Doi Inthanon is a must-visit destination in Northern Thailand. Located about 70 km southwest of Chiang Mai, this national park is home to the highest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon, which stands at 2,565 meters above sea level. The park is famous for its stunning waterfalls, remote villages, birdwatching opportunities, and breathtaking views of the sunrise and sunset.
Visitors to Doi Inthanon can explore the park’s various trails, which offer different levels of difficulty and lead to different parts of the park. One of the most popular trails is the Ang Ka Nature Trail, which takes visitors through a beautiful mossy forest and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Another popular trail is the Kew Mae Pan Trail, which takes visitors to a scenic viewpoint overlooking the park and its surrounding areas.
In addition to hiking, visitors can also visit the park’s many waterfalls, including Mae Ya Waterfall, Wachirathan Waterfall, and Sirithan Waterfall. These waterfalls are not only beautiful but also offer a refreshing break from the heat of the day. For those interested in culture, the park is also home to several remote villages where visitors can learn about the traditional way of life of the local hill tribes.
Getting to Doi Inthanon
Doi Inthanon is a popular destination for visitors to Northern Thailand, and it’s easy to see why. The stunning natural beauty of the area, combined with the cultural significance of the mountain, makes it an unmissable experience. Here are the best ways to get to Doi Inthanon:
If you’re comfortable driving in Thailand, renting a car can be a great option. The drive from Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon takes about 1.5 hours, and the roads are generally in good condition. Google Maps is a reliable tool for navigating the route. Once you arrive at the park, there is a parking lot available. However, be aware that the roads can be steep and winding, so it’s important to drive carefully.
By Public Transport
If you’re not comfortable driving in Thailand, public transport is a good option. You can take a red truck taxi from Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon National Park. These are shared taxis that operate on a fixed route, and they’re a popular choice for both locals and tourists. The journey takes about 2.5 hours, and the cost is around ฿150-200 per person. Alternatively, you can take a minivan from Talat Warorot to Doi Inthanon National Park. The journey takes about 2.5 hours, and the cost is around ฿490-550 per person.
By Private Tour
If you want a more personalized experience, a private tour is a great option. Many tour operators in Chiang Mai offer day trips to Doi Inthanon, and they can arrange for a driver to pick you up from your hotel. This option is more expensive than public transport, but it allows you to customize your itinerary and travel in comfort.
No matter which option you choose, it’s important to plan ahead and allow enough time to fully explore the park. And don’t forget to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and insect repellent!
Doi Inthanon National Park
Doi Inthanon National Park, nicknamed “the roof of Thailand,” is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. The park is located in the Thanon Thong Chai Range, Chom Thong District, Chiang Mai Province, northern Thailand. It covers an area of 301,184 rai ~ 482 square kilometres (186 sq mi) in size and includes Doi Inthanon, the country’s highest mountain.
National Park Headquarters
The National Park Headquarters is the starting point for all visitors to Doi Inthanon National Park. Here, you can find maps, information about the park’s attractions, and purchase entrance tickets. The headquarters also has a small restaurant and souvenir shop.
The entrance fee for Doi Inthanon National Park is 300 THB per person for foreigners and 50 THB per person for Thai nationals.
Doi Inthanon National Park is known for its waterfalls, nature, mountain peaks, forests, and bird species. Some of the park’s most popular attractions include:
- Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail
- Mae Klang Waterfall
- Thai National Observatory
- Ang Ka Luang Nature Trail
- Twin Pagodas
Doi Inthanon National Park has several hiking trails that range from easy to challenging. The Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail is a popular trail that takes you through a beautiful forest and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The Ang Ka Luang Nature Trail is another popular trail that takes you to a beautiful viewpoint.
Camping and Accommodation
Camping is allowed in designated areas in Doi Inthanon National Park. Visitors can bring their own tents or rent them from the park. There are also bungalows available for rent. If camping is not your thing, there are several hotels and guesthouses in the nearby town of Chom Thong.
Doi Inthanon National Park is about 70 km southwest of Chiang Mai city center. The easiest way to get there is by hiring a driver or renting a motorbike. Alternatively, you can take a songthaew or public transport.
Climate and Vegetation
Doi Inthanon National Park has a cool climate all year round due to its high elevation. The rainy season is from May to October, and the dry season is from November to April. The park is home to a variety of vegetation, including evergreen forests, mixed deciduous forests, and pine forests.
Doi Inthanon National Park is home to a variety of animal species, including gibbons, birds, and mammals. The park is known for its bird species, and birdwatching is a popular activity among visitors.
Entrance Fees and Maps
Entrance fees for Doi Inthanon National Park can be purchased at the National Park Headquarters. Maps of the park are also available at the headquarters and are essential for planning your visit.
Doi Inthanon National Park is a beautiful and unique destination that should not be missed on your trip to Northern Thailand. With its stunning natural beauty, hiking trails, and diverse flora and fauna, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
The Summit of Doi Inthanon
At an altitude of 2,565 meters, the summit of Doi Inthanon is the highest peak in Thailand. The summit offers breathtaking views of the surrounding forests and mountains, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and hikers.
The Two Chedis
Located near the summit, the Two Chedis are a must-see attraction for visitors to Doi Inthanon. The chedis were built to honor King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit, and offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can climb to the top of the chedis for an even better view.
The Royal Thai Air Force Weather Radar Station
Another interesting attraction near the summit is the Royal Thai Air Force Weather Radar Station. The station is used to monitor weather conditions in the region and provides valuable information to hikers and other visitors to Doi Inthanon.
Visitors to the summit should be aware that the weather can be unpredictable, especially during the rainy season. It is important to dress appropriately and bring plenty of water and snacks. The entrance fee to Doi Inthanon National Park includes access to the summit and other attractions in the park.
Hiking trails are available for visitors who want to explore the forests and mountains around the summit. Bikes are also available for rent at the park headquarters for those who prefer to explore on two wheels.
Overall, the summit of Doi Inthanon is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Northern Thailand. The stunning views and natural beauty of the area make it a truly unforgettable experience.
Exploring Doi Inthanon
Doi Inthanon is a paradise for nature lovers, offering a range of outdoor activities and stunning scenery. Here are some of the top things to do when exploring Doi Inthanon National Park.
Doi Inthanon is a birdwatcher’s dream, with over 360 bird species found in the park. The best time for birdwatching is during the dry season from November to February, when many migratory birds visit the park. Some of the bird species you might spot include the Green-tailed Sunbird, Chestnut-tailed Minla, and the Scarlet-faced Liocichla.
Visiting Karen Village
The Karen Village is a must-visit destination when exploring Doi Inthanon. The village is located in the park and offers visitors a glimpse into the traditional way of life of the Karen people. Visitors can learn about the Karen’s rich culture and history, as well as their unique weaving techniques. The village is also home to a coffee plantation, where visitors can sample some of the best coffee in the region.
Doi Inthanon is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including several rare and endangered species. Visitors might be lucky enough to spot some of the park’s resident gibbons, as well as Chinese Goral and King Inthawichayanon, the former king of Thailand after whom the park is named. The park is also home to several animal species such as elephants, bears, and deer.
With its stunning mountain views, dense forests, and scenic trails, Doi Inthanon National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. Whether you’re birdwatching, visiting the Karen Village, or spotting wildlife, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful park.
Tips for Visiting Doi Inthanon
Doi Inthanon is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Northern Thailand. Here are some tips to help you plan your visit.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Doi Inthanon is from November to February when the weather is cool and dry. During this time, you can enjoy clear skies, beautiful views, and comfortable temperatures. However, this is also the peak season, so expect crowds and higher prices.
If you prefer to avoid the crowds, consider visiting during the rainy season from June to October. The park is less crowded, and the waterfalls are at their most impressive. Just be prepared for wet and muddy conditions.
Guides and Tour Operators
If you’re not comfortable exploring the park on your own, consider hiring a guide or joining a tour. Guides and tour operators can provide valuable information about the park’s history, flora, and fauna. They can also help you navigate the park’s trails and attractions.
There are many private tour operators and taxi services that offer day tours to Doi Inthanon. You can also hire a local driver or guide at the visitor center.
Entrance Fees and Permits
There is an entrance fee to enter Doi Inthanon National Park. As of 2023, the fee is 300 baht per person for foreigners and 50 baht per person for Thais. The fee includes access to all of the park’s attractions.
You do not need a permit to hike the park’s trails, but it’s a good idea to check in with the visitor center before setting out. They can provide you with maps and information about the trails.
What to Bring
When visiting Doi Inthanon, be sure to bring the following:
- Comfortable shoes for hiking
- Sunscreen and insect repellent
- A hat and sunglasses
- A raincoat or umbrella (if visiting during the rainy season)
- Plenty of water and snacks
- A camera to capture the beautiful views
There are markets and food stalls near the entrance of the park where you can purchase snacks and drinks.
Doi Inthanon is a beautiful and unique destination that should not be missed when visiting Northern Thailand. By following these tips, you can make the most of your visit and have a memorable experience.