the most out of your Sticky Waterfall experience, as they can offer unique insights and recommendations that will make your trip memorable and enriching.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I reach Sticky Waterfall from Chiang Mai?

There are several ways to reach Sticky Waterfall (Bua Tong Waterfall) from Chiang Mai. One option is to rent a motorbike or scooter and ride there, which takes around an hour and twenty minutes. The roads are in good condition, making the ride enjoyable. Alternatively, you can hire a driver or ask your accommodation to arrange one for you. The going rate for this service is around 1,500 baht, and the driver will wait for you while you explore the waterfall. The exact location can be found using Google Maps.

What is the entrance fee for Sticky Waterfall?

Good news for travelers! There is no entrance fee for visiting Sticky Waterfall, making it an affordable addition to your Chiang Mai adventure.

Are there any tours available to Sticky Waterfall?

Yes, there are tour companies in Chiang Mai that offer guided trips to Sticky Waterfall. These tours usually include round-trip transportation, snacks, drinks, and sometimes even a visit to nearby attractions. You can often book a tour through your accommodation or local tourist information centers.

How do I get to Bua Tong Waterfall from Chiang Mai?

Bua Tong Waterfall is another name for Sticky Waterfall, so the directions are the same as mentioned above. Simply rent a motorbike, ride there yourself, or hire a driver to take you.

Why is the Sticky Waterfall sticky?

The unique and fascinating texture of the Sticky Waterfall comes from the mineral deposits on its surface. These deposits create friction, making it possible for you to climb up and down the waterfall without slipping. The experience is quite surreal and definitely worth checking out when in Chiang Mai.

Is there a fee to visit the Sticky Waterfall?

As mentioned earlier, there is no entrance fee to visit Sticky Waterfall. So, pack your swimsuit and camera, and prepare to enjoy this incredible natural wonder without breaking the bank!