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Hiking to Mae Yen Waterfall, Pai – Thailand

Hiking to Mae Yen Waterfall, Pai – Thailand

Mae Yen waterfall is an epic jungle waterfall located near the peaceful mountain town of Pai, Thailand. If you’re looking for epic day trip adventures or short independent hikes in Pai, then Mae Yen waterfall might just be the ticket!

Getting to the waterfall is an adventure in itself. While the hike is fairly easy, it does take at least two hours one way. Along the way, you’ll pass through banana plantations, jungle river systems, and incredible Northern Thailand landscapes.

Olly gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, traveler, travel blogger & photographer for 5+ years with 600+ published travel guides. I visit every place I write about & share real tips from what I learn.

How to Get to Mae Yen Waterfall

The best way to get to Mae Yen waterfall is to rent a motorbike in Pai and ride to the start of the hiking trail. As far as I’m aware, there are no guided hikes to Mae Yen, so you’ll need to tackle this one independently.

Mae yen waterfall hike

Need a private transfer from Chiang Mai Airport? – Book in Advance for under $15!

Mae Yen Waterfall Starting Point

The Mae Yen waterfall starting point is located beside a campground named “Wunderland Camping”, approximately 10 minutes from Pai. You’ll find it pinned on the map below, or alternatively you can search for “Mae Yen Waterfall Hiking Trail”.

Once you arrive at the campground, you can park your motorbike and cross the first river adjacent to the campground. The first crossing gives a bit of a teaser for what to expect along the trail!

Mae yen waterfall hike in pai
The first river crossing.

Mae Yen Waterfall Hiking Trail

After crossing the first river, continue along, following the wider road, through a banana plantation and small village until you eventually enter the thicker jungle scrub.

Hiking in pai thailand

From here, you’ll follow the river which is actually the source of the waterfall for the entirety of the 2-hour hike. Along the track, you’ll cross that same river 36 times (we counted) before eventually climbing a rather steep final section and finally arriving at Mae Yen waterfall.

Cost: Free! Unlike some of the other waterfalls in Pai, this one won’t cost you a single baht!

Hike Length: The Mae Yen waterfall hike will take roughly 2 hours each way.

Distance: Roughly 6 KM each way.

Hike Difficulty: The trail is flat and relatively easy for most of the hike besides a steep final section near the end.

Mae yen waterfall hike pai thailand

TIP: It’s usually possible to buy some bananas from the small village near the start of the hiking trail.

Mae Yen Waterfall GPX File

If you want to be on the safe side, you can use this GPX file to download it for your phone or GPS watch.

GPX File: Download

My Strava: Visit

Going to Chiang Rai? Don’t miss my favorite waterfall: Mae Sai Waterfall

Mae Yen Waterfall

Although it’s less popular than other waterfalls in the area, this one is in my opinion, the best waterfall in Pai! Once you arrive, you’ll enter a beautiful jungle oasis, surrounded by steep moss-covered rock walls.

Mae Yen waterfall is actually made up of three, steep levels that flow into small pools. The bottom bool is quite shallow and definitely doesn’t allow for any cliff jumping or diving. However, you’ll probably want to make the most of it by cooling down in the fresh flowing waters.

If you’re careful, it’s possible to climb up the right side of the waterfall to sit in a small, waist height pool at the bottom of the second flow. You’ll need to be careful since it is very slippery and remember to always keep an eye out for changes in conditions.

Best Accommodation in Pai

My Pai Accommodation: Wake Up in Pai
This place was one of the cheapest options for a clean dorm with free breakfast in Pai. Located in the center close to motorbike rentals, cafes and the walking street market.

Highest Rated Guesthouse: Pai Yard Backpackers
Super cheap accommodation with incredible reviews. Clean rooms, good location, decent price, and good food.

Famous Pai Hostel: Circus Hostel Pai
This place has been a favorite in Pai for those looking for a great vibe. There’s a big pool with rolling mountain backdrops and bonfires every night. If you want to meet other backpackers to hit Mae Yen waterfall with, then this will probably be the place.

Compare all the best accommodation options in Pai with Booking.com or Agoda.

Over to You

I hope that this travel guide for Mae Yen Waterfall Pai Thailand has been enough to get you off the well-trodden trail and into the epic jungles of Northern Thailand. If you have any questions, please leave a comment or even send me a message.

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Hiking to mae yen waterfall, pai - thailand
Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure travel blogger & photographer. Traveling non-stop since 2018, I've published over 600 travel guides on We Seek Travel. These draw on my personal experience to share unique itineraries, accommodation tips, & fun adventure guides covering hikes, viewpoints, beaches, waterfalls, & tours. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.

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Lih Wei

Thursday 30th of April 2020

Hi Olly! Thank you very much for your post! It the reason why I dared to go in the first place! You've got awesome pictures and website. Stay safe and may we have great travel experiences when this is all over.

Olly Gaspar

Thursday 30th of April 2020

Glad to hear this post inspired your trip :) You too and I know we will!