Posted by: James Shannon | July 3, 2012

Hike to Hua Chang Waterfall, Pai District, Thailand

 Buying lunch for a waterfall hike with Katie at the Wednesday Market in Pai, Thailand.

Katie had promised to take me to a secret waterfall upon my arrival in Pai in February 2012 … seeing how it was the middle of dry season, with forest fire haze hanging heavy in the air dampened my expectations considerably. It was this that set me up for the one of the bigger surprises I’ve encountered in my travels to date!

 The early stages of the hike involved fording a winding and wending river about four or five times. The crossing pictured above looks quite tame, but there were a few where the water was as high as the footdeck on our scooters, and one wrong turn or not enough gas would send your ride into deep, fast-flowing water, essentially turning it into a 45,000 baht (A LOT OF CDN $$$) paperweight. We made it to the the parking point and back safely!

 A weir built by farmers to raise the water level of a portion of the river marked the end of the bike-powered hike … now time to wade across and begin the real trek!

 Wading across the river for the 12th time … water was cold by tropical standards, but completely bearable compared to most lakes back home in Canada.

 I’ve forgotten what this is, but man, is that plant weird, or what?!

 At long last, after hiking on foot for about an hour, arrival at the surprisingly powerful Hua Chang waterfall! Katie goes in for a dip, while I take photos!

Next up: more from smoky Pai and Chiang Mai!


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