Half Day Trip to Khun Korn Waterfall, Chiang Rai
Khun Korn Waterfall is one of the best waterfalls in Chiang Rai. Deep in the jungle of northern Thailand hides a huge 70 metre tall waterfall.
This is the tallest in the north of Thailand. A destination you must visit! While I lived in Chiang Rai I actually visited the Khun Korn Waterfall more than 10 times!
Here we’ll show you how to get to the Khun Korn Waterfall easily by yourself, and suggest some other cool destinations nearby.
Riding out to the Waterfall
The Khun Korn Waterfall is located about 30 kilometres (45 minutes) south-west of Chiang Rai town center. It is an easy half day trip from Chiang Rai with your own motorbike, or by local taxi.
The road to the waterfall explores Chiang Rai’s outskirts through small semi-rural villages where the sabai sabai life is even slower paced than in town. Further on you’ll ride among endless rice fields, which depending on the time of year may be a lush green field or a pile of smoldering ash.
Along the way, you will pass some side of the road restaurants. Be sure to stop off here for lunch if hungry. The food is clean, really cheap and tasty. It is common to find a plate of fried rice or a Massaman curry for just 15THB, add another 5THB for a fried egg on top.
As you approach the Khun Korn Forest Park, dense green jungle surrounds the road. Sometimes the overgrown jungle gives the feeling there are not many visitors out here. However, you would be wrong to assume that.
At the end of the 10 kilometre jungle road, a small park headquarters signals the end of the road, and the start of the hiking trail. From here, it is time to get walking.
Hiking up to the Waterfall
Hiking in the jungle to the Khun Korn Waterfall is peaceful. While there are a few visitors here, the trail does not feel crowded. You will probably see just a couple of people along the way.
The trail winds through the tall bamboo jungle and alongside a small stream flowing from the waterfall itself. The trail crosses the stream in sections by bamboo bridge
As you walk, look around carefully. There is more wildlife than you expect here. You are unlikely to see an elephant or tiger, but there are lots of butterflies, birds, and lizards along the way to the Khun Korn Waterfall.
Nearing the Khun Korn Waterfall, you will hear the overwhelming sound of crashing water. Around the last bend you will get hit by the spray of the waterfall even from over 200 meters away.
Note: pack a waterproof jacket for your travel photography gear as the spray from the waterfall reaches everywhere.
If you brave the cold, the waterfall makes a great jungle shower. The water falls so hard it feels like a Thai massage on your back. Be careful not to lose your GoPro or glasses as I did.
The bottom of the waterfall is a great jungle swimming spot. I highly recommend going for a dip.
How to Get to Khun Korn Waterfall
- Follow Route 1211 South West at of Chiang Rai. Pass the sign for the Boonrawd Brewery (Singha) by about 4 kilometers
- Turn right onto route 1208 towards Khun Korn Waterfall (Namtok Khun Korn). After about 2kilometre you will pass the Canary Natural Resort on the left. Then you’re on the right track
- Follow Route 1208 for about 10kilometre heading northwest. The road gets smaller and the condition deteriorates, but you are still going the right way.
The best way to visit the Khun Korn Waterfall is with your own motorbike. Motorbikes are available for rent in the Chiang Rai town center, next to the clock tower, for about 150THB per day plus fuel.
It is also possible to hop on a songtaew for the day. This is the Thai style pick-up truck taxi where up to eight people can sit in the back. A round trip should cost about 500THB and the driver will wait in the carpark for a few hours. You’ll have to negotiate how long he waits there.
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When to visit the Khun Korn Waterfall
The Khun Korn Waterfall is open daily from 8am to 5pm.
During the middle of the wet season, the hiking trail can be closed for safety reasons. In the middle of the heavy rain, the path is quickly flooded. The amount of water flowing in the waterfall can also make it too dangerous to go swimming in the pool at the bottom.
How much does entry cost?
Entry to the Khun Korn Forest Park and waterfall is free. Yep, that’s right, free!
Most national parks in Thailand have a hefty entrance fee, but this one is a forest park, so technically different. The main cost associated with the Khun Korn Waterfall is getting there.
Destinations nearby Khun Korn Waterfall
A trip out to the Khun Korn Waterfall can be joined with a visit to the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) and the Boonrawd Brewery (Singha Park). Both attractions are along the way to the waterfall and will turn your day into a full-day trip.
There are also a few other great waterfalls in Chiang Rai including; Huay Keaw, Huay Mai Sai, and Pong Phrabat. All of these are definitely worth visiting while in Chiang Rai.
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