Doi Inthanon

Doi Inthanon National Park Chiang Mai

Doi Inthanon is the highest mountain in Chiang Mai Province. In fact, it is the highest mountain in Thailand - so a double first!

It is home to waterfalls, visitor centres and a superb Buddhist Temple surrounded by gardens that are filled with a multitude of flowering plants normally associated with Europe and USA.

There are various types of accommodation within the National Park - including camping facilities.

Many of the National Parks in Thailand leave a little to be desired for tourists and sightseers.

Doi Inthanon the mountain and national park is not one of them.

Depending upon the time of year you visit, there are many attractions and sights within the park to keep you occupied for a few days at least.

Naphaphol Phomisiri Buddhist Temple

Garden Attached to the Temple on Doi Inthanon Chiang MaiOne of the most visited areas in the Doi Inthanon National Park, is the Naphaphol Phomisiri Temple.

It has two pagodas - set on two adjacent hills.

One area is home to a superb garden, that has a wide assortment of flowers at any time of the year - a photographer's dream.

The Lord Buddha's ashes are housed within the temple, and whilst you may visit with a throng of other tourists and sightseers - do remember that it is a sacred place.

You will be expected to dress accordingly. That is not to say that you cannot wear shorts and the like, but cover up as much as possible. Maybe the climate will make that decision for you.

Waterfalls in Doi Inthanon

Waterfall on Doi Inthanon Chiang MaiThe waterfalls in the National Park are a good feature - especially in the rainy season.

There are three and all are well signed.

Nam Tok Wachiratan; Nam Tok Mae Klang and Nam Tok Siriphum. You can see/enter the three waterfalls by buying one ticket.

Nam Tok Mai Klang is the most popular - being the easiest to climb to.

Have a picnic at the top - there are the usual food vendors to assist with this.

This one is the best for photos as well - especially with the footbridge over the rocks.

Plants and Wildlife

The hillsides in the National Park are home to several enterprising plant growers and nurseries.

It was quite a surprise to see the lights coming on over the hills from my chalet window, ands the growers turned on their nightlights, in order to grow plants such as Chrysanthemums and African Marigolds the year round.

Some stunning Brugmansia - Angels Tears obviously ignoring the near freezing temperatures that hit the mountain at various times. I have yet to see them as prolific in any part of Europe.

Brugmansia on Doi Inthanon Mountain ThailandTogether with the Brugmansia, there were several Rhododendron species. All helped here with the colder climate than is found either lower down or in the more southerly parts of Thailand.

Biggest surprise was to see a stunning scarlet Shrub - Poinsettia - the Christmas one no less. And again, hardy to a few degrees of frost from time to time.

There are reputedly 400 plus bird varieties that bring bird-watchers here. Misty hillsides and the green vegetation makes for some awesome pictures to take back home.

If you are very lucky, you will see the Asian Black Bear - not too often seen elsewhere in Asia these days. At the top of Doi Inthanon - at 2565 metres above sea level - there is a wealth of ferns, mosses and lichens growing on the trees and of course, assorted orchids.

Accommodation in Doi Inthanon National Park

Mural at Temple on Doi InthanonIf you wish to make this more than a day trip, and why ever not - there are several options for overnight stays or longer.

The National Park of course has several bungalows and other options.

Together with this there are a number of chalets, huts and the like with varying degrees of comfort levels.

An Eco-Village is another option within the park if you fancy a comfortable hut, but there are also a few hotels in and just outside the park area.

Eating out is of course no problem, with all the main spots having food vendors and also a few 'sit-down' restaurants various dotted about the park - mainly on the main roads.tracks.

Best Time to Visit Doi Inthanon

November through to March - the dry and cool(er) period are best for clear un-misted views.

The other months are also good, and a little less frequented - being the 'low-season' for tourists. Doi Inthanon is also very much a local getaway, so you will rarely find it deserted.

Getting to Doi Inthanon National Park

Doi Inthanon is around 60km from Chiang Mai City - on Highway 108. Well signposted out of the city and on the way there. You can also get there from Chiang Mai via a mini-bus that leaves from the bus station - Chang Puek. There is a good regular service - several times an hour from early morning.

Doi Inthanon National Park Images

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Chedi of Wat on Doi Inthanon Bridge and Gardens of Doi Inthanon Waterfall at Doi Inthanon National Park