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Timings : 5:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Time Required : 4-5 hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Doi Inthanon National Park, Chiang Mai Overview

Located in the Chiang Mai province of Northern Thailand, the Doi Inthanon National Park is situated at the top of Doi Inthanon, the tallest mountain of the country. The spectacular views of the surroundings, as well as the interesting hiking trails and the beautiful waterfalls found at frequent intervals, is definitely worth a visit. Called imaginatively as the “Roof of Thailand,” this park enjoys a huge number of visitors who are amazed to find the montane farms and quaint villages inside the rain forest. The cool climate of Doi Inthanon National Park is yet another factor that finds a lot of takers.

Named for the erstwhile Lanna King, Inthawichayanon, the ruler who was concerned about preserving the environment and natural resources of the forest, Doi Inthanon National Park is also famous for its unique flora of 1274 different species and a plethora of exciting wildlife including deers, boars and many beautiful birds such as the winged buzzard.

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Attractions at Doi Inthanon National Park

1. Doi Inthanon Summit- Going up to the peak of the mountain is not too difficult as it is accessibly by car. One can get a spectacular view of the surroundings from the summit with the crowds heading up to watch the colorful sunrise from the mountain top.

2. Borichinda (Brichinda) Cave- This is an amazing limestone cave sporting magnificent growths of salagtites and stalagmites within a huge cave. A small stream is also present in the caves with the spectacular play of lights inside attracting the tourists.

3. Waterfalls- There is no dearth of waterfalls within Doi Inthanon National Park though with the 100 meters high Mae Klang Waterfall being one of the most popular ones. The Sirithan & Siriphum Waterfalls are popular falls that can be accessed via different nature trails. The Pha Khun Na, Wang Khwai, and Wachirathan Waterfalls are small falls that can be found while driving through the park. Mae Pan is yet another waterfall that is not visited too often as it needs to be accessed from a different side. Its remote location makes it more interesting for tourists hoping to find a less crowded spot for photography and other activities.

Twin Chedis- Phra Mahathat Naphamethanidon & Nophamethanidon happen to be two distinct chedis located 5 kilometer to the south of the mountain peak. They were constructed in 1987 and 1992 respectively to honor the King and Queen on attaining their 60th birthdays. It provides a vantage point for watching the spectacular sunset.

4. Nature Trails- Most of the tourists favor taking the Ang Ka Nature Trail that is short but rich in variety with the visitors required to walk through the mossy, forest tracks that also contains a wooden bridge. The 2.5 kilometers long Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail takes one through a clear path along the side of the mountain ridge. It is essential to hire a guide for hiking through this trail though. The path remains closed from June to October, however.

Wildlife At the Park

Big sized mammals such as elephants, gaurs and tigers are not found in this area anymore but a wild life enthusiast would be overjoyed to spot a clouded leopard or two along with a number of primates including gibbons. The park is also home to the Hog Badger and Civet cats. The Chinese Gorals and yellow-bellied weasels are found inside the forest as well while Northern treeshrew evokes much interest among the visitors. There are squirrels, bats and lizards galore with a number of highly poisonous snakes such as the King cobra, Mountain vipers and a host of

venomous keelbacks inhabiting the thick rain forest too. It is a dream destination for avid bird watchers though. The ‘Center for Wildlife Research at Mahidol University’ has reported the presence of 362 different species of birds within the park making it the second National Park in Thailand with such an abundance of birds. The green-tailed sunbird, Sikkim treecreeper, maroon oriole, bar-throated minla, and rufous-winged fulvetta are some of the varieties that are spotted frequently inside the park with the bird migration period of Thailand attracting hordes of people to this unique locale every year.

Camping at Doi Inthanon National Park

Chiang Mai is the centrally located place, apt for visiting a number of wildlife sanctuaries and National Parks in and around the region. Most of the visitors chose to take a day trip to the Doi Inthanon National Park while staying at Chiang Mai. However, many tourists also consider an overnight stay at Little Home Inthanon Resort or Doiintanon View Resort just outside the entry point of the Park.

However, tourists keen to observe wildlife and nature from close quarters visit the headquarters of Doi Inthanon National Park located near the Ban Khun Klang village, home of the Hmong/Meo tribe for renting camping gear or booking bungalows within 500 kilometer area of the headquarters. There is also a campsite near the Mae Pan Waterfall. However, people hoping to camp there would have to bring their own camping gear as well as provisions as there is no gear available on rent within the premises and no eatery near the location either.

Best Time to Visit

November to February is the ideal time for visiting the park when the weather is cool and dry.

Tips

  • It is advisable to carry a change of clothing
  • Sunscreen and headgear is a must for visitors intent on exploring the park on foot
  • The climate can get quite chilly on the mountain top making is essential to carry a sweater or jacket
  • Group tours or a day trip to the park are considered to be most advantageous for tourists not acquainted with the way or local culture.

How To Reach Doi Inthanon National Park

The Park is about 90 kilometers away from Chiang Mai city and one can drive down within 1.5 to 2 hours. International tourists prefer to hire a sedan taxi for THB 3000 with Doi Inthanon National Park in exchange for THB 1400. Public transport is not available for the entire distance though and visitors have to hire multiple songthaews for exploring the total area of the Park.

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