After a few sweaty days and an excellent Thai cooking class in Chiang Rai it was time to get back to the natural beauty of northern Thailand.
With our trusty scooter to hand we headed south on the main Highway 1 out of Chiang Rai towards the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) which is about 13km and took around 30 minutes.
After visiting the temple and a spot of lunch we carried on heading west, towards the Khun Korn waterfall which Ann, our homestay host, had recommended.
This was around a 17km drive from the White Temple and took about 40 minutes to reach the parking area just inside the national park boundary. On the way you begin to follow the Mae Kon river where locals like to picnic, some sitting in the river itself to cool down. Here the road begins to narrow and the air cools as you head further on, it was very welcome and relaxing after the busy highway.
Hiking up the to the waterfall
There’s lots of free parking space and a little shop to grab some refreshments just after you pass the barrier into the Khunkorn Forest Park. From here the sign points you towards the walking trail up to the waterfall and states a distance of 1400m.
It felt like much further though as the path begins to climb and despite the cool forest air we began to sweat once more.
Along the way you have to cross a few wonderful bamboo bridges as the path zig zags back and forth over the river. I enjoyed just pausing for a moment to study the clever construction of the bridges and marvel at the work involved in creating these crossings from just the one natural resource.
Cool off and chill out
After a few final steep climbs you emerge quite high up with a fantastic view of the water dropping the 70 meters or so to the deep pool below. Even from a distance you catch some of the cooling mist which is most welcome after the sweaty climb to get there.
We headed down to the pool at the base, trying desperately not to slip over on the wet rocks, and stayed for a while to take the obligatory waterfall shots and cool ourselves down.
We soon realised it was late afternoon and not wanting to be driving through the crazy traffic in the dark we headed back off along the path towards the car park. It always amazes me how much quicker it feels walking downhill when you know where you are going and we were soon back on the bike and heading back towards Chiang Rai.
How to get to Khun Korn Waterfall
From the No.1 highway heading south of Chiang Rai turn right when you see the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) and follow the signs for a further 17km.
Opening times: 8am – 5pm daily
Highway 1208 , Mae Kon , 57000 Mueang Chiang Rai , Chiang Rai, Thailand