Doi Inthanon, sometimes just referred to as “Doi In”, is Thailand’s highest peak. With 2565 meters above sea level it’s technically high enough to see snow in winter, but the warm climate all year round makes this impossible. Instead, a unique natural wetland developed due to the constant moisture carried in by clouds.Enter your text here...
Founded in 1954, Doi Inthanon National Park is one of the 14 original National parks in Thailand. Without a doubt, it’s one of the most popular destinations for Thais and foreigners alike. The ride from Chiang Mai will take you around two hours. You can easily drive up the peak. Don’t get concerned by the altitude or information saying you’ll need a “big car”. A small car is sufficient if it’s not overloaded. You won’t be the fastest to the top but you will get there.
Entrance prices depend on your nationality and vehicle. As of December 2021, foreigners pay 300 THB entrance. Thais pay 50 THB. Cars are 30 THB.
Camping at Doi Inthanon
There are various campsites, both private and public camping are available. Private camping is usually more pricey but also comes with more conveniences. During the high season from late November to February, camping sites can book out. Make sure to reserve your camping spot in advance. You should book public camping via the Department of National Parks. Private camping options can be found via sites such as Booking and Agoda.
Make sure to calculate your travel time from Doi In peak or your hike to the campground. Also, consider time for dinner along the way or at your campsite. Local restaurants often close at 8 pm or 9 pm. Checking with your campground in advance helps to sort your dinner out. If you are planning a family trip, make sure to bring camping chairs for your kids. Many campsites are rather dark at night. Make sure to pack kids headlamps to find the restrooms, etc. at night.
Hikes at Doi Inthanon
Kiu Mae Pan Trail
The Kiu Mae Pan Nature Trail (also written as Kio Mae Pan Nature Trail) is a 2.5km long trail starting at km42. You will see clear signs pointing you to a parking lot near the starting point. A guide is required and costs 200 THB per group of a maximum of five people. The guide will lead you to the viewpoint from where you can decide to go back on the same path you came in or take a slightly longer path back through the forest. The slightly longer path is worth the extra time. You will get a better look at this:
The area is known for Rhododendrons. A plant typically found in the Himalayas. It blooms from December to February. The peak time for blooming is in January. With it, you find a bird species, which only lives from the Rhododendrons. Here is a video trying to capture the fast-moving birds:
Ang Ka Luang Nature Trail
The Ang Ka Luang Nature Trail is hard to miss near the peak of Doi Inthanon. With only 360 meters and completely on an elevated wooden walkway is very easy to complete. This wetland at over 2000 meters altitude can only exist due to the canopy of leaves. It protects the grounds from drying out. This also makes the walk surprisingly fresh. Take a hoodie if you got too used to the warm Thai winter.
Where to next?
If your desire for nature isn’t satisfied, you can continue your journey north to Doi Ang Khang near the border with Myanmar. It’s known for its amazing morning fog above the valley. If you like it more unique, check Doi Kham Fah near Chiang Dao for stargazing.