Catagorize: National Parks & Marine Reserves
Contact: Amphoe Chom Thong, Chiang Mai Tel. 0 5335 5728, 0 5326 8550
Doi Inthanon is the highest mountain in Thailand with the height of 2565 metres above sea level. It is part of the Himalayan Mountain System, which stretches all the way from Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar to Northern Thailand. Doi Inthanon has different types of landscapes and forests including rainforest, coniferous forest, and mixed deciduous forest. In addition, due to its year-round cold climate, especially in cool season, it is usually foggy all day long on the peak and dew sometimes freezes. These continuously attract many visitors to Doi Inthanon.
Within the area of Doi Inthanon National Park, there are a number of natural tourist attractions, e.g. Mae Ya Waterfall, the Siribhumi Waterfall, the Vajirathan Waterfall and Barichinda Cave with fascinating stalactites and stalagmites and flowstones which shimmers in the sunlight.
As a major centre for ecological learning, Doi Inthanon has the Kiw Mae Pan nature trail, along which visitors can see an untouched hill evergreen forest as well as the forest that has been destroyed as a result of deforestation. Some part of the trail also runs along the cliff edge with a majestic fog-covered landscape and some rare plants, e.g. Azaleas. In addition, signs with information are provided along the route for hikers to learn about the natural world. Suitable for those who would like to fully appreciate nature, the trail was given the award for the best ecological tourist attractions at the 4th Thailand Tourism Awards in 2002.
Visitors can find more information about the Kiw Mae Pan Trail and other interesting trails at the national park’s office.
As for the activities on the mountain, Doi Inthanon is one of Thailand’s major bird-watching locations with around 380 kinds of both local and migratory birds. The right time for bird-watching is during cool season. The national park also provides Inthanon Bird Information Centre for tourists at Ran Lung Daeng.
Furthermore, Doi Inthanon is where the Inthanon Royal Project Research Station is located. It is a research station for cold-climate floras along with projects for studying and compiling ferns, coffee research projects, and guava research projects. Visitors can enjoy a variety of colourful cold-climate crops, the amazing scenery of rice terraces, Karen people’s intellectuals and various hill tribes’ lifestyle. Also, the mountain is where Phra Mahathat Napha Methanidon and Phra Mahathat Naphaphon Phumisiri, the twin stupas, are situated. Set among the natural beauty of the Doi Inthanon Peak with their splendid architecture, they were both built in honour of King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit.
The national park’s tourist information centre is located at the ninth milestone of the Highway no. 1009 with officers to give you advice and an exhibition on nature, wild animals, etc. Facilities are available at the national park’s office. For accommodations, visitors should make a reservation at least a week in advance at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation. Please contact the department on 02-562-0760 or visit www.dnp.go.th. To contact Doi Inthanon National Park’s office, please call 05-335-5728 or 05-331-1608, or visit www.doiinthanon.com.