Doi Inthanon (ดอยอินทนนท์), 2565 meters above sea level, is the highest mountain peak in Thailand. Forest around Doi Inthanon is one of the 14 original national parks of Thailand. Also known as “The Roof of Thailand”, Doi Inthanon National Park covers an area of 482 km² in Chiang Mai province north of Thailand.
Due to high altitude, park has high humidity and cold weather all year round. The average daily temperatures are normally around 10-12 °C. Doi Inthanon is a perfect day trip from Chiang Mai as you get to experience the beauty of forest and mountains, hear the roar of mighty waterfalls and can go on hikes on different natural trails in the forest. As you will reach closer to the summit, you will feel the temperature dropping and mist wrapping you up from all sides.
On our way across Mae Hong Son Loop, Doi Inthanon was our last stop before we again reached Chiang Mai. We loved our Doi Inthanon experience and here are the top 5 things that we suggest you to explore during your Doi Inthanon Day trip –
- Visit Doi Inthanon Summit: Highest Spot in Thailand
- Pay your respect at Twin Royal Pagodas
- Walk and Explore Ang Ka Lunag Natural Trail
- Up for a Hike: Kew Mae Pan Natrual Trail and Waterfall
- Explore Beautiful Doi Inthanon Waterfalls
(Go to the Top) As you drive up the slope, road ends at Doi Inthanon Summit, the highest point in Thailand. There is a small walking trail that passes through the summit, few souvenir shops and couple of restaurants serving tea, coffee and snacks. It will not take you more than 10 minutes to walk around the trail. It was a bit crowded trail was walked finding our way on the trail with peaceful monks, enthusiastic children and some super-energetic old people.
There is no entry fee or entry timings (at least nothing was mentioned) for walking across the Doi Inthanon Summit Trail.
(Go to the Top) Twin Royal Chedis dedicated to King and Queen are the main attraction at the summit of Doi Inthanon. As you ascend up on the road to the summit of Doi Inthanon, Royal Chedis welcome you first. Around 5 kilometers prior to the summit stand these adjacent pagodas, one called Phra Mahathat Naphamethanidon (นภเมทินีดล), meaning ‘by the strength of the land and air’, and the other, Phra MahathatNaphapholphumisiri (นภพลภูมิสิริ), meaning ‘being the strength of the air and the grace of the land’. Gardens of Royal Twin Pagodas are also amazing and beautiful. You can take a quick walk across after visiting the main temple.
You can read more about our visit to Twin Pagodas here – Royal Chedis: King and Queen Pagodas
(Go to the Top) Ang Ka Luang Natural Trail (Also known as Angkha Natural Trail) is a scenic 340 meters looped broadwalk trail, where you can take a stroll through beautiful cloud forests and some patches of rare swamp forest. The trail path is primarily wooden boardwalks and has been designed in a way so that people can take a walk across this unique natural phenomenon without impacting the vegetation around.
A quick stroll across the beautiful green dense jungle, this is an appropriate trail for everyone, even for children. You can read more about our visit here – Ang Ka Luang: A Magical Natural Trail
(Go to the Top) If you are looking for a longer and moderately challenging hiking opportunity, then Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail (เส้นทางศึกษาธรรมชาติ กิ่วแม่ปาน) at Doi Inthanon National Park is a perfect hiking opportunity offering unique forest phenomenon, panoramic views, waterfalls and serene surroundings. Some come here for hiking, while others come for bird-watching and then there are few who head to Kew Mae Pan to catch the beautiful sun-rise views.
A 3.2 km. long trail, it takes around 2-4 hours to complete the circular path that passes through dense forests, waterfalls, grasslands, mountain ridge and dense bushes. You may read more about our hike here – Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail
You can also find the local variety of Rhododendron, giant deep-red colour flower blooming on the ridge of the grassland.
(Go to the Top) Doi Inthanon National Park is also home to the most magnificent waterfalls in Thailand. Mae Klang Waterfall, Mae Ya Waterfall, Siriphum Waterfall and Wachirathan Waterfall are some of the waterfalls that you can visit in the National Park. Out of these, Siriphum and Wachirathan are on the way from Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon Mountain peak and you can easily club them with your visit to the Summit.
On our way back, we visited Wachirathan Waterfall. Of all the waterfalls we visited in Thailand, this one was certainly the most powerful one. Falling from a height of 80 meters, it filled the air with mist and spray to drench anyone taking a loop-walk. Also, the best part of visiting this waterfall is that there is no entry fee unlike other waterfalls in Thailand for which entry fee is 100 Bahts per person.
Map for Doi Inthanon Day Trip
You can visit waterfalls either while going or returning from the Summit. For other places, we suggest the following order of visit: Royal Twin Chedis => Doi Inthanon Summit =>Ang Ka Luang Natural Trail =>Kew Mae Pan Natural Trail. Here is the map to help you easily locate above places and plan your Doi Inthanon Day Trip better –
How to get to Doi Inthanon
We had hired a Yamaha PCX for our back-packing trip across Mae Hong Son Loop (Read more: Tips for Renting Motorbike in Chiang Mai) and thus we went to Doi Inthanon on our bike/scooter only. In case, you can drive a scooter, that would be the best as all places are spread out and you can easily visit them at your own plan and convenience. Second option is to hire a Songthaew (Yellow Colour big Auto-Rickshaws) from Chiang Mai for your whole trip to Doi Inthanon.
Hope this helps you plan your Doi Inthanon Day Trip better. Please do drop us a comment in case you happen to enjoy your trip or have any additional information that we can share with our fellow travellers.