In terms of waterfalls in Myanmar, Dee Doke Waterfall Mandalay (also known as Dee Dote) has to take the cake for the most surreal falls and the most epic blue lagoon pools in the country. Getting here takes a little bit of effort but if you’re cut out for the ride, you’ll be rewarded with one of the best swimming spots possibly in all of Myanmar!
It’s possible to visit Dee Doke Waterfalls from both Mandalay and from Pyin Oo Lwin. Since I wanted to also visit nearby Dat Taw Gyaint Waterfall, I decided to stay in Pyin Oo Lwin for a few days.
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You already know that I prefer independent travel. In saying that, sometimes the best and cheapest way to get things done is to just book a tour or package. For Myanmar, I always use Klook and Viator.
By far, the cheapest way to get from place to place in Myanmar is to take long-distance buses. For latest prices and routes, check on 12GoAsia.
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If you’re reading this blog then you’re more likely to be seeking adventures over poolside sips. After having my entire bag stolen in Barcelona I’ve sworn to always buy travel insurance. My two favorite options for adventure travelers are SafetyWing and World Nomads. Click here to read the comparison between the two.
Dee Doke Waterfall Location
Dee Doke Waterfall is located southeast of Mandalay city near a mountainous section of the Mytinge River. The journey takes over one hour from both Mandalay and from Pyin Oo Lwin, with stretches of highway driving and riverside gravel sections.
I’ve pinned the exact location of Dee Doke Waterfall below to help you locate it. The Google Maps pin is named: Deedote Blue Lagoon. This variance in spelling when translating names to English is common in Myanmar, which makes it difficult when you’re doing independent research.
Don’t make the mistake of directing your Google Maps to “Dee Doke Waterfall Elephant Camp”. This is found 10-15 minutes before the actual waterfall car park.
How to Get to Dee Doke Waterfall
There are a few options for those looking to get to Dee Doke Waterfall from Mandalay and from Pyin Oo Lwin. Below I’ve outlined the best ones.
Rent a Motorbike
For independent travelers who are after the full experience, I’d recommend renting a motorbike and riding here yourself.
Mandalay isn’t a huge tourist hotspot – yet. Therefore, finding a motorbike for rent isn’t as easy as in other parts of South East Asia. However, if you ask at your hotel or hostel, they should be able to direct you to one.
Once you’ve got your set of two wheels, plug in the GPS pin above and head towards Highway 3, or Mandalay Lashio Rd heading South. When you arrive at an intersection with multiple petrol stations, turn right and continue down the much less maintained but scenic road along the Mytinge River for 23KM.
Here are the GPS coordinates for the turn-off if you get lost: 21°51’14.0″N 96°15’26.3″E
From Pyin Oo Lwin:
Finding a motorbike to rent in Pyin Oo Lwin was a little harder than in Mandalay. However, I was able to get a good rate from my accommodation: The Tha Ha Zar Ta Hotel, which also had the best rates for a shared dorm with breakfast in the city.
Leaving Pyin Oo Lwin, you’ll need to take the same Highway 3; Mandalay Lashio Rd, this time towards Mandalay. Keep riding until you reach the same intersection with GPS coordinates above. From here, you’ll follow the same road for 23M until you reach the Dee Doke Waterfall.
Tip: Don’t pay more than 10 000 Kyat per day for motorbike rental in Myanmar.
Probably the easiest and quickest way to get anywhere in Myanmar is to just use Grab Taxi. If you’re looking for a Dee Doke Waterfall Taxi, then you can just download the Grab app on your mobile and enter in the location above.
Note this will probably be the most expensive option and getting a Grab back to Mandalay could be difficult.
Dee Doke Waterfall Tour
If you’re looking to skip the highway driving and you’d prefer a guided tour, it’s possible to book a Dee Doke Waterfall tour from Mandalay.
This tour is the only one I’ve been able to find online and also includes Mandalay City sightseeing. Note you can also get discounts per person if you have a larger group.
Book the Dee Doke Waterfall tour online in advance to secure the trip.
Dee Doke Waterfall Car Park and Entrance
There are no signs for this waterfall, so it’s best to program in the directions on your phone before you leave.
After following the directions above, keep an eye out for a small turn off exactly at the Google Maps pin above. Soon, you’ll arrive at a dirt carpark with a small restaurant where you. can drop off your bike and start the short hike to Dee Doke Waterfall.
There is no entrance fee to visit this waterfall. However, some people have been asked to pay 300 Kyat to leave their motorbike at the gravel carpark and waterfall entrance.
I visited this epic waterfall and swimming lagoon in the dry season, as a result, I was told that I was the only foreigner that had been here for months. Nobody asked me to pay money to leave my bike or to visit the waterfall.
Hike Down to Dee Doke Waterfall
Once you’ve finally reached the Dee Doke Waterfall carpark, you’ve got a short 20-minute hike until you actually reach the waterfalls and blue lagoon pools.
The walk is easy, passing bamboo huts and smiling faces along the way. Along the trail, you’ll eventually come to an intersection. From here, take the right path up the hill towards the Blue Lagoon swimming spot, or turn left down the hill to reach the main Dee Doke Waterfall and swimming area.
Dee Doke Waterfall – What to Expect
I highly recommend that you visit both the main lower waterfall and the upper Blue Pool Lagoon. Both spots are an absolute oasis, especially in the extreme heat of the Burmese dry season.
Truthfully, the waterfalls themselves aren’t mind-blowing in terms of size or power. The main drops are fairly small, but it’s the incredible milky-blue water of the swimming holes and lagoons that makes this place a must visit!
At the bottom, main waterfall level, you’ll find a large swimming hole, mildly gushing falls and a makeshift bamboo decking area. There are interesting rock paintings on the limestone walls and surrounding rocks. When I visited, I only met a handful of local residents who were looking to escape the 45 degree (C) smelting sun!
You can also walk further down from this swimming location, where you’ll find some shallower pools to swim in and explore.
Blue Lagoon Swimming Area
Truthfully, when I first arrived at Dee Doke Waterfall Mandalay, I didn’t even know about the upper Blue Lagoons. It wasn’t until I sent the drone up and got an aerial view of this oasis that I saw what a true gem this is.
As mentioned above, turning right up the hill at the trail intersection leads to an epic blue lagoon. This spot also has more small waterfalls.
This place seemed to attract a few more locals. These visitors were swimming and enjoying the peaceful and refreshing neon mountain water.
Visiting Dee Doke Waterfall in the Dry Season
Myanmar’s hot and dry season runs from October through to May. Not knowing if the waterfall and swimming pools would be dried out, I still decided to take a gamble by visiting the falls in April.
To my surprise, although the surrounding landscapes were desert-like, the waterfall and swimming hole were still topped up and flowing. So, if you’re looking for a place to escape the heat, this is definitely the place.
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Enjoy this guide to Dee Doke Waterfall Mandalay and looking for more Myanmar travel inspiration? Why not check out the other guides listed below.