Chiang Mai Doi Inthanon attractions

Doi Inthanon attractions include Waterfalls, Flowers (Royal Project) , suteps (Pagodas) and nice cool weather.

In Thailand, “Namtok” means waterfall, and “Doi” Mountain. Follow our hashtag #skbChiangMai for the updates on Instagram (skb= SengkangBabies).

From city area, it takes about 2 to 2.5 hour driving distance to reach Doi Inthanon. This mountain happens to be Thailand’s highest peak at 2565 meters, so it attracts a lot of visitors, locals and tourists.

As we go higher, it gets cooler and road became more winding. At certain sections, we can see and feel the mist envelop the valleys and roads!

We ran out of time to visit the King/Queen temples at Point #08. (chedi (Naphamethinidon and Naphaphonphumisiri) . The temples look spectacular even from a distance.

Sunrise view of the two chedi should be spectacular.

The van will bring you up 90% of the route.

Grab below map from Thailand Tourism office (Orchard Road). You will not find this English-detailed Map in Thailand airport nor Chiang Mai (perhaps only in some city tourist offices).

 

Our hiking start point is at point #09 Kio Mee Pae Nature Trail.

(GPS 18.555613, 98.482396)

Doi Inthanon map

The temperature can dip to below 10 degrees during cold spells. Our hiking temperature was a cool 15 degrees. Not chilly as we were working up 🙂

Refer trail map below, young families can u-turn at point 10 (to and fro under 2.5 hours), if you feel adventurous enough, go through more countryside, take a loop along 11,12 and back to start point again (21) (estimated 3 hours plus)

 

The best thing about hiking is the discovery of flora and fauna. We stop along the trail to admire the ferns, moss and beautiful blue beetles!

Relax, catch our breathe, to minimise any altitude discomfort. Plenty of stylo photo opportunities 🙂

Doi Inthanon attractions
Doi Inthanon attractions

 

Although it is cooling, you can still perspire. Make shift walking sticks are not necessary, path is very easy to hike.

As we exit the forest, a magical landscape embrace us. Simply awesome to see the waves of mist floats in and cover the slopes and meadow!

Misty Doi Inthanon

 

Our view is blocked by the mist, on a clear sunny day you would be able to see neighbouring mountains and peaks.


Our hiking reward? One of the best Aroy (pork) we ever tasted in Chiang Mai. Smoked pork in cool climate, perfect combination 🙂

We stopped halfway down Doi Inthanon for our lunch.

Next stop, Royal Project (point #04).

(GPS 18.545188, 98.521962)

 

Pretty landscaping at every corner! Think Gardens By The Bay, but more natural, larger scale, and natural aircon 🙂

I loved the Royal project flowers and landscaping, but flowers might not appeal to everyone.

The late King has designated Royal Projects as a means to help farmers improve the life and yield. Flowers, vegetation, stocks and fish, R&D were injected to encourage more efficient farming methods.

The revered Thai King. Portraits for Thais to pay their respects.

More nice photos, and you do not even need a tripod. Thais would be very helpful to help you with your photos. Did I mention the folks in Chiang Mai are friendlier than Bangkok folks 🙂

 

Local make shift market next to carpark.

Tickets to Royal Project are 20 Bht per person, and 1 to 2 hours will be enough for most tourists (unless you go hiking at the trail)

You know kids are enjoying their “outdoor” activities when they are jumping and dabbing or enjoying some Fresh air.

 

Last stop, a waterfall. Refer to Doi Inthanon attractions map above, any waterfalls would be awesome. We had planned for two waterfalls but we ran out of time.

There are at least 7 waterwalls in Doi Inthanon, but the Mrs and kids will find three waterfalls an overdose :p

Wachirathan waterfall point #03 on map.

(GPS 18.541436, 98.599232)

Additional tips for Doi Inthanon :

1) Plan for a 1/2 day trip, not including transport to and fro from city (about 60km). Take it slow and easy, enjoy the landscapes and fresh air. We recommend a light jacket.

2) You will need to hire a guide (at hiking start point) for hiking at Doi Inthanon, fee for Guide is only 200Bht (Sgd $8 for whole group), we gave extra 100Bht tips. Most guides do not speak English.

3) You can see Sakura blooms end January too. Do pop by this link for more hiking photos and tips. Waterfalls and camping details at this link.

4) If you only got 60 minutes for hiking,  go for point #10 Ang Ku Luang Nature Trail where you will reach the Highest point of Doi Inthanon. Be amazed at the “moss” forest.

5) Toll fees up Doi Inthanon attractions : Adults 300 Bht, Child 150 Bht (to pay at about 0.8km location)

6) We hired a mini bus for 8 hours, rate is about 3000 Bht (Sgd $120). Red tut tut can go up the hills too but will be uncomfortable (less suspension).

7) You can spend the rest of the day eating at Night Market. More photos on our Facebook album

8 ) We heard Kio Mee Pae Nature Trail might be closed during rainy season. Please check availability with local guides.

Video (YouTube link) : Lovely Doi Inthanon attractions are suitable for the whole family

 

If you are looking for shopping centres in Chiang Mai, you would be disappointed. All our 5D4N Chiang Mai Family Itinerary photos have been uploaded :

– 5D4N Chiang Mai Family Itinerary
– Day 1 photos — Airbnb stayGrand Canyon Waterpark
– Day 2 photos – Doi Inthanon
– Day 3 photos – Buatong waterfallSiam Insect ZooDoi Suthep temple
– Day 4 photos – Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, Old city

Follow out hashtag #skbChiangMai

Chiang Mai Family Itinerary

Our 5D4N Chiang Mai Family Itinerary 🙂
(We spent 10D9N in Thailand, and beautiful Chiang Mai enchanted us)

If you want shopping, go Bangkok.
If you love nature and culture, go Chiang Mai.
4 nights were not enough for us at Chiang Mai!

Follow out hashtag #skbChiangMai for the updates on Instagram (skb= SengkangBabies). All photos already uploaded on Facebook, links at end of page.

Chiang Mai Family Itinerary

I have group the GPS and directions for the attractions below into North, West and Center, so it is easier to plan your Chiang Mai Family Itinerary.

It is easy to drive in Chiang Mai once you are out of the city-area, folks in Chiang Mai are very patient and we did not experience any cursing or horns during our stay there! We hire a driver and 10-seater van for some days, rate is about 3,000 baht per day (SGD 120).

#TIP 01 :- Take note out-of-city attractions might need 2 to 3 hours transport time (including jams), so always have “Plan B” in your itinerary (ie Must-Go, Nice-to-See etc)

Chiang Mai is famous for temples.

#TIP 02 – Before you go further, and if you are the nature culture loving folks, then you must know the following Thai words :
Namtok – Waterfall
Doi – Mountain
Wat – Temples
Chedi – Stupa

Ok, now you can hitch the next Red Tut Tut ride in Chiang Mai. This city does not have any BTS system, so a lot of commute would be on bikes or 10-seater Red tut tuts.

Let us start with our best experience, no-rides elephant from (1) Elephant Jungle Sanctuary (EJS). We learnt that Asian elephant’s spine are not designed to ferry people, thus some agencies are encouraging No-Rides elephant experience.

We would recommend a half-day tour (one day would be overkill, I mean how much bananas can the elephants consumed). You can spend the remaining daylight to visit the night market (look under “Center“) below.

Video (link) : Fun with the gentle beasts

– Recommended duration – Half day (more than enough)
– Fees – Adults THB 1,700 (about SGD $65), Child THB 1,300
– GPS 18.658668, 98.648556
* Do take note transport will be provide by EJS, you cannot drive in yourself
** The fees are not cheap, but the experience is priceless
*** Two popular no-rides establishment are Elephant Retirement Park and Elephant Jungle Sanctuary (we chose the second one as their Instagram #ElephantJungleSanctuary has more interactions between humans and elephants)

Chiang mai elephant

#TIP 03 – The most important thing you can do before reaching Thailand is grab the maps and brochures from Thailand Embassy Orchard). This might sounds weird but you will not find brochures in Chiang Mai airport itself!

===== WEST ====

Map below is the recommended attractions around (2) Doi Inthanon (Thailand’s highest mountain at 2565m). Just pick your best spots 🙂

#TIP 04 – Take note some attractions on Doi Inthanon will need toll or entry fees.
Ask your guide or driver beforehand. Come weekends, the road leading up to the temple is always congested.

Doi Inthanon hiking at a cool 15 degrees, a light jacket would be sufficient as we can still perspire from hiking. Take note winter period can drop to 5 degrees.
Chiang Mai Itinerary for family

From the map above, we love the following activities :
a) Point 09 – Hiking at Kio Mee Nature Trail (Hire a guide at the entrance for 200Bht + 100Bht tips). 2 to 3 hours round trip, go slow and whole family can enjoy the beautiful landscape, cool weather and mist. With smaller kids and elderly, u-turn at point 10, and exit at the same location (takes a leisurely 2 hours) (link reference)

b) Point 10 – If you only got 60 minutes, go for “Ang Ku Luang” Nature Trail. You will see and touch moss floors and trunks. Highest point of Doi Inthanon.

c) Point 8 – We ran out of time to visit the King/Queen chedi (Naphamethinidon and Naphaphonphumisiri), looks majestic from far.

d) Just choose any two waterfalls, all are majestic. (actually kids and spouse might find all waterfalls identical after the second one hee hee)

e) Point 4 – Royal project flowers and landscaping, but flowers might not appeal to everyone. I love the beautiful landscaping, showcasing the farmers’ produce

Hiking, waterfall, or flowers in the cool weather.

– Recommended duration – 3 to 4 hours (about 2 to 2.5 hours transport from city)
– Fees apply at various attractions
– GPS 18.555768, 98.482446
– Minimum Age limit : Everyone can hike

===== NORTH ====

We noticed the North area (Mae Rim) has a high concentration of adventure and sports, so many ATV (all terrain Vehicles) outlets!

If you only have time for one waterfall in Chiang Mai, do (3) Buatong! Water will not be as spectacular as those normal “cascading” types, but you can CLIMB UP this waterfall! Look at this video and you will know why they call it Sticky Waterfall!(Video link).

Do visit our Photo album as I highlight some inherent dangers which come with “waterfalls”.
– Recommended duration – 2 to 3 hours (optional 30 minutes picnic on the green meadow)
– Fees FOC
– GPS 19.070030, 99.080118
– Minimum Age limit : Everyone can climb, but adult must accompany behind child, it is still a waterfall and any slip could mean serious injury

After a tiring and exhilarating morning, drive 45 minutes South towards lunch (we recommend Baa Baa Black Cafe lunch and cakes) and let the kids recuperate in the car.
(We have added delicious cakes and pastries photos in photo album below)

(4) Siam Insect Zoo is just 7 minutes away from Baa Baa Black Cafe, and it is the coolest insect museum we have seen (or touch) yet.

Staffs are always so eager to push a bug or chameleon to you haha, seriously Fun! So many learning moments and photo opportunities.

– Recommended duration – 1 to 2 hours (stay longer if you love creepy bugs)
– Fees – Adults THB 200, Child THB 150
– GPS 18.918132, 98.908408 (45 minutes from Buatong waterfall)
Facebook

If time permits, we would recommend (5) Doi Suthep Temple on the way back to city (Golden Domes or Chedi, we can classify Doi Suthep under zone “Center” too). Doi Suthep is one of the most famous (and grand) Wat in Chiang Mai, it offers a scenic city view too.

– Recommended duration – 1 to 2 hours
– Fees – Adults THB 200, Child THB 150
– GPS 18.804317, 98.919974 (50 minutes West of Chiang Mai railway station)
– You can climb 306 steps up, or take the lift
** We would not recommend you to jog or cycle up the steep hill, we saw many sports enthusiasts!

===== CENTER ====

Where most folks should loiter around for city life, old-city landscapes, tons of cafes. Weekends are night bazaars and night markets. You will also notice a lot of tourists on bicycles, we want to try it next time 🙂

(6) “Old City” Day and Night
You can tour the “Old city” in the daytime, at least ten historical temples (and ruins) to explore.
Enter via Phae Gate GPS (18.787735, 98.993235).

Night Market – weekends only (3 to 4 hours including dinner and snacks.
Food, jostle with the locals, side-walk massage (cheap!) and souvenirs hunting.

Streetfood (we love BBQ aroy!) is everywhere. There are some hawkers selling mango sticky rice outside temples, we tried the one outside “Wat Che Diluang GPS” and it was good 🙂

If time permits, or if your kids are Ninja Warrior or bouncing castle fans, head over to (6) Grand Canyon Water Park. Look at the photos and you will know why adrenaline junkies will spend hours here!

– Recommended duration – 2 to 3 hours
– Fees 300 Baht (price increased to 350 baht)
– GPS 18.695777, 98.890330 (15 minutes from airport)
– Minimum Age limit is 5 years old
– Closure at 7pm, 6 pm during winter time
Facebook and Website

(7) Our lovely Airbnb home away from home (read our review)

Additional tips :

Above GPS locations are group into “North, West and Center” based on estimated direction from Chiang Mai Railway Station (GPS 18.783692, 99.016787). We did not really venture East (villages) and South. If you head North 3 to 4 hours till Thailand’s borders, Doi Ang Khan, Chiang Rai and Pai awaits 🙂

If you are looking for shopping centres in Chiang Mai, you would be disappointed. All our 5D4N Chiang Mai Family Itinerary photos have been uploaded :

– 5D4N Chiang Mai Family Itinerary
– Day 1 photos — Airbnb stayGrand Canyon Waterpark
– Day 2 photos – Doi Inthanon
– Day 3 photos – Buatong waterfallSiam Insect ZooDoi Suthep temple
– Day 4 photos – Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, Old city

Follow out hashtag #skbChiangMai