Doi Suthep National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Northern Thailand. Located in Chiang Mai, the park is home to lush forests, stunning waterfalls, and a diverse range of wildlife. The park is named after Doi Suthep, a mountain that stands at 1,676 meters above sea level and is one of the most sacred sites in Thailand.
The park is a protected area for flora, fauna, and habitat. Visitors can explore the park’s many hiking trails, which offer breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The park is also home to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a Buddhist temple that dates back to the 14th century. The temple is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Chiang Mai, as it offers a glimpse into Thailand’s rich cultural heritage.
If you’re planning a trip to Northern Thailand, be sure to add Doi Suthep National Park to your itinerary. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply looking to soak up some of Thailand’s natural beauty, the park has something for everyone. With its stunning scenery, rich cultural heritage, and diverse range of wildlife, Doi Suthep National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Chiang Mai.
Location and Getting There
Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is located in Chiang Mai province, just a few kilometers northwest of Chiang Mai city. The park covers an area of 265 km² and is named after two mountains within the park, Doi Suthep and Doi Pui. Doi Suthep is where the hermit Sudeva lived on its slopes for many years.
If you have your own car, you can easily drive to Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. The park is located about 15 km from Chiang Mai city, and there is a well-maintained road that leads to the park entrance. There is also plenty of parking available at the park entrance.
Songthaews are a popular form of transportation in Chiang Mai. These are red pickup trucks that have been converted into taxis. You can take a songthaew from Chiang Mai Zoo to Doi Suthep and Doi Pui. The price for a one-way trip to Doi Suthep is around 40 baht.
Bike and Scooter
If you’re looking for a more adventurous way to get to Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, you can rent a bike or scooter in Chiang Mai. This will give you the freedom to explore the park at your own pace. However, be aware that the road up to the park entrance is steep and winding, so make sure you have experience riding a bike or scooter on mountain roads.
Motorbikes are a popular form of transportation in Thailand, and you can rent one in Chiang Mai to get to Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. However, be aware that the road up to the park entrance is steep and winding, so make sure you have experience riding a motorbike on mountain roads.
If you prefer a more guided experience, you can book a private tour to Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. Many tour companies in Chiang Mai offer guided tours that include transportation to and from the park, as well as a guide to show you around the park.
If you prefer a more comfortable and convenient way to get to Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, you can hire a taxi service in Chiang Mai. This will give you the freedom to explore the park at your own pace, without having to worry about transportation. However, be aware that hiring a taxi service can be more expensive than other forms of transportation.
Attractions and Highlights
Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is a must-visit destination for nature and culture lovers. The park is home to a variety of attractions and highlights that are sure to impress visitors. Here are some of the top highlights of the park:
Temples and Chedis
One of the most popular attractions in the park is the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a stunning Buddhist temple located on top of Doi Suthep mountain. Visitors can climb the 306-step staircase to reach the temple, which offers breathtaking views of Chiang Mai city. Another must-see temple is the Bhubing Palace, a royal palace located on the slopes of Doi Buak Ha. The palace is known for its beautiful gardens and stunning architecture.
The park is home to several beautiful waterfalls, including the Mae Sa Waterfall, Mork Fa Waterfall, and the Mon Tha Than Waterfall. Visitors can take a dip in the cool waters or enjoy a picnic in the beautiful surroundings.
The park offers several stunning viewpoints that offer panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The Huay Kaew viewpoint is one of the most popular, offering breathtaking views of Chiang Mai city and the surrounding countryside.
The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including tigers, deer, reptile species, endemic species, and amphibians. Visitors can also go birdwatching in the park, with over 300 species of birds recorded in the area.
Hiking and Trekking
Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is a hiker’s paradise, with endless trails throughout the park from all directions and elevations. Visitors can choose from a variety of hiking and trekking routes, ranging from easy to challenging. The Doi Inthanon and Doi Pui trails are popular among hikers.
Overall, Doi Suthep-Pui National Park offers visitors a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you’re looking for cultural attractions or outdoor adventures, the park has something for everyone. Don’t miss out on this must-visit destination in Northern Thailand.
Climate and Environment
Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is located in the northern part of Thailand, near the city of Chiang Mai. The park is situated in a mountainous area, with the highest peak being Doi Pui, which stands at 1,685 meters (5,528 feet) above sea level. The climate in the park is cool and pleasant all year round, with average temperatures ranging from 20 to 23 degrees Celsius (68 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit). During the winter months, temperatures can drop to as low as 5 to 6 degrees Celsius (41 to 43 degrees Fahrenheit), often around February.
The park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including many species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects. The vegetation in the park varies depending on the altitude, with deciduous forest below 1,000 meters (3,281 feet) and evergreen forest above this elevation. The park is also home to a variety of jungle species, including bamboo, ferns, orchids, and mosses.
The rainy season in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park typically begins in May and lasts until October, with daily precipitation. During this time, the park can be quite wet and muddy, so visitors should be prepared with appropriate footwear and clothing. The dry season, from November to April, is a popular time for visitors to the park, as the weather is cooler and drier, making it easier to explore the park’s many trails and attractions.
Visitors to Doi Suthep-Pui National Park can enjoy a range of activities, including hiking, birdwatching, and nature photography. The park is also home to several temples and shrines, including Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, one of the most important Buddhist temples in Thailand. Visitors should be respectful of the park’s natural and cultural heritage, and should follow all park rules and regulations to ensure that this unique ecosystem is preserved for generations to come.
Visiting Doi Suthep National Park
Doi Suthep National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts visiting Northern Thailand. Here are some important things to keep in mind when planning your visit.
As of June 2022, the entrance fees for Doi Suthep National Park are 100 Baht for adults and 50 Baht for children aged 3-14. Thai citizens pay 20 Baht for adults and 10 Baht for children. Keep in mind that these fees are subject to change, so it’s best to check the official website or with your tour operator for the latest information.
The park is open daily from 6 am to 6 pm, but the opening times for specific facilities and attractions within the park may vary. For example, the popular Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple is open from 6 am to 6 pm, while the Bhubing Palace Gardens are open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. It’s a good idea to check the opening times of any specific attractions you plan to visit to avoid disappointment.
Doi Suthep National Park is suitable for visitors of all ages and fitness levels. There are plenty of easy walking trails and scenic viewpoints that can be enjoyed by families with young children or older travelers. However, some of the more challenging hiking trails may not be suitable for those with mobility issues or certain medical conditions. It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before embarking on any strenuous outdoor activities.
- Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and insect repellent, especially if you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors.
- Wear comfortable, sturdy shoes with good grip, as some of the walking trails can be slippery or steep.
- Keep an eye out for the park’s resident white elephants, which are considered sacred by the local people.
- Support local vendors by purchasing souvenirs or snacks from the stalls near the park entrance.
- Respect the park’s rules and regulations, such as not littering or disturbing the wildlife.
Doi Suthep National Park offers visitors a chance to experience the natural beauty of Northern Thailand, with stunning views, diverse wildlife, and plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, this park is definitely worth a visit.
History and Legend
Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is a place of great historical and cultural significance in Northern Thailand. The park was established in 1981 and covers an area of 261 square kilometers. The park is home to the Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep temple, which is a major pilgrimage site for Buddhists in Thailand.
According to legend, a monk named Sumanathera had a dream in which he was told to go to Pang Cha and look for a relic. The relic was said to be a bone from the shoulder of the Buddha. Sumanathera set out on his journey and eventually found the relic in a small hole. The relic was taken to King Dharmmaraja, who ruled the city of Lamphun at the time. The king was so impressed by the relic that he ordered the construction of a temple to house it.
The temple was built on the mountain of Doi Suthep, which was considered to be a holy site. The mountain was named after a hermit named Prarusiwa Suthep who once lived in the local forest. The temple was completed in 1383 and has since become one of the most important Buddhist sites in Thailand.
The temple is known for its murals, which depict scenes from the life of the Buddha. The murals were painted in the 16th century and are considered to be some of the finest examples of Lanna art. The murals are divided into four sections, each of which tells a different story. The first section depicts the life of the Buddha before his enlightenment, the second section depicts his enlightenment, the third section depicts his teachings, and the fourth section depicts his death and the events that followed.
In addition to the temple, the park is also home to Bhubing Rajanives Palace, which is the winter residence of the royal family. The palace was built in 1961 and is open to the public during certain times of the year. Visitors can take a guided tour of the palace and learn about its history and architecture.
Overall, Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Thai history and culture. The park’s rich history and stunning natural beauty make it a truly unique and unforgettable experience.