Huay Mae Khamin Waterfall is the best waterfall in Thailand and, sadly, is one that you have probably never heard of!
Located just an hour from the famous Erawan Waterfall near Kanchanaburi, Huay Mae Khamin Waterfall is a local secret and hidden gem.
We first visited Huay Mae Khamin while living in Thailand and starting this blog. When we planned our trip, we thought we were only getting one waterfall but were delighted to find seven tiers of ca of cascading beauty nestled amidst a jungle landscape.
In this guide, we will explain everything you need to know for your first visit. This includes how to get there, hiking details, descriptions of all seven falls, and more.
Huay Mae Khamin Overview
While Erawan Falls is a popular day trip from Bangkok, few venture further to Huay Mae Khamin Falls.
You may see the waterfall’s name written in one of these various ways on maps and road signs:
- Huay Mae Khamin
- Huai Mae Khamin
- Huay Maekhamin
- Huay Maekamin
This is because the Thai language has its own alphabet with no standardised translation to the Roman alphabet.
This is also true for the name of the national park it is in. You may see this referred to in any of the following ways:
- Khuean Srinagarindra National Park
- Sri Nakarin National Park
- Sri Nakharin National Park
- Si Nakarin National Park
- Srinakarin Dam National Park
When to visit Huay Mae Khamin Waterfall
While Khuean Srinagarindra National Park is open year-round, the ideal time to visit the Huay Mae Khamin Waterfall is September and October. These months balance water levels, weather and crowd sizes best.
We visited in June 2019 and found the temperature to be perfect, the falls to be flowing well, and the weather was perfect during our time!
The peak season for tourism runs from November to February. While this is less likely to affect your experience at the falls themselves, it will make accommodation and transport less available and potentially more expensive. However, in terms of weather, this is when it is drier and cooler (although temperatures still average around 30°c or 85°F).
During summer (March until May), temperatures can reach 40°c (104°F) and it can be very humid. As water levels may be quite low towards the end of the dry season, it is worth checking to see how the falls are looking if you’re considering travelling during these months.
Rainy season is from June to October, with mid-July to mid-August being the wettest months. Water levels are likely to be much higher during this time, and tourism lower.
How to get to Huay Mae Khamin Waterfall
Huay Mae Khamin Waterfall is located within Khuean Srinagarindra National Park, 234km from Bangkok, 110km from Kanchanaburi and 43km from the Erawan Falls intersection.
After a busy Bangkok itinerary, it is well worth getting out of the city to explore this beautiful area!
Khuean Srinagarindra National Park is northwest of Kanchanaburi town and covers 1532km2 (592 sq. mi.) within Sai Yok, Si Sawat and Thong Pha Phum districts. It was designated a National Park in 1981.
There are no public transport options to Huay Mae Khamin Waterfalls, so you will have to arrange a tour, scooter, or driver.
Getting to Huay Mae Khamin Falls by Scooter
We elected to rent scooters for the day from Gib & Guy, which also serves food, and highly recommend them. The location is easy to find on Google Maps, the owner is friendly and didn’t ask us to leave a passport, plus they were flexible with our pick up/drop off time.
This was the first time I had ever ridden a scooter (after doing a couple of hours of lessons in Chiang Mai). While I was initially scared… because, well, scooters kind of equal serious injury or death in my head… it was honestly REALLY easy.
The road is extremely well-maintained all the way and we hardly encountered any traffic. However, please do ride carefully, wear a helmet, and ensure you have travel insurance that will cover you should you be injured.
I will add that it is a long ride, so be prepared for a sore butt by the end!
Getting to Huay Mae Khamin Falls by Car or Tuk Tuk
You could also rent a car or arrange private transport from Kanchanburi; any hotel or local travel agent will be happy to help you arrange it, or simply chat with the local tuk tuk/taxi drivers.
The cost of this will depend greatly on how long you wish to spend there, or if you want to stop at Erawan Falls as well.
Directions to Huay Mae Khamin Falls from Kanchanaburi
As for directions, it’s super easy and well sign posted in English! From Kanchanaburi, you’ll take the road 3199 towards Erawan Waterfall and Si Sawat district.
After you’ve passed Erawan Falls, you will take a left after 1.5km to follow the road that runs on the LEFT side of the reservoir (not towards Si Sawat). From here you’ll find plenty of signage directing you to Huay Mae Khamin Waterfall in English.
It will be a 45km drive from the time you make your left to the time you arrive at the entrance to Khuean Srinagarindra National Park, and took about an hour by scooter.
Huay Mae Khamin Waterfall Entry fees
When you arrive at the gate to Khuean Srinagarindra National Park, you will have to pay an entrance fee. The entrance fee is 300 THB for foreigners (children 150 THB) or 60 THB for locals (children 30 THB).
You also have to pay 20 THB for a motorbike and 30 THB for other vehicle parking. You will be given a ticket and need to keep this with you as they may check it again (they checked ours!).
Regardless of whether you consider yourself a “local”, you will not be offered a discount even with local ID if you are not from Thailand. Perhaps “native” would be a more appropriate differential term than “local”.
Khuean Srinagarindra Park Opening times
Khuean Srinagarindra Park is open from 6am until 5pm, with last entry at 4:30pm.
There are restaurants within the park, but these have irregular opening times, usually closing around 5pm on weekdays and 6-7pm at weekends.
Although the park closes at 5pm technically, we pressed into that time frame and no one was around to hustle us out, so this may be a soft closing time or may not be enforced as it is also possible to camp here.
Where to stay near Huay Mae Khamin
We stayed in Kanchanaburi and visited on a day trip from there.
Kanchanaburi provides a great base from which to explore the region, with a variety of hotel options for all budgets and plenty of restaurants and bars.
Camping in Huay Mae Khamin Waterfall
If you have more time and are feeling more adventurous, then you can also camp within the park. There are two campsites at the park, one next to the waterfalls and the other overlooking Si Sawat reservoir.
It is also possible to rent tents on arrival from the visitor centre, available in three sizes and not including accessories:
- 200 Baht for 2 pax
- 250 Baht for 3 pax
- 600 Baht for 4-5 pax
A sleeping set costs 60 THB per person. All of this is payable upon arrival.
There are also several concrete rooms for rent as follows:
- 900 Baht for 3 people, 1 bedroom
- 1,200 Baht for 4 people, 2 bedrooms
There is also the option to stay in one of the national park accommodations, which cost 900-1200 THB per night.
The campsite and bathrooms were very well maintained and clean. They were very busy when we went as it was a Saturday, but during the week would be virtually empty as it was all local visitors.
Visiting Huay Mae Khamin Waterfall, Thailand
Huay Mae Khamin Waterfall is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand. Like the more famous and more popular, Erawan Waterfall, it is made up of 7 tiers; although realistically there are more than 7 waterfalls!
The waterfall’s source is in the Kala mountain range, east of the park, and eventually flows down to the Khwae Yai River.
Huay Mae Khamin is also known as the “Emerald River” due to its green colouring, different to the azure water of Erawan Falls.
Each of the seven tiers is uniquely picturesque and has individual names; Dong Wan, Man Khamin, Wang Na Pha, Chat Kaew, Lai Jon Long, Dong Pee Sua and Rom Klaow.
The trail is divided into two sections: tiers 5-7 and 4-1. The car park is located near the fourth tier, Chat Kaew.
The total distance between the first and seventh tiers is approximately 2km, and it is an easy trail.
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Tiers 5-7: Lai Jon Long, Dong Pee Sua and Rom Klaow
When you arrive at the car park you will have the option to begin by visiting tiers 5-7 to the left, or 4-1 to the right. If you have time to walk the entirety of the trail, I highly recommend first visiting tiers 5-7!
While they are truly beautiful and absolutely worth visiting, they don’t have the same vibrant colours as tiers 4-1 which may leave you disappointed if done second. If you only have time for one section, make your priority visiting tiers 4-1!
From the car park, cross the bridge and follow the trail to the left. The trail in this direction is unpaved and can be muddy in places but is mostly flat.
We missed tier 5 on our way through. On our way back we kept an eye out for it and while we found the location of it (it’s about 300m from the bridge), there wasn’t any water there… just a sign and barrier to look over! Don’t be disheartened… keep going!
To get to tiers 6 and 7, follow the track keeping the river on your left. The trail will take you through thick bamboo forest and banyan trees with butterflies fluttering back and forth across the path. The sound of flowing water will help guide your way.
After about 900m, the forest will open up on your left to reveal tumbling water over the travertine terraces, framed by lush vegetation. You’ve reached Dong Pee Sua, aka Tier 6. These enchanting pools feel as if a fairy may fly by at any moment.
When you’re ready, continue along the trail another 200m and you’ll discover tier 7 scenically nestled into the surrounding forest. There are also some benches here to take a rest or cool off under the cascading falls.
Tier 4: Chat Kaew
To reach tiers 4-1, you need to turn back down the trail and cross back over the wooden bridge. Immediately after you cross the bridge, turn left and follow the path.
If you are coming from the parking lot and elect to do this section first, you will simply make a right onto the trail BEFORE crossing the bridge,
After less than 200m, you’ll arrive at tier 4. This impressive tier is the highest drop out of all the falls at Huay Mae Khamin.
The falls appear to be entirely encompassed by rich green jungle, and I was mesmerised watching the green water topple over the edge, becoming a white stream that crashed onto the rocks below.
This is the only tier that you are not able to swim at.
After being slightly underwhelmed by tiers 5-7, Huay Mae Khamin had truly impressed me with tier 4 and I was excited to continue on to see what other treasures we would uncover.
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Tiers 1-3: Wang Na Pha, Man Khamin and Dong Wan
This side of the trail is boarded, with stairs and handrails. It is also much shorter, although slightly steeper, trail, with tier 1 being only 450m from tier 4. It was also my favourite section.
Continuing from tier 4, a quick walk down the stairs will bring you to tier 3. I couldn’t resist getting in for another dip, the vibrant water was calling my name! After leaving the crowds at Erawan National Park earlier that day, it felt surreal for us to be once again alone in such a tranquil environment.
You may have already noticed that while there are plenty of signs along the trail in Thai, there’s not so many in English. The countless mini-falls between the main tiers make it difficult to determine where one level begins and another ends. I’m also not entirely sure how they decided what was a “tier”.
We came across two signs we couldn’t read, so we assumed they were tiers 2 and 1! However, realistically it didn’t really matter which tier we were at, by this point we were lost in the tranquility and beauty of each new scene.
Follow the path down and take your time to explore each of the magical rock shelves, smoothly carved out by the continuous flow of water.
On a weekday, you’ll likely only be disturbed by the sounds of chirping birds and buzzing insects. During the weekend, Huay Mae Khamin Waterfall is very popular with locals. However, it’s still not overrun and it’s entirely possible to find a heavenly little pool all to yourself.
Despite being only a short distance between tiers 4 and 1, there are so many unique vantage points to find that it’s worth giving yourself plenty of time for these levels.
At the end of the trail you’ll reach a small hydro-electric power station where electricity for the park’s buildings is generated from the power of the water. To get back to the car park you will need to return up the same path, which allows you the opportunity to view all the bottom tiers from a new angle.
Other things to do in Khuean Srinagarindra National Park
There are several cave systems within Khuean Sringarindra National Park. Some of these include:
- Tham Sawan – features pre-historic cave paintings
- Tham Neramit – features stalagmites and stalactites
- Tham Phra Prang – features stalagmites and stalactites, as well as a Buddha image inside
- Tham Nam Mut
- Tham Phra Kho
Pha Tat Waterfall is another waterfall that is popular with locals and can be busy during the weekend. It is comprised of three tiers and can be found on the west side of the park, 140km from Kanchanaburi. It is easily accessible and has a campsite.
Pha Sawan waterfall is one of the larger waterfalls, with its highest level at over 80m high. It is accessible by 4-wheel drive along a steep and difficult road, then a 40 minute walk through dense forest. However, for those adventurous enough to visit, it provides a spectacular reward.
Other things to do near Kanchanaburi Thailand
If you’re staying in Kanchanaburi then it’s well worth spending some time to explore around the area. There are several other national parks, including Erawan National Park and Sai Yok National Park.
These parks are home to the famous Erawan Waterfall and Sai Yok Noi Waterfall. This part of Thailand is a treasure trove of natural beauty and home to the best waterfalls in Thailand.
Looking for more inspiration for your South East Asia travels? Then check out some of our other posts:
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- The Ultimate Guide to Angkor Wat
- Kuang Si Falls Photography Guide
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