Doi Inthanon National Park
When you visit Chiang Mai, the doi inthanon national park should be on the top of your list of things to see and do
It is proudly nicknamed “the roof of Thailand” and is home to Thailand’s highest mountain, measuring an impressive 2565 metres (8415 feet) and is part of the Himalayan mountain range.
It’s a great place to escape the midday sun as temperatures are around 10 to 12° during the day.
The Doi Inthanon national Park spans a wide area of 482.4 square kilometres and covers three districts in the Chiang Mai province. It is also the source of the Mae Klang, Mae Pakong, Mae Pon, Mae Hoi, Mae Ya, Mae Chaem and Mae Khan rivers.
The park also provides limestone formations and a number of caves.
Flora and fauna
The surprising attributes of the forest include moist and evergreen trees and plants, pine trees, teak and many beautiful and colourful flowers, including orchids and fern. In recent years, various royal projects have been setup to assist the hill tribe people in growing strawberries, grapes, apples, as well as various types of flowers which thrive in these ideal cooler climates.
Things to see and do
Because of the forest environment the national Park is an ideal haven for many different species of birds.
This makes for some spectacular bird watching with some 400 bird species, notable species being the chestnut tailed Minla, the green tailed sunbird and the chestnut ground lightning rush to name but a few as well as various species of monkeys.
Other attractions at the national Park include
A visitor centre which provides excellent information about walking trails a slide show of the park, maps, as well as other impressive displays.
The Mae Klang waterfall – With very easy access to the waterfall it is a popular spot for picnickers and those who wish to relax or swim in the water among beautiful scenery, people are able to get very close to the Rapids and waterfall. There is also a well maintained path that leads up to the visitor centre.
Vachariratharn waterfall – This waterfall is accessed by a short easy trail from the car park where you will see a beautiful and mystic misty veil created by the waters that tumble down a rocky escarpment. This enables some great photo opportunities.
Napamaytanidol Chedi – This impressive structure was completed in 1989, to commemorate the 60th birthday of King Bhumipol (the current king of Thailand), it is also known as the king and queen pagoda
The summit of Doi Inthanon – On the way up to the summit you will see some breathtaking views of the surrounding area where you will see many wonderful photo opportunities.
For the best views the best time to visit is between November and December. At the summit you will find a stupa containing the remains of King inthawidhayanon (one of the last Lanna Kings) this area is a good place for birdwatching, views and cool climate.
The Mae Chaem Road – On this road, you will travel through some of the most picturesque and lush forest to be found anywhere in the park the road opens to a descending reach with spectacular scenery.
Facilities – Toward the bottom of the mountain there are various restaurants, toilets and a market drinks are easily available throughout the park.
It is advised that you bring a jumper or jacket with you as temperatures at the top of the mountain can be quite cold.
Admission fee 100 Baht for Westerners – 20 Baht for Thai
With additional 30 Baht charge for vehicles
Opening times between 06:00 – 18:00