What to do in Mae Taeng, the often overlooked beauty in Chiang Mai
Thailand is a haven for tourists. From 2016 to 2017, the number of tourists who travelled to this Southeast Asian country went up from 32.5 million to 35.3 million, and continue to rise. One of the reasons being the great mixture of destinations, sights, and activities on offer as there is literally something for everyone to do and enjoy.
Chiang Mai is one of the top destinations for tourists to Thailand. Within Chiang Mai itself, you can find a host of places to visit and hidden gems to explore. A town called Mae Taeng is one of these hidden gems and if you want to escape the tourist traps and the crowds, this is a worthy destination to look into.
About Mae Taeng
Mae Taeng is a district located in the northern part of Chiang Mai province in Thailand, situated just beyond the Mae Sa Valley, and is known to be an adventure destination. Within this district, you will also find a town called Mae Taeng.
Things to See in Mae Taeng
If you are willing to travel 35 kilometers to the north of central Chiang Mai, you will be greatly rewarded. Many of those who have been to Mae Taeng claim it as a secret paradise and you will not run out of things to do during your stay. You can choose from any of these top activities and sites in Mae Taeng to make your trip worthwhile.
– Mae Ngat Reservoir
The Mae Ngat Reservoir offers stunning views, a sense of peace, and plenty of things to do. The highlight of your trip would be the chance to stay on the night raft-houses. These raft houses are part of the reason why the Mae Ngat Reservoir became a favorite among tourists and locals. Above that, you can engage in a variety of outdoor activities and water sports, choosing from any of the following options to suit your liking: kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and fishing. There is also a water playground at Ekachai Houseboat with a few more outdoor activity options for the thrill-seekers.
– Wat Ban Den Temple
There are plenty of temples worth visiting in Thailand and if you want a cultural and spiritual experience during your trip, it is important to include a visit to at least one. The Wat Ban Den temple is easily the most recognizable temples in the province of Chiang Mai, and especially in the Mae Taeng district. It comes with an unusual structure and unique beauty that makes it stand out even with the concentration of temples in the area.
What makes Wat Ban Den temple unique is the fact that it is built of teak wood and granite tiles. The entire complex consists of various large structures including an ordination hall, monks’ living quarters, a meditation hall, a drum hall, and more. A noticeable feature throughout these structures is that the entrances are guarded by mythical Naga serpent sculptures.
– Pong Dued Hot Springs
Pong Dued Hot Springs is another favourite attraction in Mae Taeng. While the hot springs do not have geysers, you can marvel at the bubbling hot water. The streams are channelled into pools wherein tourists can swim. You can also experience private bath houses if you want some privacy as you relax. Aside from the opportunity to relax, the water from the hot springs is known to alleviate a wide range of skin ailments. It can also relieve the aches and pains in your body. If you want to linger for a while, there are various campsites nearby.
– Sri Lanna National Park
If you love the wildlife, forests, and mountain views, there is no better place to go than Sri Lanna National Park in Mae Taeng. This is your go-to choice if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of a modern city. The park offers many attractions including its several waterfalls. Check out the Mon Hin Lai Waterfall within the park. It flows all year round and cascades down for up to 6 levels.
Things to Do in Mae Taeng
In addition to the attractions and sites mentioned above, you can fill your time in Mae Taeng with many adventurous activities. Whether you prefer a slight thrill or an extreme adventure, be ready to satisfy your craving for that adrenaline rush.
– Go Ziplining
Ziplining is a popular activity for those who visit Mae Taeng in Chiang Mai province. One of the best ziplining rides is located next to the Mae Taeng River where yiu can experience up to 2 hours of high-octane thrills. There are over 2,000 meters to zip through with up to 31 zipline courses. The longest zipline that you can enjoy here is 400 meters long.
– Whitewater Rafting
Another thrilling ride that will let you experience a new kind of rush is whitewater rafting. Thailand has always been known for its whitewater rafting, but doing this at Mae Taeng River will provide new and exciting opportunities for both beginners and experienced rafters. Choose between Class II and Class IV river rapids.
This activity is one of the biggest draws for tourists and the reward of excellent views is great. Even though Mae Taeng is located close to Central Chiang Mai, there are plenty of natural landscapes to explore as well as some challenges available for newbies and for experienced trekkers. Most treks are combined with other outdoor activities, such as bamboo rafting or ziplining. If you want to take it to the next level you can opt for a village stay. This is a unique type of accommodation experience that will enable you to immerse into the local culture.
– Bamboo Rafting
The jungle that lines the Mae Taeng River is pristine and beautifully preserved, making it the perfect backdrop for those who choose to enjoy bamboo rafting. There are plenty of companies that offer bamboo rafting excursions in the district. Enjoy the tranquil stretches of the river and the views of the Maetaman Valley.
In Summary, Mae Taeng offers exciting opportunities and plenty of things to see and do. If you are looking to visit Thailand but want to avoid the heavily crowded tourist attractions, choose to visit Mae Taeng.
A hidden gem that has something to everyone. Whether you choose to unwind or embark on an adventure here, you won’t be disappointed.
This post is a collaboration with Author Bryan Schwartz. Bryan works in digital marketing for 8Adventures, the leading provider of whitewater rafting, ATV, trekking and kayaking tours in Chiang Mai, Thailand. When he’s not in front of his computer, you can find him doing adventurous activities, road trips or hanging out with his dog, Rocky.
Read more of my posts on Thailand here.
*** Images; top image source https://pixabay.com/en/chiang-mai-thailand-temple-religion-1670926/) and bottom https://pixabay.com/en/chiang-mai-thailand-grass-hut-1679325/).