Bua Tong

Sticky Waterfalls

Useful Information

Location: North of povince capital Cing Mai, follow Asian Highway 1001. After the turnoff of Highway 1323 to the left follow 1001 for 1400 m, then turn right. Wat Tham Buatong and Bua Tong signposted. 2 km to the end of the road. Mae Taeng National Forest Reserve.
Open: All year daily 8-17. [2019]
Fee: Free. [2019]
Classification: KarstTufa Deposits KarstSinter Terraces
Light: n/a
Guided tours: n/a
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: park wheelchair accessible, waterfall not
Address: Si Lanna National Park, Mae Ho Phra, Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai 50150, Thailand
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Bua Tong or Sticky Waterfalls, are actually the tufa deposit formed by a limestone rich karst spring. The water emerging from the Bua Tong Spring looses its carbon dioxide to the air, first because of the higher amount in the water, then because of the warming of the water on the surface and finally because of plants consuming it. Without the carbonic acid, the limestone crystallizes and forms deposits of sweetwater limestone. As the hillside blow the spring is quite steep, the result is a long series of stalagmite like steps, partly with micro gours on te surface The limestone is a little rough, a result of pointy calcite crystals and pores in the forming limestone. It seems the people in Thailand are quite used to slicky layers of algae and moss in their brooks, so the lack of them is quite exceptional and lead to the name sticky waterfalls. The main attraction is walking up the steps in the water, mostly a task which is quite easy because the steps offer a staircase like surface, and the rough surface offers a good grip for naked feet. Steeper parts are equipped with a rope.

The area is well developed. Outside the waterfall area there are plenty of picnic tables with shade. At the entrance to the Sri Lanna National Forest are numerous open air restaurants and a market. Vendors sell Thai meals, grilled meats, fresh fruits, and packaged Thai snacks. We recommend strap on sandals or water shoes for the climb, clothes to change afterwards and a towel.