Chiang Dao, a hidden gem in Northern Thailand, offers visitors a unique experience away from the hustle and bustle of the more touristy areas. Nestled in the lush jungle at the base of Doi Chiang Dao, the village provides a cooler climate and a serene atmosphere. It is an ideal destination for nature lovers, bird watchers, and trekkers.
Chiang Dao is home to several attractions, including the Chiang Dao Cave, a sprawling network of limestone caverns, and Wat Tham Pha Plong, a temple perched on a cliff overlooking the valley. Visitors can also explore the Pha Daeng National Park, which boasts stunning waterfalls and hiking trails. For those seeking a more cultural experience, the village offers a chance to learn about the local hill tribe communities and their traditional way of life.
Foodies will also be pleased with the variety of dining options available in Chiang Dao. From local street food to Western cuisine, visitors can indulge in a range of delicious dishes. One must-visit spot is Chiang Dao Nest, which serves some of the best Western food in town. Whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Chiang Dao is a destination worth exploring in Northern Thailand.
Getting to Chiang Dao
Chiang Dao is a hidden gem in Northern Thailand that is worth the visit. Here is how you can get there.
Chiang Dao is located 72 km north of Chiang Mai. From Chiang Mai, Chiang Dao is very easy to get to by bus. You can take the fan-only orange bus from Chang Puak Station in Chiang Mai. The bus will terminate in Mae Ai. The fare should be around 50 baht. The journey takes around 1.5 to 2 hours.
If you are coming from Chiang Rai, you can take a bus from the bus station. The journey takes around 4 hours. If you are coming from Pai, you can take a bus to Chiang Mai and then take the orange bus to Chiang Dao.
If you can ride a motorbike (safely), this is the best way to do Chiang Dao. You’ll want one while you’re there anyway, and the drive up is easy and takes you through one of the greenest, lushest river canyons in Thailand. The road is in good condition, and the journey takes around 1.5 to 2 hours.
If you are coming from Fang, you can take a scooter to Chiang Dao. The journey takes around 1 hour.
Please note that if you are coming from the border, you will need to take a bus to Chiang Mai and then take the orange bus to Chiang Dao.
No matter how you choose to get to Chiang Dao, you will be treated to stunning views of Northern Thailand along the way.
Chiang Dao is a popular destination in Northern Thailand, offering a variety of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. From guesthouses to camping, there is something for everyone.
Guesthouses are a popular choice for travelers to Chiang Dao. They offer affordable accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. Some recommended guesthouses include:
- Chiang Dao Story Hostel: A cozy and comfortable hostel with a communal kitchen and garden.
- Chiang Dao Roundhouses: Unique roundhouses made of bamboo and thatch, offering a rustic experience.
- Chiang Dao Nest Mini Resort: A peaceful and relaxing resort surrounded by nature.
Chiang Dao Hut
For those looking for a more traditional experience, Chiang Dao Hut offers simple bamboo huts with shared bathrooms. The huts are set in a tranquil garden and offer a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Chiang Dao Nest
Chiang Dao Nest is a popular resort located in the heart of Chiang Dao. The resort offers a range of accommodation options, including bungalows and villas. The resort is known for its beautiful gardens and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
For the adventurous traveler, camping is a great option. There are several campsites in the area, offering a chance to sleep under the stars and enjoy the natural beauty of Chiang Dao. Some popular campsites include:
- Chiang Dao Camping: A peaceful campsite with stunning views of the mountains.
- Chiang Dao Nest 2: A beautiful campsite surrounded by rice fields and hot springs.
No matter what type of accommodation you choose, Chiang Dao has something to offer. Whether you prefer a traditional bamboo hut or a modern villa, you are sure to find the perfect place to stay.
Points of Interest
Chiang Dao is a hidden gem in Northern Thailand that boasts a plethora of attractions for tourists and locals alike. From majestic mountains to serene waterfalls, Chiang Dao is the perfect place for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Here are some of the top points of interest in Chiang Dao:
Wat Tham Pha Plong
One of the most popular attractions in Chiang Dao is the Wat Tham Pha Plong temple, which is located on top of a mountain. Visitors can climb up 500 steps to reach the temple and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The temple is known for its peaceful atmosphere, beautiful statues, and intricate architecture. It is a great place to meditate and connect with nature.
Chiang Dao Cave
Another must-visit attraction in Chiang Dao is the Chiang Dao Cave, which is one of the largest and most impressive caves in Thailand. The cave is home to stunning stalactites and stalagmites that have been formed over millions of years. Visitors can take a guided tour of the cave and explore its many chambers and passageways. It is a great place to learn about the history and geology of the region.
Doi Chiang Dao Mountain
Doi Chiang Dao Mountain is the third highest peak in Thailand and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can hike up the mountain and enjoy the cool, fresh air and stunning scenery. The mountain is also home to a variety of flora and fauna, including rare orchids and birds. It is a great place to experience the natural beauty of Chiang Dao.
Tham Chiang Dao
Tham Chiang Dao is another impressive cave in Chiang Dao that is worth visiting. The cave is known for its unique limestone formations and ancient rock paintings. Visitors can take a guided tour of the cave and learn about its history and significance. It is a great place to explore the natural wonders of Chiang Dao.
Chiang Dao is home to several beautiful waterfalls that are perfect for swimming and relaxing. Some of the most popular waterfalls include Mae Ya Waterfall, Huai Nam Dang National Park, and Mae Sa Waterfall. Visitors can enjoy the cool, refreshing water and stunning scenery. It is a great way to cool off after a day of hiking and exploring.
Chiang Dao has something for everyone, whether you are interested in history, culture, nature, or adventure. With its stunning scenery, friendly locals, and rich history, Chiang Dao is a must-visit destination in Northern Thailand.
Chiang Dao offers a variety of activities for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Here are some of the top activities to try in Chiang Dao:
Chiang Dao is surrounded by mountains, making it a great place for trekking. The Doi Luang Chiang Dao mountain is the third highest peak in Thailand and offers a challenging trekking experience. The trek to the summit takes around two days and is best done with a guide. The trek offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
For those who prefer a less strenuous activity, hiking is a great option. Pha Daeng National Park offers several hiking trails that lead to waterfalls, caves, and viewpoints. The park is home to a variety of wildlife and plant species, including the giant nuthatch bird.
Rock climbing is a popular activity in Chiang Dao, thanks to the limestone cliffs that surround the area. Climbing routes range from beginner to advanced, making it a great activity for climbers of all levels. There are several climbing schools in the area that offer equipment rental and guided climbs.
Exploring Chiang Dao by bicycle is a great way to see the countryside and get some exercise. There are several bike rental shops in town that offer mountain bikes and road bikes. The roads around Chiang Dao are quiet and offer stunning views of the mountains and rice paddies.
In conclusion, Chiang Dao offers a variety of activities for nature lovers and adventure seekers. From trekking to rock climbing to cycling, there is something for everyone. Whether you are an experienced adventurer or a beginner, Chiang Dao has something to offer. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Northern Thailand.
Food and Drink
Chiang Dao offers a diverse range of food and drink options that cater to different tastes and preferences. From local markets to Italian restaurants, there’s something for everyone. Below are some of the top places to check out:
One of the best ways to experience the local cuisine is by visiting the Chiang Dao Market. Here, you’ll find a variety of street food stalls that offer delicious and affordable eats. Some of the must-try dishes include khao soi, a coconut curry noodle soup, and sai ua, a spicy Northern Thai sausage. You can also find fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats to cook your own meals.
If you’re in the mood for Italian food, head to Jin’s Restaurant. This cozy spot serves up delicious pizzas, pastas, and salads. The ingredients are fresh and the portions are generous. The atmosphere is relaxed and the service is friendly.
For authentic Thai food, check out Chiang Dao Resto. This restaurant offers a variety of dishes that are packed with flavor. Some of the popular options include green curry, pad thai, and tom yum soup. The prices are reasonable and the portions are generous. The restaurant also has a lovely outdoor seating area that overlooks the mountains.
If you’re craving American-style food, JERNS is the place to go. This restaurant serves up burgers, pizzas, and sandwiches that are sure to satisfy your hunger. The portions are large and the prices are reasonable. The restaurant also has a bar where you can enjoy a cold beer or cocktail.
For a night out, head to The Cave Bar. This unique spot is located inside a cave and offers a one-of-a-kind experience. The bar serves up a variety of drinks, including beer, wine, and cocktails. The atmosphere is cozy and the staff is friendly. There’s also live music on certain nights.
Microkosmos Craft Beer
If you’re a beer lover, don’t miss Microkosmos Craft Beer. This bar offers a wide selection of local and international beers, including IPAs, stouts, and lagers. The staff is knowledgeable and can help you choose the perfect brew. The atmosphere is relaxed and the prices are reasonable.
Whether you’re in the mood for street food or fine dining, Chiang Dao has something for everyone. Be sure to explore the local markets and try some of the unique dishes that the region has to offer.
Chiang Dao is a hidden gem in Northern Thailand that offers a unique experience for travelers looking to explore the natural beauty and cultural richness of the region. With its stunning mountain landscapes, vibrant local market, and diverse range of activities, Chiang Dao is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Northern Thailand.
One thing to keep in mind when planning your trip to Chiang Dao is the rainy season, which typically runs from May to October. While this season can bring heavy rainfall and cooler temperatures, it also offers a lush and vibrant landscape that is perfect for exploring.
Located at coordinates 19.3695° N, 98.9641° E, Chiang Dao is situated in the Daen Lao Range and is home to the Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary, which offers visitors the opportunity to see a variety of rare and endangered species in their natural habitat.
The town of Chiang Dao is made up of several tambons, or sub-districts, each with its own unique charm and character. From the bustling market of Tambon Chiang Dao to the tranquil beauty of Tambon Tha Ton, there is something for everyone in Chiang Dao.
For more information on planning your trip to Chiang Dao, be sure to check out the external links provided in this guide. With its natural beauty, rich culture, and diverse range of activities, Chiang Dao is a destination that should not be missed.