Nam Tok Mae Surin National Park

1043 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

January, 2019

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with


Reasons for trip

During our stay in Mae Hong Son, northern Thailand, we’d spent mornings pootling around wats and afternoons, lazing by a pool. A day of leisure was included in our itinerary, but we wanted some exercise and thought the 4 hour, 7km nature trail around Nam Tok Mae Surin National Park would amuse us for half a day.

As advised, we notified the “hotel”: reception we were setting off and they provided us with a map, ensured we had plenty of water, walking poles (if needed, bamboo versions were provided by the hotel), sunscreen and sturdy boots.

An uphill path from the back of the hotel led us past animal barns. It was then a short distance by road to the park entrance where we paid 200 baht each/£5. A uniformed man took a photo of us with his lady colleague which we thought was because she didn’t see many farang (foreigner) – we later wondered whether it was so that if anything happened to us, they had identification!

The map showed two options: (1) to the first waterfall, returning the same way (2) a 7km circular walk covering the entire trail. There was no indication of difficulty, but as we were in Chiang Mai province, where 90% of the land is over 45 degrees, we expected a climb or two.

We set off following the river, looking out and photographing each of the 16 stations which were clearly marked with laminated cards bearing interesting facts in English and Thai e.g. the purpose of the San Chong Tree or the surrounding epiphytic environment.
The walk was more arduous than anticipated. An uphill climb was the least of our problems, when we had to negotiate crossing the river several times on stepping stones or rickety bridges and stretch our legs and bodies over wide fallen tree trunks which blocked the path.

As we started climbing, the path became narrower with a significant drop on one side and in the steeper places, ‘steps’ had been cut into the mud whilst bamboo ladders helped us over difficult sections. Eventually having passed two waterfalls, we hit the peak and viewing point where in the distance, we could see the white Buddha we’d already visited. A bench allowed us to rest and take on water and although the trees provided shade, it was sweaty and humid.

If we thought the uphill sections were bad, coming down put pressure on knees and toes and our trusty walking poles turned out to be essential. We passed sheets of rock, and loose stones made walking more difficult with the fear of putting our foot on a moving stone and flying downhill faster than we wanted.

We’d hit station 15 and began hearing water from our third waterfall, when we met a couple who were obviously fitter than us as they’d overtaken us earlier. They were returning as they couldn’t see the path: the only way to continue appeared to be down a river bed, which they thought was deep but wadable or to scale a 200-foot drop.
At this stage, I’d walked for three hours and there was no way I was retracing my steps, so it was agreed we’d try to find the route together which we did and so once again, they set off in front. However, there were steep rocks to scramble down and the river had to be crossed a few more times.

We eventually exited the park and hit the road and although it was downhill, it was a longer stretch than we’d anticipated.

Back at the hotel, nearly 6 hours later, we headed directly to the bar, for two large rehydrating sodas swiftly followed by two large reviving beers, which was even more swiftly followed by an hour’s snooze.

Helen Jackson

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.