Best Swimming Pools, Waterfalls & Lakes in Chiang Mai
What would be more perfect in a hot day in Chiang Mai than to jump into the water to refresh yourself, enjoy nature and at the same time have fun with some friends. Chiang Mai has a lot to offer and in this case, you will find all types of relaxing places like swimming pools, waterfalls, and lakes inside and around the city. No sea? don’t worry, try these places and you will like them, too. We guarantee.
1.Ob Khan National Park
Ob Khan National Park is a great hideaway from Chiang Mai city. Around a 40-minute drive from the city center into nature, lies the national park which is perfect for a day hike, waterfall picnic or even camping. We love this place because it’s so natural and from our experience, only near the entrance is usually more crowded with visitors. Once you walk further along the water deep into the inner part, there is usually no other visitors most of the time. Don’t worry, you will not get lost, as the path is simple to notice and follow. Usually we hike about an hour extra until we find the nice spot at the gorge to enjoy the cool, fresh water.
Note: Fishing is not appreciated here as it is a national park. If you picnic or camp here, please take all garbage back to trash outside of the national park and really take care of the fire. We can help keeping the place clean and awesome.
Entrance fee: Free of charge, incl. camping. Only registration at the entrance required.
Grand Canyon is somewhat new in Chiang Mai. It’s in Hang Dong area, very close to the entrance of Ob Khan National Park. As the earth in this place was dug for construction in the past until it became pretty deep, it holds rain water which has nice turquoise color and turned to be a leisure spot for Chiang Mai people. The best part of the story is, the lastest time we visited (August 2016), it’s about to become a fun water park. Can’t wait till it’s finished and jump on those platforms, yeah!!
Entrance fee: 50 THB entrance fee (close at 6pm), 300 THB fun water park pass (close at 6pm)
3.Sticky Waterfalls (Bua Tong Waterfalls)
What a unique and beautiful waterfall! Just look at those moss, smooth stones and the water. This waterfall is in Mae Rim, about a 40-minute drive from the city center. We love to have road trip in Mae Rim area because of the nice scenery of rice fields, so this could be a stop once you have a road trip there as well.
Entrance fee: Free of charge
Panviman Resort offers gorgeous scenery from the mountain height. They have infinite pool and nice area with pretty gazebos. The service here is also very good and it’s even a popular pre-wedding photo destination because of its dreamy atmosphere. To get here, drive to Mae Rim area, around 40 minutes from the city center.
Note: The article cover photo is also taken at Panviman Resort.
Entrance fee: Free of charge for the pool when you use other services e.g. food & beverage, accommodation, or massage.
5.Veranda Chiang Mai The High Resort
Veranda is another place we like to go for a swim outside of the city. It’s on the nice Sa Moeng loop where you can have a nice road trip and stop at awesome spots like Varanda. It also offers a stunning view of the mountains from the infinite pool. We love that they have the Frangipani trees at the pool so sometimes the flowers fall into the water, making it look really nice- real holiday atmosphere. Beside the pool is ‘The Higher Room’ where you can order your food and beverage if you want.
Entrance fee: 400 THB incl. a complimentary non-alcoholic beverage
Rati Lanna is just next to the Ping River, therefore obviously, the most convenient location from all choices in this article considering you are in the city center. Rati Lanna is a 5-star boutique resort with a nice infinite pool and gym. Imagine swiming and viewing the Ping river, zipping cocktail at the pool bar while you are still in the pool, or even at the Jacuzzi next to it. Can’t ask for more!
Entrance fee: 400 THB incl. a day pass for gym, steam and sauna
7.Huay Tung Tao
The good-old Huay Tung Tao has been a famous hang-out destination for the locals for forever. Only about a 20-minute drive from the city center, you can enjoy the unique atmosphere of chilling in the bamboo hut right next to the lake, having a nice meal and jump from your dining table to the water.
Entrance fee: 20 THB park entrance, and if you sit in the hut, it’s appreciated that you order food & beverage around 200 THB from the restaurant.
8.Mae Ngat Dam (Mae Ngat Somboon Chon Dam)
Same as Huay Tung Tao, Mae Ngat Dam is a place the locals think about when in need of chilling in the water. Mae Ngad Dam is in Mae Taeng, a ride further from Mae Rim. Here you can have a day trip on the nice floating house or even stay there over night. To get to the house boat, take a long tail boat from the shore and they will take you there. Enjoy the awesome food and swim in the massive lake. Some boat houses offer different water sport activities as well.
Note: There are different floating houses at Mae Ngat Dam, providing different prices and facilities.
Entrance fee: 40 THB Sri Lanna Park entrance fee, 170 THB long tail boat ride
9.The Centre of The Universe
Love swimming pools but sick of chloride in the water? The Centre of the Universe offers a proper pool with sea water. The pool itself is very simple but we still like the cute bamboo fence, Thai style houses and the fact that the place is very hidden even when it’s not far from Nimmanhemindra area and Doi Suthep.
Entrance fee: 100 THB (7am-10am, 4.30-6.45pm), 200 THB (10am-4.30pm), 30 THB towel hire
10. Mae Jo Golf Club & Resort
Mae Jo Golf Club & Resort is another nice place that offers awesome swimming pool. There is no entrance fee for outside visitors if ordering their food and drink which also tastes delicious. The pool is big and beautiful, with a jacuzzi and nice relaxing area. It’s located in Mae Jo area, around 25 minutes drive from the city center.
Entrance fee: Free of charge for the pool when you use other services e.g. food & beverage or accommodation.
Check our vlog where you can see Panviman Resort and Grand Canyon in motion:
Let us know what you think about our picks. Do you agree with us? Leaving us a comment to share your opinion or add more.