Thai National Parks

About Doi Inthanon

Also known as "The Roof of Thailand", Doi Inthanon National Park covers an area of 482 km² in Chiang Mai province north of Thailand. The park is part of the Himalayan mountain range, elevation ranges between 800 and 2565 meters with the highest peak at Doi Inthanon which is the highest mountain in Thailand. Due to the high altitude, the park has high humidity and cold weather all year round. The average daily temperatures are normally around 10-12 °C.

The main attractions of the park are the summit of Doi Inthanon for its spectacular views of early morning, several waterfalls, few trails and the two chedis (stupas) dedicated to the king and queens 60th birthday anniversaries. Most of the waterfalls within the park have relatively good flow of water all year round but the best season for water flow is during the rainy season from May to November. One of seasonal attractions of the park is the blossoms of Siamese sakura flowers covering trees in pink during late January and Februari.  The park is also one of top destination in the country for birders.

Doi Inthanon is named in honour of the king Inthawichayanon, one of the last kings of Chiang Mai, who was concerned about the forests in the north of Thailand and wanted to preserve it. After his death his remains was placed in the park as he ordered and the forest was renamed to Doi Inthanon.

The flora consists of sphagnum bog, moist and dense evergreen cloud forest, dry evergreen, pine, mixed deciduous teak and dipterocarp forests.

The Center for Wildlife Research at Mahidol University has recorded total of 362 bird species in the park which makes it in numbers the second highest in Thailand after Kaeng Krachan National Park. Over 190 of the bird species are listed as common to abundant. Some common birds seen in the national park are green-tailed sunbird, ashy-throated warbler, green/purple cochoa, sikkim treecreeper, maroon oriole, bar-throated minla, green-tailed sunbird, rufous-winged fulvetta, chestnut-crowned laughingthrush and speckled/ashy wood pigeons. The big bird migration to Thailand happens March to May with some birds still breeding until June/July makes it a good time to visit the park for birds.

Due to hunting and habitat change bigger mammals such as elephants, tigers, gaurs has been extirpated from the park. Some mammals such as wild boars, gibbons, deer and serows still inhabits the park. There are currently around 65 mammals in the national park, half of these bat species.

The main entrance point to the national park is via a checkpoint at km 8 of the rural road 1009 accessible from the highway 108 southwest from Chiang Mai. The visitor center is less than 1 km further in to the park from this checkpoint and the headquarters another 22 km in at km 30.8. The main campsite is around HQ area where tents with accessories are available for rent. Opening times are 5:30am to 6:30pm.

The entrance fee is 300 THB for foreigners (children 150 THB) and 50 THB for local tourists (children 20 THB).

Attractions of Doi Inthanon

Park Headquarters & main campsite

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Doi Inthanon HQ is situated at km 30.8 near the Ban Khun Klang village of Hmong (Meo) tribe. 500 meters west from the HQ there is a market with few restaurants around, there is also an ATM nearby HQ.

The camping area and bungalows are 500 meters north from the junction nearly 400 meters east of the HQ. Camping gears can be rent at the entrance to the campsite. There are no restaurants in that area, the nearest options are around the HQ and the market. The smaller options of tents for 3 people costs 250 THB/day while bigger ones for 5 people costs 400 THB/day, sleeping bags, matt and pillows included in the price (2015 prices). 

Doi Inthanon Summit

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Located at km 48 at the end of road 1009, with 2565 meters above the sea level it is the highest peak in Thailand. 

There is a shorter nature trail opposit the ranger station on the main road to a sphagnum bog, a good location for birdwatching of some exciting highland birds.

Phra Mahathat Naphamethanidon and Nophamethanidon

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Two Chedis on the main road 5 km wouth from the top of the main summit of Doi Inthanon. Naphamethinidon, meaning 'by the strength of the land and air' was build in 1987 to honour 60th birthday aniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Naphaphonphumisiri, meaning 'being the strength of the air and the grace of the land' was build in 1992 to honour 60th birthday anniversary of Queen Sirikit.

Kaew Mae Pan Nature Trail

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Starting from the main road just few hundred meters north of the two chedis, this 2.5 km long circular trail must be accompanied by a Hmong Tribe guide. The hike is moderate to walk, clear and well maintained. Part of the trail is along a mountain ridge with beautiful view over west. The very rare Chinese gorals are relatively common along this trail but sighting is rare, a lot of attempts needed to eventually see one. It costs 200 THB to hire a guide, there are always few of them waiting at the trailhead on the main road.

Birdwatching

Due to many resident birds Doi Inthanon is a good place to see birds most of the year apart from July to October. The best time is around February to April when the big winter migration to Thailand happens which also is the breeding period.

See the markers on the map for few spots with info about typical birds found in the area.

Waterfalls

Doi Inthanon National Park has number of waterfalls, most of them easily accessible from the main road through the national park, only few hundred meters off from the road. The waterflow is good all year round but most impressive during the rainy season May to November. During the cold and hot seasons the water is more clear and more suitable for swimming if possible.

Mae Ya Waterfall

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A cascading waterfall plunging from several tiers over 250 meters, but the main tier that tourists see once they get there is a 40 to 50 meters high. This nearly 100 meters wide tier has quite an impressive view.

The nearly 250 meters high and 450 meters wide carcading Thi Lo Su Waterfall in Tak Province is claimed to be the "biggest" in Thailand. The highest single tier fall in Doi Inthanon National Park is is Mae Pan, read below.

Mae Pan Waterfall & campsite

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Mae Pan is a 100 meters high waterfall off from the other attractions of Doi Inthanon, situated at the end of 2 km dirt road from Mae Chaem Road. It is the highest non-cascading waterfall in the park, due to it's relatively remote location it is not visited much by the local tourists which prefers to stop by at first 4-5 waterfalls on the way to the HQ. The trail to the waterfall can be very slippery, but worth the effort to get there. Apart from the waterfall there is a shorter loop trail that can be hiked in less than 2 hours.

There is a campsite in Mae Pan area, but there are no tents available for rent also no restaurants nearby.

Mae Klang Waterfall

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The first waterfall on the main road into the national park, cascading nearly 100 meters high over several tiers with the highest tier nearly 25-30 meters high. It is located 600 meters south of the checkpoint at the southeast part of the park. This waterfall is very popular and can be very busy during the week-end and public holidays.

Pha Khun Na Waterfall

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A smaller waterfall accessible by a short stroll from the visitor center.

Wang Khwai Waterfall

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Another smaller waterfall only 200 meters north from Pha Khun Na Waterfall.

Wachirathan Waterfall

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Easily accessible by a short trail from the car park next to the main road at km 20.8.

Sirithan Waterfall

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One of popular waterfalls, at km 22, accessible by a 200 meters long trail from the parking area on the main road.

Siriphum Waterfall

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1.5 km off the road 1284 north of HQ accessible by trails on the west side of the Ban Khun Klang village.

Mae Chaem Road

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The road west from the junction to the road to summit at km 38 has several great views. 

Brichinda Cave

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A limestone cave not too far away from the visitor center, accessible from km 9 (1 km north from checkpoint at km 8) with less than an hours trekking from the main road. It has two chambers with a spacious one in entrance.

Videos from Doi Inthanon National Park

  • Silver-eared Laughingthrush - Doi Inthanon National Park

    Silver-eared Laughingthrush - Doi Inthanon National Park

  • Plumbeous water redstart - Doi Inthanon National Park

    Plumbeous water redstart - Doi Inthanon National Park

  • Slaty-backed forktail - Doi Inthanon National Park

    Slaty-backed forktail - Doi Inthanon National Park

  • Plumbeous water redstart (male) - Doi Inthanon National Park

    Plumbeous water redstart (male) - Doi Inthanon National Park

  • Watcharathan Waterfall - Doi Inthanon National Park

    Watcharathan Waterfall - Doi Inthanon National Park

  • Eurasian woodcock - Doi Inthanon National Park

    Eurasian woodcock - Doi Inthanon National Park

  • Rufous-throated partridge - Doi Inthanon National Park

    Rufous-throated partridge - Doi Inthanon National Park

  • Pied shrike-babbler (Male) - Doi Inthanon National Park

    Pied shrike-babbler (Male) - Doi Inthanon National Park

  • White-browed shortwing (male, female) - Doi Inthanon National Park

    White-browed shortwing (male, female) - Doi Inthanon National Park

  • Wachirathan Waterfall - Doi Inthanon National Park

    Wachirathan Waterfall - Doi Inthanon National Park

  • Plumbeous Water Redstart - Doi Inthanon National Park

    Plumbeous Water Redstart - Doi Inthanon National Park

  • Mrs. gould's sunbird - Doi Inthanon National Park

    Mrs. gould's sunbird - Doi Inthanon National Park

  • Flavescent Bulbul - Doi Inthanon National Park

    Flavescent Bulbul - Doi Inthanon National Park

  • Ashy Drango - Doi Inthanon National Park

    Ashy Drango - Doi Inthanon National Park

  • Eurasian woodcock - Doi Inthanon National Park

    Eurasian woodcock - Doi Inthanon National Park

  • Chestnut-flanked white-eye - Doi Inthanon National Park

    Chestnut-flanked white-eye - Doi Inthanon National Park

  • Radde's Warbler - Doi Inthanon National Park

    Radde's Warbler - Doi Inthanon National Park

  • Rufous-throated partridge - Doi Inthanon National Park

    Rufous-throated partridge - Doi Inthanon National Park

  • Wildlife of Doi Inthanon National Park

    Wildlife of Doi Inthanon National Park

  • Black-tailed crake - Doi Inthanon National Park

    Black-tailed crake - Doi Inthanon National Park

  • Wachirathan Waterfall - Doi Inthanon National Park

    Wachirathan Waterfall - Doi Inthanon National Park

Species photos of Doi Inthanon National Park

  • White-throated kingfisher

    White-throated kingfisher

  • Banded kingfisher - Khao Yai National Park

    Banded kingfisher - Khao Yai National Park

  • White-crowned forktail

    White-crowned forktail

  • White-tailed robin

    White-tailed robin

  • Ashy-throated warbler

    Ashy-throated warbler

  • White-crowned forktail - Mae Wong National Park

    White-crowned forktail - Mae Wong National Park

  • White-crested laughingthrush

    White-crested laughingthrush

  • Yellow-eyed babbler

    Yellow-eyed babbler

  • Asian koel (male)

    Asian koel (male)

  • White-headed bulbul

    White-headed bulbul

  • Asian emerald cuckoo (male)

    Asian emerald cuckoo (male)

  • Ashy minivet

    Ashy minivet

  • White-gorgeted flycatcher

    White-gorgeted flycatcher

  • Asian koel (male)

    Asian koel (male)

  • Banded kingfishers - Khao Yai National Park

    Banded kingfishers - Khao Yai National Park

Open map of Doi Inthanon

Phone(s)

  • 053 286 729 (Visitor Center)
Viewpoint from Doi Inthanon

Viewpoint from Doi Inthanon

Copyright iStockphoto,

Rufous-winged buzzard

Rufous-winged buzzard

Copyright iStockphoto,

Trees of Doi Inthanon

Trees of Doi Inthanon

Copyright iStockphoto,

Siamese sakura flowers

Siamese sakura flowers

Copyright iStockphoto

Nature trail

Nature trail

Copyright iStockphoto,

Deciduous forests of Doi Inthanon

Deciduous forests of Doi Inthanon

Copyright iStockphoto,

Mae Klang Waterfall

Mae Klang Waterfall

Copyright 123RF,

Mae Ya Waterfall, 250 meters high

Mae Ya Waterfall, 250 meters high

Copyright 123RF,

Siamese sakura flowers

Siamese sakura flowers

Copyright 123RF,

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