Doi Inthanon (Thailand highest mountain) offers Thailand’s BEST national park experience: from stunning mountain peaks, cascading waterfalls, hilltribe villages, multiple trekking trails, to the breathtaking sea of clouds and the iconic Twin Pagodas.

You can easily explore Doi Inthanon National Park on a DAY TRIP, or overnight, from Chiang Mai.

This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know for an unforgettable trip.

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Doi Inthanon National Park, a haven for nature lovers, is located a short 90-minute drive from the vibrant city of Chiang Mai. This top tourist attraction in Thailand features diverse landscapes, offering a year-round playground for outdoor enthusiasts.

Interestingly, Doi Inthanon is part of the Himalayas, a mountain range that stretches from Nepal all the way to Northern Thailand. Doi Inthanon holds the title for Thailand’s highest mountain, towering at 2,599 meters (8,415 feet) above sea level.

Whether you seek the thrill of mountain climbing, the serenity of a forest hike, the refreshing cascade of waterfalls, or the awe-inspiring spectacle of a sea of clouds, Doi Inthanon promises an unforgettable experience.

If you’re planning a trip to Chiang Mai, Doi Inthanon National Park should definitely be on your list!

Among the most breathtaking sights there is the chance to see the sea of clouds. This natural wonder can be observed from different places within the park.

The Twin Royal Pagodas, one of the most remarkable features you will encounter when you visit Doi Inthanon National Park.

Doi Inthanon National Park is home to a variety of waterfalls, both large and small, that are sure to amaze anyone who sees them.

In this park the air is cool and often chilly, providing a refreshing escape from the typical warmth of Thailand.

Doi Inthanon National Park is renowned for its stunning trekking trails that take you through untouched forests, where the richness of the greenery is almost overwhelming.

Attractions & Top Things To Do at Doi Inthanon National Park

  1. Behold the majestic Royal Twin Pagodas.
  2. Hike the Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail for the most picturesque landscapes of Doi Inthanon.
  3. Feel the power of nature cascading down Wachirathan Waterfall, Doi Inthanon’s tallest waterfall.
  4. Explore Pha Dok Siew Nature Trail, a scenic path with many surprises along the way.
  5. Visit the Hill Tribe Village and learn about local culture at Ban Mae Klang Luang.
  6. Explore Ang Ka Nature Trail at the summit of Doi Inthanon.
  7. Witness a breathtaking sunrise at viewpoint KM41.
  8. Experience the magical bloom of Cherry Blossoms.
  9. Wander the elephant sanctuary.
  10. Marvel the splendid Mae Ya Waterfall.

Doi Inthanon National Park has something for everyone! Let’s take a closer look and talk more about each of these wonderful places and activities.

1. The Royal Twin Pagodas

As the sun dipped behind the peaks, the twin pagodas embraced, their shadows merged. King and Queen, stone and sky, love and loss—all woven into this sacred symphony.

High up in Doi Inthanon National Park, about 3km before the summit, you’ll find two beautiful pagodas. These magnificent structures, named Pra Mahathat Noppamethanedon and Pra Mahathat Nopphonphusiri, were built to celebrate the 60th birthdays of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit.

Each pagoda is surrounded by meticulously maintained gardens, viewing terraces, and serene water features, creating a truly serene atmosphere.

At an altitude exceeding 2,500 meters, the Royal Twin Pagodas offer unparalleled vistas. From here, you can see for miles across the vast Doi Inthanon National Park, with its rolling mountains and lush forests. The surrounding mountains add to the breathtaking panorama.

And if you’re lucky, you might even see a sea of clouds blanketing the valley below, especially if you visit early in the morning or during the wet season.

These pagodas are sometimes called the King and Queen’s Chedis. They look like matching temples, a beautiful tribute to the beloved King and Queen.

The car park is about 50 meters below and visitors have to climb the stairs to reach them. However, there’s an escalator for those who prefer a more relaxed climb.

They are open from 6am to 5:30pm, with an entrance fee of 100 Thai baht (around 3 USD). Here’s a great tip: If you buy your ticket after 4pm, it’s still valid until closing time the next day at 5:30pm. This allows you to experience the stunning sunset and the breathtaking sunrise.

2. Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail

Not just a walk in the park; it’s an invitation to witness Mother Nature’s masterpiece, a symphony of natural beauty that unfolds with every step you take along this path.

Just a few minutes drive (or a 10 minutes walk) from the majestic Royal Twin Pagodas lies the Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail, a hiker’s paradise. This 2.78km long, 2-hour loop trail is Doi Inthanon’s crown jewel, offering a glimpse of Thailand’s most stunning scenery.

The highlight of the trail is undoubtedly the view. The trail winds through a dense forest, and a waterfall along the way, before opening up to a meadow, leading you all the way to the mountaintop.

From this vantage point, you’ll be rewarded with a panoramic vista that stretches for miles, allowing you to spot the distinctive King and Queen’s Chedis in the distance.

Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail treats you to some of Thailand’s most stunning panoramic views, like this magical blanket of clouds envelop the valley.

Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail is an easy to moderate hike, perfect for those seeking a scenic adventure. The well-maintained path features elevated wooden walkways in some sections, making it comfortable for most hikers. However, due to the many ups and downs along the route, proper footwear is essential.

For a small fee of 200 Baht (around $6 USD), a local guide will accompany your group (up to 10 people) throughout the hike. Don’t worry if you’re traveling solo – guides typically depart even with smaller groups, so waiting times are minimal. They can adjust the pace to your preference, allowing you to savor the scenery and take breaks whenever needed.

Remember, the Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail is open seasonally, from November to April. During the rest of the year (June to October), the trail closes for forest recovery. So, plan your trip accordingly.

3. Wachirathan Waterfall

The river weaves its way down from the mountaintop where it meets the edge. The water tumbles, breaks, and reforms. Rainbows bloom, ephemeral promises. The cliffs, carved by time, frame the spectacle.

A majestic natural wonder, the Wachirathan Waterfall stands as one of the primary attractions within the Doi Inthanon National Park. The location of Wachirathan Waterfall along the main road makes it a convenient stop for travelers en route to Doi Inthanon.

As you approach the falls, be prepared to get a refreshing soak! The mist from the powerful spray creates a cool and invigorating atmosphere. The force of the waterfall is so strong, it’s almost guaranteed you won’t walk away completely dry.

As you approach this magnificent cascade, you’ll feel the refreshing mist from its powerful spray. The falls are so mighty that leaving without a dampening soak is nearly impossible.

While swimming in the basin below the waterfall is prohibited due to the strong currents, there are several walking trails in the surrounding area. These paths offer visitors the chance to explore the beauty of the falls from various angles.

But the magic doesn’t stop there. On a clear day, the spray from the waterfall combines with the sunlight to create a breathtaking sight – a double rainbow! This rare phenomenon adds another layer of wonder to the already impressive falls, making it a photographer’s dream.

4. Pha Dok Siew Nature Trail

A journey for all your senses. A chance to taste the freshness of the mountain air. The true star of the show awaits at the end of the trail – the majestic Pha Dok Siew Waterfall.

The scenic 4km long Pha Dok Siew Nature Trail offers a delightful escape into the embrace of nature and the rich heritage of the Karen and Hmong people.

The highlight of the trail is undoubtedly the magnificent Pha Dok Siew Waterfall. The sight of water tumbling down and the vibrant greenery that surrounds it paint a tranquil picture. It’s a spot that seems to encourage visitors to stop for a moment and enjoy the calmness. The landscape transforms as you approach Mae Klang Luang Village, with sprawling rice fields stretching out before you.

Local Karen guides, inhabitants of the nearby Mae Klang Luang village, will lead you along the trail, transforming your journey into a cultural tapestry. Their expertise will unveil hidden treasures along the way, from unique plant life to fascinating stories about their way of life.

The trail is welcoming to everyone, regardless of hiking experience. You can opt for an easy walk (down hill) or a more challenging hike.

The trail caters to all levels of experience. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or a casual tourist, you can choose between a gentle uphill or downhill trek, making it perfect for a leisurely exploration. If you join a private tour from Chiang Mai, your driver will drop off the passengers at the trail head and collect you at the end.

The trail concludes in the charming village of Mae Klang Luang. Here, you can unwind and savor a cup of locally-grown Arabica coffee, prepared in the traditional way. The warm hospitality of the Karen people and the opportunity to sample their freshly brewed coffee add a delightful touch to your exploration.

As you walk the trail, the Pha Dok Siew Waterfall stands as a breathtaking centerpiece. The cascading waters and the surrounding lush greenery create a picture of serenity.

5. Mae Klang Luang Village

A chance for cultural exchange, a glimpse into a way of life that’s existed in harmony with nature for generations.

Nestled at the foot of Doi Inthanon National Park lies Mae Klang Luang, a charming village inhabited by the Karen hill tribe people. This captivating destination is a popular stop for trekkers, particularly those completing the downhill route of the Pha Dok Siew trek.

The village’s allure lies in its unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. If you visit during the rainy season (July to October), you’ll be treated to a breathtaking display of lush green paddies, perfect for capturing postcard-worthy moments.

Come November, the landscape transforms into a golden tapestry as the Karen people celebrate the harvest season. Witnessing them gather the fruits of their labor in the now golden-brown paddies provides a glimpse into their way of life and deep connection to the land. This is a rare opportunity to experience the authentic rhythm of life for the Karen people, a cultural gem nestled amidst the mountains.

The vibrant green landscape paints a picture of serenity, offering a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle. This captivating sight awaits you during the rainy season, from July to October.

Witnessing the villagers busy harvesting their crops provides a glimpse into the heart of their way of life.

Exploring Mae Klang Luang isn’t just a visual treat; it’s a chance to connect with the Karen community. For those seeking an extended stay, there are even homestay options available. Spending a night here allows you to integrate yourself into the village, learning about their way of life firsthand. This unique experience is sure to become a highlight of your trip to Chiang Mai.

So, if you’re seeking an adventure beyond the typical tourist trail, consider incorporating a visit to Mae Klang Luang village into your Doi Inthanon itinerary. It promises a blend of breathtaking scenery, cultural immersion, and a chance to witness the Karen people’s deep respect for nature and their land.

6. Ang Ka Nature Trail

Breathe in the crisp mountain air, alive with the symphony of exotic birds and the rhythmic chirp of unseen insects. The mystical landscape, a secret path into the heart of the rainforest.

If you’re not an avid hiker but still want to immerse yourself in nature, the Ang Ka Nature Trail awaits you. While it may be the highest trail in Doi Inthanon, the Ang Ka Nature Trail is also the shortest, clocking in at a manageable 400 meters.

Despite its brevity, the well-maintained path offers a glimpse into a world unlike any other. Lush moss carpets the forest floor, and the surrounding trees are adorned with emerald green drapery.

It’s no wonder Doi Inthanon is considered one of Thailand’s top national parks – this small section alone captures its essence beautifully.

As you walk, keep an eye out for the unique flora and fauna that thrive in this cool, damp environment.

Imagine stepping onto a scenic wooden boardwalk that winds its way through a mystical mossy forest. This is precisely what awaits you on the Ang Ka Nature Trail.

Located at the summit of Doi Inthanon, Ang Ka Nature Trail claims the title of the highest trail in Thailand.

The entire trail can be completed in a mere 10 minutes. It’s a leisurely stroll, suitable for visitors of all ages. Navigating the trail is a breeze, thanks to informative signs along the way. Families and nature enthusiasts alike will appreciate this delightful activity.

Most day trips and tours to Doi Inthanon include a brief stop at the trail, so be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to experience the magic of Doi Inthanon’s summit.

7. Sunrise at Viewpoint KM41

And then it happens—the mist rises, a slow tide. It spills into the valleys, swallowing trees and villages. We’re adrift, suspended between earth and sky.

Doi Inthanon’s hidden gem, the Viewpoint KM41, located just a 10-minute walk from the entrance to the Royal Twin Pagodas, offers a breathtaking panorama that will leave you speechless.

This viewpoint is famous for its stunning sunrises. As the first rays of light peek over the horizon, they paint the rolling mountains below in a golden glow. But the real magic happens when a thick blanket of mist hangs low in the valleys, creating a mesmerizing “sea of cloud” effect.

Here is where you can capture postcard-perfect photos of the majestic mountains and valleys. The viewpoint is also a favorite spot for capturing the Milky Way during the right season.

A thick blanket of mist rolls over the valleys, creating a literal sea of cloud, like you’re floating on a cloud kingdom. It’s like stepping onto a postcard.

This spot is a photographer’s paradise, but trust me, even a shaky phone camera can capture the majesty of this place.

To witness this magnificent view, an early start is key. Most visitors recommend leaving Chiang Mai city as early as 4am to reach the viewpoint before sunrise. Alternatively, consider spending a night at Doi Inthanon to fully experience the magic of the mountain.

Even if you miss the sunrise, Viewpoint Km.41 is worth a stop. Throughout the day, you can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. This scenic spot is perfect for a quick rest stop before continuing your Doi Inthanon adventure, whether it’s hiking or exploring other attractions.

Catching this sunrise spectacle requires some dedication. We’re talking a 4am wake-up call from Chiang Mai, but it’s definitely worth dragging yourself out of bed.

8. Cherry Blossoms

As winter’s embrace begins to soften, Doi Inthanon transforms. It’s as if the mountain itself awakens, stretching towards the sky to adorn itself in delicate hues of pink and white.

While cherry blossoms are often associated with spring in cooler climates like Japan and Korea, Doi Inthanon National Park offers a surprising opportunity to witness these beautiful blooms.

Within Doi Inthanon National Park, two key locations offer prime viewing spots for the cherry blossoms. The Inthanon Lady’s Slipper Orchid Conservation Project and the Khun Wang Royal Agricultural Research Centre both boast these beautiful trees. Visitors can stroll beneath the delicate blossoms, their soft fragrance carried on the cool mountain breeze.

The cooler temperatures at these high altitudes provide the perfect environment for wild Himalayan cherry trees, known locally as “Nang Phaya Sua Kroang” or “Tiger Queens,” to flourish. Unlike the classic pale pink blossoms of Japan’s sakura trees, these Thai cherries boast a deeper, richer pink hue, creating a stunning display on the mountain slopes.

The delicate fragrance of the blossoms adds another layer to the magic, making it a feast for both the senses and the soul.

The cherry blossom season in Doi Inthanon is a fleeting spectacle, lasting only a few short weeks, typically from mid-January to mid-February.

The blooming season for these mesmerizing flowers is a fleeting one, typically lasting only two to three weeks between mid-January and mid-February. This short window adds to the allure of the event, making it a cherished sight for locals and tourists alike.

The presence of cherry blossoms in Thailand is a testament to the diverse range of climates found within the country. While the lowlands are known for their tropical warmth, Doi Inthanon’s mountain heights offer a chance to experience a taste of winter, complete with these symbolic flowers of spring in other parts of the world.

While the Japanese sakura may be the most famous cherry blossoms, Thailand’s wild Himalayan cherry blossoms offer a unique and equally beautiful alternative.

9. Elephant Sanctuary

We walk with them—the elephants leading the way. You touch their rough skin, and they touch your soul. The water dances, and so do you—the weight of the world lifting as you scrub their wrinkled hides.

Why not make your Doi Inthanon trip even more enriching by combining it with a visit to a nearby elephant sanctuary? Nestled in the lush green forests of Mae Wang District, which is the east side of Doi Inthanon, lie several ethical elephant sanctuaries.

Spending time with these gentle giants allows you to learn about their unique behaviors and intelligence, all while contributing to their continued well-being. Whether you observe them roaming freely, participate in mud wallows, or simply watch them socialize with their herd, a visit to an elephant sanctuary is a heartwarming and educational experience

Some private tours in Chiang Mai like this one offer a fantastic combo itinerary that lets you experience both the wonders of Doi Inthanon and the gentle giants of the elephant sanctuaries in a single day. It’s a great value for money, allowing you to visit both places for one price.

A visit to an elephant sanctuary is more than just a tourist activity; it’s a chance to contribute to the conservation of these endangered animals and create lasting memories.

Imagine spending your morning observing rescued elephants in their natural habitat, perhaps even helping prepare their food or mud baths.

Then, in the afternoon, you could be exploring the cascading waterfalls of Doi Inthanon, marveling at the majestic Royal Twin Pagodas, and trekking along a scenic nature trail.

This jam-packed itinerary offers something for everyone and is a perfect way to maximize your time, especially if you have limited days in Chiang Mai. If this sounds like a good deal for you, you can check your travel date for price and availability here.

To make the most of your trip to Doi Inthanon National Park, consider combining your visit with a rewarding experience at a nearby elephant sanctuary.

10. Mae Ya Waterfall

The rhythm of the water washes away your worries, the lush greenery a balm for the eyes. It’s a chance to reconnect with nature, to feel the spray on your skin and the earth beneath your feet.

As you plan your trip to Doi Inthanon National Park, be sure to include the awe-inspiring Mae Ya Waterfall on your itinerary. This breathtaking waterfall is a highlight within the National Park and is well worth the visit.

Mae Ya Waterfall is truly a magnificent sight. It stands tall at 260 meters, with a unique cone shape and multiple levels where the water cascades down, creating a stunning visual display. The waterfall spreads across several tiers, with the main tier that you can easily access being 40 to 50 meters high and about 100 meters wide. It’s considered one of the most impressive waterfalls in Thailand.

Reaching the base of Mae Ya is an easy feat. From the parking area, a leisurely 600-meter walk along a mostly flat trail leads you right to the waterfall’s foot. Unlike Wachirathan Waterfall with its single, powerful plunge, Mae Ya’s multi-tiered descent ensures you won’t get drenched unless you choose to get closer.

Mae Ya Waterfall is also among the tallest waterfalls in the country, with its grand height of approximately 260 meters.

Although Mae Ya Waterfall is not in the central area of the park, it is only a short detour from the main road that leads to the summit of Doi Inthanon. You might even encounter it before reaching the park entrance if you’re driving from Chiang Mai.

The waterfall is open to visitors from 8am to 5pm. You can use the same ticket that you purchased for Doi Inthanon National Park (300 Baht) to enter Mae Ya Waterfall. If you don’t have a ticket, the entrance fee is 200 Baht. Therefore, it’s a good idea to schedule your visit to Mae Ya Waterfall towards the end of your trip to Doi Inthanon, so you can make the most of your national park ticket.

And what a sight awaits you! The water tumbles down multi tiers levels, creating a breathtaking spectacle.

How To Go to Doi Inthanon National Park

Doi Inthanon National Park, home to Thailand’s highest peak, might appear like a challenging climb at first glance. But don’t worry, reaching the summit is surprisingly easy.

The park sits just a convenient 90-minute drive away from Chiang Mai city. Thankfully, a well-maintained asphalt road winds its way all the way to the top. This means you don’t need any specialized vehicles – a regular sedan car or even a motorbike can navigate the route in good condition.

Getting to Doi Inthanon National Park is a straightforward process. You have 3 main choices: Driving yourself, taking public transportation from Chiang Mai, or joining a tour that handles all the arrangements for you. We’ll delve into each of these three alternatives in the following explanation.

Self-Driving to Doi Inthanon from Chiang Mai

If you crave the freedom to set your own itinerary and explore at your own pace, then a self-drive adventure to Doi Inthanon might be the perfect choice for you.

Doi Inthanon is quite spacious, with attractions spread out across various locations. By having your own vehicle, you can tailor your journey to your interests, lingering longer at captivating waterfalls or taking your time on scenic hikes.

The route from Chiang Mai city to the various points of interest within Doi Inthanon, including the summit, is straightforward. The well-maintained roads, following Route 108 towards Chomthong and then Route 1009, offer a scenic introduction to the park.

The roads are easy to follow with minimal intersections, making the drive straightforward. You’ll find that the park’s attractions have ample parking and clear signage in English, making it easy for international visitors.

Google Maps is a reliable tool to guide you along the way. All of the attractions within Doi Inthanon mentioned on this article are accurately marked on Google Maps, making it easy to locate them.

The route from Chiang Mai City to Doi Inthanon National Park is very straightforward with minimal intersections. Google Map is good enough to navigate you to all the main attractions along the way.

From Chiang Mai city follow Route 108 towards Chomthong (57km) and then Route 1009 (31km) will lead you all the way to the summit of Doi Inthanon National Park. 

Car rentals in Chiang Mai are plentiful and cater to a range of budgets. Prices typically start around 700 baht and go up to 1500 baht per day, depending on the size and features of the car you choose.

Many rental companies operate directly out of Chiang Mai Airport, offering convenient pick-up options. Alternatively, you can book a car online here and have it delivered to your hotel for added ease. Rental cars usually come with comprehensive insurance, covering the driver, passengers, and the vehicle in the event of an accident. (check the car availability here)

For this journey, a four-wheel drive is not necessary; a standard sedan has sufficient power to reach the summit. However, caution is advised when driving up to Doi Inthanon, as the road can be quite steep in sections, and it’s important to remember to keep to the left side of the road.

Taking Public Transport  to Doi Inthanon National Park

Getting around Doi Inthanon National Park by public transportation can be a bit of an adventure. Unlike some tourist destinations, Doi Inthanon doesn’t have a direct and convenient public transport route from the city center.

This option is ideal for those with ample time in Chiang Mai and a desire to experience local travel. It allows you to rub shoulders with everyday Thais and get a feel for their way of life. However, if you’re short on time or prefer a more structured journey, consider other options like joining the private tour.

The local buses in Chiang Mai are called songthaews, converted pickup trucks with benches in the back. There’s a yellow songthaew route that runs from Chiang Mai city to Chom Thong district, near Doi Inthanon. It’s a budget-friendly option, but be prepared for a longer and less direct journey compared to a private tour.

Here’s how you can take public transport to Doi Inthanon from Chiang Mai city. First, head to Chang Phuak Bus Terminal early! Here, you’ll find the yellow songthaews waiting for passengers. Climb aboard and tell the driver your destination is Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong (or just mention Doi Inthanon, they’ll know). The first trip departs around 8am.

This songthaew will take you on a scenic ride through the countryside, stopping to pick up and drop off passengers along the way. Expect the journey to take 2-3 hours, costing around 30 baht. The final stop is Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong, a beautiful temple in Chom Thong district, and you’ll need to find further transportation from there to reach Doi Inthanon itself.

This yellow songthaew will take you all the way from Chang Phuak Bus Terminal to Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong, a beautiful temple in Chom Thong district, near Doi Inthanon National Park.

At Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong, you can either charter a songthaew to explore the park’s attractions, or join another group already waiting there.

This is where things get more expensive, especially for solo travelers. Prices typically start from 1500-2000 baht per songthaew, depending on your bargaining skills and group size. To save money, consider finding other travelers at the temple to share the cost. Keep an eye out for other tourists or locals heading into the park. You might be able to join their songthaew and split the fare.

The chartered songthaew will take you to popular spots within Doi Inthanon, like waterfalls and the Royal Twin Pagodas. However, don’t expect it to reach off-the-beaten-path locations like the Elephant Sanctuary.

Songthaews run throughout the day, but the last one back to Chiang Mai leaves Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong around 6 pm. Make sure to factor this into your planning!

Taking a songthaew to Doi Inthanon is a budget-friendly option, but it’s best for those traveling in a group to share the costs. Solo, or couple travelers might find a private tour more economical. However, for the adventurous spirit, the songthaew offers a unique local experience and a chance to connect with other travelers.

Doi Inthanon Day Tour – Join Tour with Guide

Joining an organized tour from Chiang Mai is the most convenient and comfortable way to experience Doi Inthanon. For individuals or couples, it’s often the most cost-effective choice as well.

Many tour companies in Chiang Mai offer a variety of day trips (or multi-day excursions) to Doi Inthanon National Park. Typically, these tours begin with a pick-up in an air-conditioned van from your hotel early in the morning. After a day filled with exploration, you’ll be returned to your hotel or any other desired location within the city, perfect for continuing your evening activities like dinner or a visit to the nearby night market. Tour prices usually include the park entrance fee (300-400 Baht), lunch, light refreshments, and travel insurance.

The prices of different tour companies are usually quite similar. However, if you come across a tour that’s significantly cheaper than others, it’s wise to examine the itinerary closely. It’s possible that such a low price may not cover the entrance fee or lunch. Therefore, you’ll need to bring additional cash for on-site payments on the day of the trip.

When you embark on a tour to Doi Inthanon, you’ll likely travel in an air-conditioned van. It has enough space to comfortably seat between 8 to 10 passengers, making it ideal for small groups.

It’s also important to remember that not all tours offer the same activities. Because not everyone wants to go hiking, swimming, or visit the elephant sanctuary. Carefully reviewing the itinerary beforehand will ensure you choose the tour that best suits your interests and preferences.

Here are some tips and recommended tours you could take for the best value of money:

No Trekking. If you don’t like hiking, this specific tour encompasses Doi Inthanon’s most renowned attractions, offering a comprehensive experience without the need for physically demanding hikes. (check your date & availability here)

This particular tour includes a moderate hike along the scenic Pha Dok Siew Nature Trail, and a visit to the charming Mae Klang Luang hill tribe village. (check your date & availability here)

This tour highlights the breathtaking Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail. You’ll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views and the refreshing beauty of a cascading waterfall. This scenic trail open only from November to May. (check your date & availability here)

No Sharing. Ideal for families with young children or elderly members, this private tour caters to those who desire a comfortable adventure for your family, or a romantic escape with your loved one. It gives you the freedom to explore Doi Inthanon at your own pace with a flexible itinerary. (check your date & availability here)

Elephant Sanctuary. Personally I think this tour is the best deal. It combines a morning spent at an elephant sanctuary with a jam-packed afternoon exploring Doi Inthanon’s top attractions, including the scenic Pha Dok Siew Nature Trail. Remarkably affordable, this option truly delivers two incredible activities for the price of one. (check your date & availability here)

How Much Does It Costs to visit Doi Inthanon National Park

Visiting Doi Inthanon National Park can be a budget-friendly experience depending on your chosen travel style.

Joining a tour from Chiang Mai is often the most convenient option. These tours typically cost around 1500-2000 Baht and usually include transportation, park entrance fees, lunch, water, and snacks, making it a hassle-free way to explore the park.

Additionally, your tour guide might include a stop at a local market of the hill tribe communities. While the tour fee covers the essential expenses of the trip, bringing some cash allows you to purchase some local fruits for refreshing snacks or a unique souvenir there.

If you drive to Doi Inthanon National Park, be prepared for a checkpoint approximately halfway through your journey. This checkpoint serves as the park entrance, where a fee is collected.

If you prefer a more independent adventure, you can drive yourself or take a songthaew (local public transport). In this case, you’ll need to factor in car rental fees or songthaew fares, along with the park entrance fees.

Doi Inthanon’s park entrance fee is 300 Baht per person (150 Baht for children), with an additional 100 Baht per car. Hold onto this ticket as it grants access to various attractions within the park. There’s also a separate 100 Baht entrance fee for visiting the Royal Twin Pagodas, a popular landmark.

Food within the park is generally affordable. Small restaurants around the various attractions offer simple Thai dishes like noodles and rice meals. Budgeting around 200 Baht should be more than enough for a satisfying lunch. While not fancy, these eateries provide a convenient option to refuel during your exploration.

The Best Time To Visit Doi Inthanon National Park

The best time to visit Doi Inthanon National Park depends on what you’re looking to get out of your trip because each season offers a different experience. Whether it’s the cool, dry weather for trekking, the Cherry Blossoms in bloom, or the lushness of the rainy season, there’s a perfect time for everyone to explore this magnificent natural wonder.

The period from November to February, which marks the dry and cold season, is often recommended for a visit. During these months, the weather is cool, making it ideal for trekking and exploring the park’s natural beauty.

This time of year is also characterized by a lack of rain, ensuring that your outdoor activities are less likely to be interrupted by wet weather. Additionally, the Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail, a highlight for many visitors, reopens in November after being closed from June to October due to the rainy season.

The dry and cool season, spanning from November to February, offer refreshingly cool temperatures which is perfect for trekking and exploring the park’s diverse landscapes.

For those interested in witnessing the park’s Cherry Blossoms, the best time to visit would be from mid-January to mid-February. This brief period offers a spectacular display of blooming flowers, adding a touch of pink to the already picturesque scenery.

While the rainy season, spanning May to October, may seem less appealing, it presents its own unique advantages. The park comes alive with lush greenery as the vegetation thrives, rivers and waterfalls are at their fullest, and the temperatures remain pleasantly cool.

Despite the name, the rainy season doesn’t mean constant rain; it simply indicates that there will be occasional showers, which can actually make the climate quite comfortable for outdoor activities.

I find the months of September and October to be particularly delightful for a visit. The park is vibrant with life, and the weather conditions are generally conducive to enjoying the great outdoors.

However, it’s worth noting that the rainy season can also bring challenges. The humidity can be high, which may lead to discomfort, and the trails can become slippery. While heavy rain is rare, it can happen, and if it does, it might disrupt your plans.

April is perhaps the least favorable time to visit Doi Inthanon National Park. The lack of rain in the preceding months leads to dry vegetation and reduced water levels in rivers and waterfalls. The beauty of the waterfalls is diminished, and the haze from agricultural burning in Northern Thailand and neighboring countries can obscure views and affect air quality.

Mid-January to mid-February holds a special treat for nature lovers – the blooming of the Cherry Blossoms.

During the wet season the park comes alive with lush greenery, cascading waterfalls at their fullest, and refreshingly cool temperatures even at higher altitudes.

Where To Stay in Doi Inthanon National Park

Unlike typical tourist destinations, Doi Inthanon, as a protected national park, doesn’t offer the usual commercial establishments like hotels and resorts. Instead, overnight options primarily consist of homestays nestled within the various local villages at the park’s foot.

The closest village to the summit is Ban Khun Klang, a charming community inhabited by the Hmong hill tribe. This village also houses the Doi Inthanon National Park headquarters, making it a convenient base for exploring the park’s wonders.

For budget-conscious travelers, campsites are also available within the park, offering both traditional camping and the increasingly popular “glamping” experience.

Doi Sureya Campsite at Doi Inthanon, Ban Khun Klang Village

Many travelers who visit Doi Inthanon National Park choose to camp overnight. It’s a popular way to experience the beauty of the park and spend the night under the stars.

Several campsites are scattered around Doi Inthanon National Park but Doi Sureya Campsite (Thai: ดอยชัวร์ญ่า), located inside Ban Khun Klang village, stands out as the top choice. This campsite is managed by the Doi Inthanon Royal Project Agricultural Cooperative, for the village’s ecotourism efforts.

At Doi Sureya Campsite, you can come without a tent, as rentals are readily available. Each tent can accommodate groups of 2-3 people with prices range between 300-600 Baht, depending on the tent size. Additionally, bedding sets with sheets, mattresses, pillows, and blankets can be rented for a mere 100 Baht each set.

Leave your tent at home! Doi Sureya offers rentals for 2-3 person tents, starting from 300 Baht. A set of bed sheets, mattresses, pillows, and blankets are also available for a 100 Baht only.

Bathroom facilities with hot water are provided with separated men’s and women’s sections for privacy and comfort. Food is never a concern, as multiple cafeterias are located within walking distance. For a truly special experience on a chilly mountain night, consider indulging in a grilled pork steamboat dinner.

Doi Sureya is a big campsite, and outside peak season (December and major holidays like Songkran, or New Year), you can likely find a spot without prior booking. The open ground offers unobstructed views, including the stunning Siriphum Waterfall and the surrounding mountains.

If Doi Sureya happens to be full, fret not! Several other campsites are just a short walk away. Dong Son Campsite, managed by Doi Inthanon National Park, is a popular alternative. While offering similar pricing, its location under pine trees means sacrificing the open views that Doi Sureya provides.

Doi Sureya’s open ground offers unobstructed views, including the stunning Siriphum Waterfall and the surrounding mountains.

Homestay & Private Rooms at Doi Inthanon, Ban Khun Klang Village

For travelers who prefer a more comfortable stay than camping, there are several homestays located in Ban Khun Klang village within Doi Inthanon National Park.

These homestays offer private rooms, some of which can be conveniently booked online before your arrival. This is especially recommended during peak travel seasons to guarantee a room for your travel dates. The price for a private room typically ranges between 1000-2000 Baht and includes basic amenities like a hot shower and breakfast.

Moreover, you won’t need to worry about finding lunch or dinner, as there are plenty of eateries readily available within the Ban Khun Klang village itself.

Note: This article recommends accommodation in Ban Khun Klang Village because it’s the nearest village to various attractions of Doi Inthanon National Park and it’s also easily accessible by normal car. Beware that some other nearby villages may require a 4WD vehicle to go because of the muddy road.

Recommended Homestays at Doi Inthanon:

The End of The Trail

Whether you seek breathtaking waterfalls, scenic hikes, or a glimpse into Thailand’s rich history, Doi Inthanon National Park has something for everyone.

I hope this guide has been a valuable companion and has inspired you to explore this magnificent national park.

Remember, the most important part of any journey is the experience itself. So, pack your bags, embrace the adventure, and create your own unforgettable memories in Doi Inthanon. May your travels be filled with joy and discovery.

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