The Chiang Mai Grand Canyon is an abandoned limestone quarry where you can go swimming, relax by the water, or wear yourself out in the water park. It’s a great day trip from Chiang Mai, and becoming more and more popular lately.
Originally this spot was known as Hang Dong Quarry.
We’ve visited the Grand Canyon in Chiang Mai twice already, and you can see the evolution in facilities in the photos below. In 2015, it wasn’t that organised or supervised yet, and there was no sign of a water park. It was considered a hidden gem.
By 2017 though, there were lifeguards on duty and safety barriers installed, and the Grand Canyon Water Park was opened. Since then, they haven’t stopped expanding and adding activities. Not much of an off-the-beaten-track activity anymore, but still fun!
So now, the Chiang Mai Grand Canyon actually has 2 parts: the original part, for a relaxed experience, and the water park part, for a more adventurous experience. We’ll dive in both of them here. Pun intended.
|Grand Canyon||Grand Canyon Water Park|
|What?||Swimming, cliff jumping,|
|Floating Wipeout-style obstacle|
course, giant waterslides,
wakeboarding area, …
|How much?||100 baht per person|
(~ $3.30 ~ €3)
|550 baht per person|
(~ $18 ~ €16)
Grand Canyon Chiang Mai
The original part of the Grand Canyon in Chiang Mai is a great place for a relaxed swim. The water has a nice temperature. You can lounge on the shore, challenge your friends for some cliff jumping, or go on a zipline ride over the canyon.
We only spent about 2 hours here on our last visit, because we also wanted to check out the Grand Canyon Water Park next door. However, you can easily stay and relax the entire day.
You aren’t allowed to bring food or drinks (water is fine though) into the park, but there’s a restaurant looking out over the water. They serve both Thai and Western food, and I must say their spaghetti carbonara is pretty good.
You might have heard of reports of people dying from cliff jumping at Grand Canyon Chiang Mai, but that was before they took safety measures.
The highest cliff, off of which we saw many people jump in 2015, is now closed. The other cliffs now have jumping platforms, with life guards on top and down in the water.
It is also obligated to wear life jackets while in the water.
Both times we visited, the admission fee for the Grand Canyon was only 50 baht (~ $1.65 ~ €1.50), to be paid upon entering. Now, it appears to be 100 baht (~ $3.30 ~ €3) per person.
In our opinion still a small price to pay for a day of relaxed swimming under the watchful eye of a bunch of life guards.
This entrance fee includes all activities inside this part of the park, except for the zipline. One ride will cost you 300 baht (~ $10 ~ €9). Oh, and you’ll get a free drink at the restaurant as well.
Have you visited the Grand Canyon recently and did the entrance fee or facilities change? Let us know in the comments and help us keep this information up-to-date!
We can’t seem to find reliable information on the Grand Canyon Chiang Mai opening hours, but we suspect them to be the same as the water park next door: open daily between 9:00 and 19:00.
Grand Canyon Water Park
If you’re up for a little more action, go straight to the Grand Canyon Water Park. With a floating Wipeout-style obstacle course, giant waterslides, a floating trampoline, a cliff jumping platform, a zipline, kayaks, and a wakeboarding area, you’ll likely be exhausted before you’ve had a chance to try everything. Oh, and there’s a children’s water park as well.
No worries though, you can catch your breath on the lounge chairs, and gain your strength in the restaurant. They serve both Thai and Western dishes. When leaving the park, we even got driven back up to the exit in a golf cart!
For your own safety, you’re required to wear a life jacket while in the water. And plenty of life guards are on duty to keep an eye out and give a helping hand when necessary.
There are lockers for rent for 50 baht (~ $1.65 ~ €1.50), as well as waterproof cameras. After your exhausting swim, you can rinse off in either the indoor or outdoor showers. Note that you aren’t allowed to bring food or drinks into the park, not even water.
We spent about 3.5 hours in the Grand Canyon Water Park, but back then they only had the floating Wipeout-style obstacle course and a waterslide. So you might want to allow for some more time to be able to fully enjoy the park!
Tip: The less people in the water park, the more fun, so go early or check if it’s not too busy before entering.
The price for a day of fun at the Grand Canyon Water Park in Chiang Mai is 550 baht (~ $18 ~ €16) per person. This includes your entrance fee (duh), the floating Wipeout-style obstacle course, canoeing and kayaking, cliff jumping, the waterslides, 1 zipline ride, a life jacket, and accident insurance.
Tip: We’ve read the zipline ride isn’t that impressive as the paid one in the other part of the Grand Canyon.
Children under 90 cm (~ 3 ft) can enter for free, and children between 90 and 120 cm (~ 3 to 4 ft) pay an entrance fee of 400 baht (~ $13 ~ €12) per person.
If you want to try wakeboarding, you’ll have to pay extra. 10 minutes of fun will set you back 200 baht (~ $6.50 ~ €6). If you want training and coaching as well, it’s 400 baht (~ $13 ~ €12) for 1 hour, or 750 baht (~ $25 ~ €22) for an entire day.
You can pay at the entrance of the water park, or buy your tickets in advance through the GetYourGuide website.
Back in 2017, we only paid an entrance fee of 350 baht (~ $18 ~ €16) per person. But, as mentioned before, there was only the floating Wipeout-style obstacle course and a waterslide at time.
According to the Grand Canyon Water Park Facebook page, the park is opened daily from 9:00 until 19:00.
How to get to the Grand Canyon in Chiang Mai
There are several options to get from Chiang Mai old town to the Chiang Mai Grand Canyon. The first time we took a songthaew, the second time we rented a motorbike, but you can take a Grab taxi as well, or book a tour.
You can also ask your accommodation for advice or help with booking transport to the Grand Canyon.
It’s about an 18 km (~ 11 miles) or 35 minute drive from Chiang Mai old town to the Grand Canyon. When you’re getting close, you’ll first pass a part of the Grand Canyon no one seems to go, then the original part, and next the water park. All of them on your right, and within walking distance of each other.
A red songthaew is a popular mode of transport in Chiang Mai, so a common sight in the city. You can share a ride to the Grand Canyon with other people to reduce costs, or negotiate a private return trip with the driver.
Keep in mind that the driver would want to make about 1000 baht (~ $33 ~ €30) per ride, no matter the amount of passengers. So the more passengers, the cheaper the price per person.
To get to the Grand Canyon, you can for example head to the East Gate (Tha Phae Gate). Some tuktuks and songthaews are always waiting for a job there. Back in 2015, we paid 500 baht (~ $16.50 ~ €15) for a private return trip to the Grand Canyon starting at the East Gate.
On the outside of the entrance gate to the water park, there’s a phone number to contact a “red car taxi”, a songthaew, to take you back to Chiang Mai.
If you want to have more control about the trip, you can opt to rent a motorbike to get to the Grand Canyon. For our second visit, we rented one from the lady down the street of our guesthouse for 200 baht (~ $6.50 ~ €6) a day.
We shared a motorbike with the 2 of us, and drove about 35 minutes to the Grand Canyon with Google Maps as our guide. Good to know: you can park for free across the street from the canyon.
Grab is a transport service similar to Uber, operating in Southeast Asia. We don’t have any experience with taking a Grab, but apparently it’s easy and cheap. Download the Grab app, and get a car to pick you up in just a few clicks.
Have you taken a Grab in Chiang Mai? We’d love to read about your experience in the comments!
On a bicycle tour
If you love cycling, join Darla on a private bicycle tour to the Chiang Mai Grand Canyon via a peaceful shortcut. She’ll take you through a village and forest instead of over the main road.
You’ll have lunch together and take a refreshing dip in the water of the Grand Canyon (not the water park!) before heading back the way you came.
Although the Grand Canyon in Chiang Mai isn’t the hidden gem it used to be, it’s still worth a day trip from Chiang Mai old town. It’s safer now, with life guards on duty, a decent restaurant and even a Wipeout-style water park. You don’t want to miss this!
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