THAILAND | Cliff Jumping at the Chiang Mai Grand Canyon | Lakad Pilipinas

Chiang Mai Grand Canyon Hang Dong Cliff Jumping

Don’t worry, that goes down very very deep, my friend nonchalantly told me as we saw some guy jump from a cliff at Chiang Mai’s so called Grand Canyon. He made a big splash at the emerald waters below and we all went, awwww! The dude landed badly on his side, making his buddies all laugh. Not the best cliff dive of the day, but that guy definitely has guts.

Chiang Mai Grand Canyon Hang Dong
THE MAN-MADE CANYON IN HANG DONG DISTRICT

This was my second time in Chiang Mai, and I thought it was all about temples and Lanna culture before our friends, who were semi-permanently staying in the city, told us of a canyon where we can jump and swim.

And of course, we cannot but go.

After almost an hour of driving and getting lost, we finally arrived at our destination. It wasn’t quite the grand canyon that we pictured it to be, but more of an old quarry resembling a canyon of sorts at Chiang Mai’s Hang Dong District.

Chiang Mai Grand Canyon Hang Dong
BOATING ON THE LAKE

But indeed, the place was quite picturesque. Looming tangerine vertical cliffs, remnants of soil quarrying to provide land fill for the booming developments in Chiang Mai, stood like canyon walls topped with lush trees overlooking an emerald lake. 

That lake, which some estimate to go to a depth of 40 meters, is mostly made up of rainwater that got stuck in the pit after a few years of being derelict. And how deep is 40 meters? You can actually almost submerge the whole Statue of Liberty on it.

Chiang Mai Grand Canyon Hang Dong Restaurant
NO TIME FOR FOOD AT TUANG TONG CANYON VIEW RESTAURANT

At the entrance, an open-aired cozy diner, the Tuang Thong Canyon View Restaurant, provides a cool respite for the summer heat. There is an entrance fee to the Chiang Mai Grand Canyon, but it does comes with a complimentary refreshment from the restaurant.

Chiang Mai Grand Canyon Hang Dong
THE SAFEST PLACE TO TAKE A DIP ON THE CANYON

Well, what are we waiting for? I guzzled down my drink in one go and hurried to the far end of the canyon where some semblance of a bank was located. It’s more like a ramp really, probably used by trucks that hauled clay from the area before it was abandoned.

Chiang Mai Grand Canyon Hang Dong
SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK

Cliff jumping is the main draw of the Hang Dong Grand Canyon, and most tourists that were there were doing just that. It is immediately apparent that the place is more popular with the backpacker crowd than with locals. I didn’t see a single Thai visitor that time. It might be that it was a weekday, but it’s probably more to the fact that locals aren’t particularly endeared with the place.

Chiang Mai Grand Canyon Hang Dong
VERY PICTURESQUE, BUT CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS IF YOU’RE NOT CAREFUL

There have been documented cases of drowning in the canyon, both for tourists (a Korean national) and locals. And apparently, Thai people believe that the place is haunted by ghosts.

Chiang Mai Grand Canyon Hang Dong
A BOAT FULL OF BACKPACKERS CROSSING ONE OF THE RIDGES

A word of caution for those who’re really not good swimmers; remember, this is rainwater we’re talking about, it’s not as buoyant as seawater. So take heed, the water is very deep and clarity is not that great. If you get in trouble and sink down, knock on wood, finding you would be a very tough job. Swim at your own risk, there’s no lifeguard on duty. Or better yet, take a few of the available life-vest from the restaurant.

Chiang Mai Grand Canyon Hang Dong Cliff Jumping
CLIFF JUMPING AT CHIANG MAI’S GRAND CANYON

It is a sobering thought, but still, that didn’t stop the visitors who drove all the way from the city center to Hang Dong for a daredevil of a good time; cliff jumpers crash into the waters one right after another. And who could blame them, that deep emerald water was just so enticing!

So, did we dare jump? Indeed, we dared jump!


Chiang Mai Grand Canyon Location Map

Chiang Mai Grand Canyon /
Tuang Thong Canyon View Restaurant

Address: Canal Rd., Hang Dong, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Contact Number: (081) 960-4087 | (081) 0202-167
Email: tuangthongcanyonview@gmail.com
Open Hours: 8:30 AM to 10:00 PM Daily
Entrance Fee: 50.00 Baht

GPS Coordinates Map: 18.697129, 98.893064


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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Saturday, August 8, 2015

10 comments:

  1. wwoooww...ganda ng view at ng kuha mo tian.. Nakaka inggit naman.. :-(

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  2. hey... nice post. are you sure that it opens at 11 a.m.? i would really like to visit it early in the morning to beat the crowds.

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    1. Hi Bastian, 11am as indicated on the restaurant's page :)

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  3. There have been three drowning deaths so far, and it took almost one week to find the body of the young Korean man who died. This quarry used to be almost pristine, even though it is man made. Today this so-called Grand Canyon is overcrowded with trash everywhere, and the tiny road in front is a noisy, smog-congested hell.

    http://www.livingthai.org/3-people-now-dead-at-chiang-mais-grand-canyon.html

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    1. People die from cars, trains and planes. It is often in a much worse way as well and at least I would rather die doing something that I find fun and exciting. Don't get me wrong I am sympathetic to the poor unfortunate people who unfortunately lost their lives. But they did do so at their own risk. I don't see why you need to put this kind of comment up just to stop people going, the people who will do this sort of thing normally don't care!!!!!!

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  4. I've recently visited the grand canyon as well (March 2016) and it was great! They still ask for a 50 baht entrance fee but they actually close at 6pm. I loved it there, you can check out my personal experience on my blog if you're interested. (VIDEO included!)

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    1. Good to hear, Elizabeth! Do they still open at 11am?

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  5. They open at 830 am as I went this morning, but it is very quiet and people don't tend to get there until 11-12. It is nice to have it to yourself though :)

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    1. Thank you Janna! Will update their business hours :)

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