Chiang Mai, the northern capital of Thailand, is a popular destination among backpackers and home to many expats. It is culturally very significant and offers amongst other things, hundreds of temples to visit. When I visited Chiang Mai with a friend, we felt like getting out of the city one afternoon. Because even if you love visiting temples (which I do) you can only go to so many before it gets too much! Luckily, we ran into a guy at our hostel who told us about a nice little place to visit! Chiang Mai Grand Canyon is just a short drive outside of Chiang Mai where you can go swimming and even cliff jump, perfect for a little getaway from the city!
Chiang Mai’s Grand Canyon is an old quarry which is now filled with water. While it probably can’t compare to the real Grand Canyon, it still offers some great views and makes a nice half-day trip out of the city.
For the adventurous looking for an adrenalin rush, there are opportunities for cliff jumping, with heights varying from about 10 to 15 meters. If you are like me and struggling with being scared of heights, you can of course decide to go swimming only. There are bamboo rafts in the water to relax and sunbathe on, and it is possible to rent tubes to float around the canyon with. It is also a lot of fun to watch other people jump!
There’s a climbing wall too, which was however closed at the time we were there.
Admission fee to the canyon is 50 Bath.
How to get to Chiang Mai Grand Canyon?
It is easiest to get to Chiang Mai Grand Canyon by Scooter. Don’t feel comfortable about driving yourself? Grab a travel companion, let them do the driving and keep an eye on the route so that you end up in the right place – as an added bonus you’ll both save some money too by sharing costs!
Coming from the city center, head to the Highway 121 and drive south towards Hang Dong.
After about 30-45 minutes you will see a PT gas station on your left. Take the next right after this gas station and cross the small bridge that appears on you right.
Turn left after driving for about 500m straight and continue along the road until you see the quarry appearing on your right side.
There are a few little signs on the road, but they are easy to miss while you are driving. I recommend keeping the PT gas station as a landmark in mind, as you don’t want to continue too far on the highway.
Having GPS and google maps or maps.me always help of course! Enter “Chiang Mai Old Quarry” into Google Maps or put in the coordinates 18°41’49.4″N 98°53’36.2″E.
What to bring?
- Swimwear & towel
- Water and snacks
- Sunblock (there’s not a lot of shade)
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