Mae Ngat Dam: TrooperMoo’s Review
The Mae Ngat Dam, located about 1 hour north of Chiang Mai city, is a multi-purpose dam built mainly for hydropower and irrigation, but also fish farming and recreational houseboats. It’s a serene and idyllic place that’s great for hanging out with nature.
5KM Kayaking Expedition
We have been to Mae Ngat Dam a couple of times to have lunch at the restaurant but kayaking through the dam is just another experience altogether. It was a rainy morning, so we were in for a treat of misty mountain views. Today’s goal was to kayak to our lunch destination, 5km deep into the dam.
As we started our kayaking, P’Three (our guide from Le Cocotier Resort) shared with us snippets of his life as an adventure guide. “People are always so excited when they are at the shore, getting ready to kayak off. But 5 minutes later they’ll be asking, ARE WE THERE YET???”
Oh crap, he just described us. But we (or more accurately, Jason) just kept paddling… The promise of a yummy lunch was a great motivator. By the way, I (Sheryl) love freshwater activities because they don’t leave you feeling sticky as compared to saltwater. It was really refreshing to kayak on the clean water in the cool weather.
After kayaking for about 1.5 hours, we finally reached our destination – one of the houseboats named Mountain Float.
- Kayak rental fee: 600 baht per person (includes kayak, guide, snacks and drinking water)
- The fee to rent the kayaks excludes the entrance fee to Sri Lanna National Park, where the dam is located.
- Foreigner: Adult 100B | Child 50B
- Thai: Adult 20B | Child 10B
P’Three had been telling us that while there are many houseboat restaurants throughout the whole dam, the one that we were heading to is the most luxurious of all. Once the restaurant was in sight, we could see why. It’s open air but beautifully furnished in country-style. Once we got off the kayak, we felt like we were invited into someone’s cosy home! What a great place to rest and recharge after our 5km kayak.
Being surrounded by water made Sheryl crave for Fish Fried with Thai Herbs and papaya salad, so that’s what we went for. Jason had some stir-fried basil pork on rice too. The highlight was the fish with its meat so tender and fresh. It pairs wonderfully with the fried herbs, sauce, and papaya salad. Our lunch cost about 650 baht, inclusive of water.
- Unless you are really fit, we suspect that you will end up like us and wish that you will not have to kayak all the way back to shore. We wondered if we should grit our teeth and save 600 baht… But we succumbed to an easy ride back. 600 baht will get you a speedboat that can transport you, the guide and kayaks back to shore. The rate is for 1 boat, so if you have a larger group, it’ll be more worth it. Just don’t get caught off-guard like us.
- If you want to dine at the Dam without travelling out to the houseboats, there is a restaurant right at the shore. Food is good and reasonably priced with a great view.
- Opening hours: 1000 – 1800 hrs
- Telephone number: +66 93 615 6365
- Facebook page
- Address: A. Mae Taeng Chiang Mai
- Location/Map (It’s actually floating on the water in the dam, though)
Mae Ngat Dam Viewpoint
For another pretty view of the mountains, head to the Mae Ngat Dam Viewpoint where you can take a leisurely stroll. It’s a great place for scenic photos as the viewpoint overlooks the vast expense of Mae Taeng.
- On the way to the viewpoint, you will need to drive past a small security post.
- Easy parking available at the viewpoint
- Entrance fee: FREE!
- Address: A. Mae Taeng Chiang Mai
If you would like to read up more about our 3-day itinerary in Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai, which includes the Mae Ngat Dam as one of it’s locations, visit our itinerary here.
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