Chiangmai Zoo

chiangmai zoo, chiang mai zoo, attractions in chiang mai

Touch the clean and fresh air at Chiangmai Zoo

chiangmai zoo, chiang mai zoo, attractions in chiang mai

Chiangmai Zoo was established by the The Zoological Park Organization, Thailand in 1974. Situated on 531 Rai of verdant forest land at the foothill of Doi Suthep mountain, the zoo is surrounded by hilly terrain which is home to thousands of species of wild plants and flowers adorning the natural landscape of valleys, streams and waterfalls.

Nearly 400 different species of animal are kept at the Chiangmai Zoo, including elephants, tigers, chimpanzees, hippopotami and rhinoceroses. The zoo also features some outstanding special attractions such as the walk through aviary, a fascinating freshwater aquarium and the zoo’s stars – Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui, two young pandas who were sent as goodwill ambassadors from China in 2003.

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Near the entrance is the Cage Area, where smaller animals are kept in traditional zoo cages amid a colourful profusion of tropical flowers. Beyond the entrance area you will find the Open Zoo, a 40 acre, walled enclosure where numerous species are allowed to mingle and roam free. A pedestrian walkover allows visitors a unique perspective from which to observe the behaviour of the animals. The Breeding Area and Recreational Areas are located towards the back of the zoo, near a pleasant lake that makes for perfect picnics.

chiangmai zoo, chiang mai zoo, attractions in chiang mai

There is also a huge aquarium which houses many different types of tropical fish. In parts of the aquarium you can get up really close to them by walking through a tunnel underneath the water.

This exclusive arrangement allows fresh water and salt water creatures to coexist under one roof, alongside representative territories from other significant ecosystems. The inspiration for this astonishing concept comes from the great Mekong River “itself an exhibit at the aquarium” as it represent the major waterway that feeds and quenches the thirst of millions of people across the six neighboring countries that its waters sustain.

chiangmai zoo, chiang mai zoo, attractions in chiang mai

The park staff is very knowledgeable but their English is not always the best. As zoos go, this is a pretty good one and it’s definitely the best the kingdom has to offer. Most animals appear well looked after in spacious cages or fenced off areas and though some enclosures, such as that for the monkeys, still leave a lot to be desired, the zoo is always upgrading and improving its facilities.

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The Chiang Mai zoo is large and you’ve got three options for getting around: foot, monorail or bus. Most of the main sites can be included in a walking itinerary but be warned: it’s a fair old walk and there are plenty of hills. Much of it is however in the shade and cafes and snack bars are liberally sprinkled around the site. Allow two to three hours to do a loop around the central area on foot.

chiangmai zoo, chiang mai zoo, attractions in chiang mai

If you don’t approve of zoos, just don’t go, but if you love animals and love to watch kids interact with them, then this is the place.Overall, it’s a must visit. Amazing place to be. Animals look happy. And if we want them to take good care of the animals, In my opinion we must visit this zoo. Chiangmai Zoo is located at the foot hill of Suthep mountain next to Chiang Mai University. For whole day trip, It is good to combine this with a visit to Doi Suthep temple, Phuphing Palace and Meo hilltribe village.

Phuping Palace

phuping palace, bhubing palace, winter palace

Phuping Palace the royal winter residence in the mountains

phuping palace, bhubing palace, winter palace

Enjoyed a nice day walking around the Palace gardens. Phuping Palace is beautiful, regal structures and extravagantly landscaped gardens for visitors to take in. Thai royal family is not in residence but the garden is still fresh and decorated with flowers. There are roses and a variety of bird.

Along the road from the city to Doi Suthep-Pui National Park there are a plenty of tourist attractions. One of Chiang Mai’s most famous landmarks, Wat Prathat Doi Suthep is one of them, which most tourists take in on their visit here. Only four kilometers from Doi Suthep temple, is one of the King’s palaces that unfortunately many tourists are unaware of. Most people would imagine the King’s palace to be huge and luxuriously decorated, but Phuping Palace is different. Each building has been built in different styles yet all are simple, harmonizing with the surrounding natural environment.

phuping palace, bhubing palace, winter palace

The Phuping Palace is located on Doi Buak Ha, about 4 km behind Doi Suthep (22 km from the center of Chiang Mai city) in Chiang Mai Province. Phuping Palace is the Royal family’s winter residence during seasonal visits to the people in the North of Thailand and is also used as a royal guesthouse for state visitors from abroad. As Bhubing Palace was built only in 1961, before then state visitors could reside only in Bangkok. The construction was initially made up of the royal residence building and the guesthouse; other buildings were additionally built on at later dates.

phuping palace, bhubing palace, winter palace

Phuping Palace is well known for its roses. Suan Suwaree is a rose garden where 274 kinds of roses from around the world can be found.  Spent around an hour walking around the grounds and gardens of this palace. Although the very well maintained gardens are worth a visit year round as different flowers bloom in each season, they are at their best during the winter months when many colorful flowers are in bloom. During the monsoon season the mountain can be covered in clouds, which is an excellent time for the Palace orchids.

There are many gardens here and if you don’t like walking, take one of the golf carts.

phuping palace, bhubing palace, winter palace

There are 3 log cabins build from eucalyptus wood. Bhubing Royal Palace was built in the northern Thai architectural style called “Ruen Mu,” or group of houses. The building sits on stilts. The upper floor is the royal residential area, and the ground floor houses the royal entourage. The building master plan was designed by Prince Samaichalerm Kridagara, an architect from the Fine Arts Department. The construction of the palace was undertaken by the Bureau of the Crown Property, under the supervision of Prince Samaichalerm Kridagara. It took five months to complete. The first royal visitors to stay at this palace were King Frederick IX and Queen Ingrid of Denmark on their visit to Thailand in January 1962.

Another highlight of the palace is the vast water reservoir that holds water for the entire palace’s use, and where the musical fountain show called “The Fountain of Celestial Water of People” is held; a nice spot for sitting, relaxing, and appreciating the view of the colourful flower garden. Providing a scenic backdrop to the log cabins, the fountains and water reservoir are as practical as they are attractive and provide the water used in the palace grounds.

Open Time : Phuping Palace is daily open from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm. The ticket office opens from 8.30 to 11.30 am and 1.00 to 3.30 pm.  The palace is, however, closed from January to the beginning of March because it serves as the royal residence during that time.

phuping palace, bhubing palace, winter palace

Entrance Ticket : Admission is 50 Baht per person. Please follow the Palace dress code: long pants or skirts, no bare shoulders.

For elderly visitors or wheelchair users, golf carts are available for 300 baht per car, which can access most of the grounds.

phuping palace, bhubing palace, winter palace

How to get to Phuping Palace ?

The travel to the palace is easy because it is the same way to Doi Suthep, a renowned mountain, which is about 5 km from Chiang Mai. You can take a red pick-up passing in front of Chiang Mai Zoo. You can also stop over to pay homage to Khru Ba Si Wichai Monument. Khru Ba Si Wichai is the one who constructed Phra That Doi Sutheip Temple. The red pick-up services are provided to lead to Doi Suthep Temple, Phuping Palace and Meo Hilltribe Village. The distance from Chiangmai Zoo to Bhubing Rajanives Palace is about 17 km.

Kad Luang

kad luang, warorot market, chiang mai market

Kad Luang is the most popular market in Chiang Mai

kad luang, warorot market, chiang mai market

Kad Luang or Warorot Market is a well-known landmark in Chiang Mai and marks the centre of the city’s little Chinatown.

Located at the end of Chiang Moi Road near the Ping river, Kad Luang is a must-visit for food lovers as it offers a wide range of ready-to-eat meals, local snacks and all kinds of fresh produce. A large section of the market features inexpensive goods, such as clothing, fashion accessories and personal care products.

kad luang, warorot market, chiang mai market

Kad Luang is set over 3 levels and is Chiang Mai’s biggest market. The first floor selling food and the massive array of goods on offer at Kad Luang market ranges from dried fruits, nuts, vegetables and herbs to handicrafts, fabric and materials, jewellery and souvenirs as well as clothes, shoes, cosmetics and household appliances.

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The second and third floors at Warorot Market are dedicated to clothing and everyday merchandise. Since the market targets mostly locals, you won’t find the kinds of handicrafts and souvenirs that you would normally find at the night bazaar or other crafts markets around town. Fashion is mostly casual wear, such as T-shirts, shorts and simple dresses. The prices here are much cheaper than at other touristy markets so if you need an extra pair of shorts or a T-shirt, Warorot Market is a good place to go. Compared to food and fashion, the merchandise section is not as interesting (unless you want an authentic Thai spatula). A wide range of cheap cosmetics and personal care products are also on sale, although the quality is probably questionable.

kad luang, warorot market, chiang mai market

kad luang, warorot market, chiang mai market

All items are really cheap. If you want something, look around, it is probably there somewhere. There are lots of indoor and outdoor shops and stalls over several streets so be prepared to spend a bit of time and have a good look around.

kad luang, warorot market, chiang mai market

kad luang, warorot market, chiang mai market

Thai people head to Warorot Market to browse its tantalising selection of food. Holidaymakers from Bangkok are particularly fond of the grilled northern-style sausage (sai oua), red and green chili dip (nam prik ong/nam prik noom) and crispy pork skin (cap moo) here. Grilled meats and ready-to-eat curries are also popular.

There are stories contained within the folds of a Hmong skirt, delicately painted with wax and lovingly embroidered for a special occasion years ago. Hmong costume is amongst the most vibrant and decadent in all of Southeast Asia, and Chiang Mai’s Warorot Market is the place to go if you want to ferret through truckloads of vintage Hmong fabric remnants, hand-stitched quilts, textiles, garments and baby carriers.

kad luang, warorot market, chiang mai market

Start exploring at the northeast corner of the market, at the intersection of Chang Moi and Wichayanon Roads, where most songthaews make their passenger drop offs. The perimeter of the Warorot building is surrounded by covered clothing stalls and Chinese gold shops. You can enter the main building via one of the dozen undercover walkways that open up to the street along the eastern wall. Here is a good place to grab a morning snack of dim sum, steamed buns or rotisserie chicken before you enter the market proper. Turning left as you enter, you’ll come across a section labelled Area 4. The stalls in this part of the market mainly stock bamboo kitchen utensils, plastic crockery, and temple offerings.

kad luang, warorot market, chiang mai market

Check out the big fruit and vegetable shop next to the Flower Market (Ton Lamyai Market). The sizes, shapes, colours and smells of the huge variety of asian fruits on display is amazing. If you are not sure what the fruits are, ask for a little taste test, most are very obliging.

kad luang, warorot market, chiang mai market
kad luang, warorot market, chiang mai market

Ton Lamyai’s market floor is comparable to Warorot’s, but with more aromatics on display, including dried shrimp. Here, you can buy hill tribe Arabica coffee and locally grown tea leaves by the bag. Another shop sells fantastic homewares and utensils, including quirky wooden teacups, and another woven rice baskets. The northern end of the floor breaks off into a wet market (which must back right onto the Ping River), and a food court.

 

Doi Suthep Temple

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Doi Suthep Temple is certainly one of the most important temples in Chiang Mai

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If you’re going to visit important temples in Chiang Mai, you’ll in all probability visit one of many millions of temples inside the old city as a result of they’re everywhere. But if you’re going to visit a second temple, make sure it’s Wat Phra That Doi Suthep (lots of people name it “Doi Suthep Temple”). It’s that shining golden glimmer up on the inexperienced mountainside you can see from anyplace in the city. Most non-Thai visitors don’t even know that it’s some of the sacred temples in Thailand, however on prime of the great religious significance and sweetness, it’s an unbelievable destination that can be as much about the journey as you want it to be.

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Construction on Doi Suthep Temple began in 1386 under King Kuena (r.1367-88) and was completed within a few years. The temple complex was periodically expanded and embellished over the following centuries. Construction would have been an arduous task, with workers having to carry supplies through thick jungle: the road leading to the temple was only installed in 1935. The modern paved road was a joint effort of communities throughout the Chiang Mai region, each of whom contributed 1,300-foot sections.

According to legend, a magical relic multiplied itself just before it was enshrined at Wat Suan Dok in Chiang Mai. A suitable place therefore had to be found to shelter the new relic. Unable to decide on the site, the king placed the relic in a portal shrine on the back of a white elephant and waited to see where the animal would take it. Eventually, the elephant walked up to the top of Doi Suthep mountain, trumpeted three times, turned around three times, knelt down, and died. The temple was immediately built on the miraculously-chosen site.

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To get to the top of Doi Suthep Temple, you have to climb the 360 step staircase that is flanked by these large multi-colored glass Naga serpents. The climb for devotees builds Buddhist merit for climbing up to the temple. On the way up the stairs are these colorfully dressed children in traditional garb that will pose for you for a small contribution, you can also pose with them in the photos but I choose to capture them in a more playful way.

Within the temple complex are a number of pavilions, pagodas, statues and viharns. The pavilions contain the living quarters for monks. A small museum with ancient relics, photographs and old pieces of temple wares can also be visited.

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Steps lead up to the inner terrace, where a walkway circumnavigates the gleaming golden Chedi enshrining the relic. The original copper plated Chedi is the most sacred area of the temple grounds. Within the site are the temples and statues, bells, and the museum, and shrines. Wat aspects came about from the development of Buddhism and Hinduism. A model of the Emerald Buddha and the statue of the Hindu god Ganesh can be found in the temple and you can see the sights of Chiang Mai on the other side of the temple.

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The Phra Ubosot or ordination hall is the place where the prayers take place. Striking a series of small bells in the complex is believed to bring good luck. Whenever there is wind around the atmosphere is filled with the sounds of temple bells adding to the tranquility and peacefulness of this beautiful place.

doi suthep temple, doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple

doi suthep temple, doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple

Outside this central enclave area you will find the shrine to the White Elephant and the story of how the temple on Doi Suthep was founded. There is a wide walkway around the main temple which leads you to a large viewing terrace with terrific views down over Chiang Mai, weather permitting. Just past the viewing terrace is one of the worlds largest gongs, which makes an earthly rich sound when struck. Give it a try, it is allowed.

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Lastly, there is a souvenir shop and a small shops for drinks and snacks. When visiting this sacred place, dress appropriately. Inside the temple grounds, please take off your shoes.

Entrance Ticket : Foreigners pay 30 Baht entrance fee.

How to get to Doi Suthep Temple ?

Doi Suthep Temple is open daily from 05:00 am. – 08:00 pm. ; come early or late to avoid the crowds. To get here, take a red truck (songtaew) from in front of Chiangmai zoo, at the western end of Huai Kaeo Road. The fare is 50B going up and 40B for the descent. The ride can get cool, so bring a sweater or jacket. The bus stops at the base of the naga staircase. If you’d rather not climb the 306 steps, a special part of the experience, there’s a funicular railway to the top for 50B. You can simplify matters by booking a half-day trip though any tour agency in Chiang Mai for around 600B, including a stop at Phuping Palace or Meo Hilltribe Village that you can choose one.

Meo Hilltribe Village

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Doi Pui Meo Hilltribe Village

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Doi Pui Meo Hilltribe Village is located in the area of Doi Suthep – Pui national park, about 45 minutes from Chiang Mai town.

The Meo Hilltribe or Hmong people are former inhabitants of the Yellow River Valley in China who fled their home due to Chinese expansionism. Now approximately 120,000 Meo people live in northern Thailand. They are known for their intricate embroidery and colourful costumes. The villagers farm vegetables and fruit, most having given up opium cultivation, once their main employment.

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Meo Hilltribe Village is set amongst the peaks of Doi Suthep. It has a lovely setting with a panoramic view of Chiang Mai and the Mae Ping River valley. Although Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is the most recently built of the temples dating from the Lanna Thai period, it is the symbol of Chiangmai. The site was selected by sending an elephant to roam at will up the mountainside. When it reached this spot, it trumpeted, circled three times, and kneeled down and thus interpreted as a sign indicating and auspicious site.

The Meo Hilltribe live in houses that sit right on the ground, not on stilts as do most on the other tribes. However, the main floor of their houses is not at ground level, but rests upon a kind of above-ground basement or root cellar that they use for food storage. Moreover, their house-fronts slope outward and downward, an architectural feature that is the trademark of their villages. The Meo , even more than the other tribes, practice a strict male-female division of labor. One custom that especially illustrates this is that of giving a newborn boy a gift of metal from which he will one they forge a weapon, whereas newborn girls receive no special gift.

meo hilltribe, doi pui meo, doi pui meo hilltribe, meo hilltribe village, doi pui hmong

When you enter the Meo village you are meet by souvenir shops. There are also shops selling fruit and vegetable grown in the area around the village. For most the hill tribes in Thailand, farming is the main source of income.

When get into the more private part of the village you will see a typical hill tribe village as you will find them all over the north of Thailand, a student tourist guide is available to take you a good tour through their village.

meo hilltribe, doi pui meo, doi pui meo hilltribe, meo hilltribe village, doi pui hmong

meo hilltribe, doi pui meo, doi pui meo hilltribe, meo hilltribe village, doi pui hmong

A very nice attraction in the village is the garden. Because of the higher altitude it have a wide range of flowering plants you normally do not find in Thai gardens. The garden is laid out in terraces and there is a nice view of the mountains and the village. See opium poppies, flowers and Thai Sakura. Enjoy a scenic view of the village surrounded by forests in hilly area. And visit a small waterfall garden in the village containing flowers, ornamental trees, and opium poppy. Guests can observe local way of Meo livelihoods around the village. There are many girls in traditional Meo hill tribe clothing. A lot of the visitors took advantage of the opportunity to have their pictures taken together with the girls.

meo hilltribe, doi pui meo, doi pui meo hilltribe, meo hilltribe village, doi pui hmong

Doi Pui Hmong Hill Tribe Village also have a museum. It is not big. In fact, it is only two rooms in a bamboo hut. You will only find some household remedies, some crossbows, hill tribe cloths, plantation tools, kitcheners and opium producing equipmentsand some tools for rice growing.

This is evidence of a very simple life, where people live in harmony with the nature and only have needed very few material things. Nowadays the Meo Hill Tribe people has some modern necessities but far from as many as people from the cities have.

When you visit the remote hill tribe villages, people still live, more or less as they as they have done for hundreds of years. Doi Pui Meo hill tribe village is a great place to get insight into how life in the mountain end has been, and in many places still are.

meo hilltribe, doi pui meo, doi pui meo hilltribe, meo hilltribe village, doi pui hmong

How to get to Doi Pui Meo village : To drive to the summit first head to the northwest corner of the Old City, easily located due to the moat enclosing the area. Turn left to head west from here on Huai Kaeo Road (Route 1004), and follow it a total of 14.4 km to Doi Suthep Temple. Continue along the road another 5.9 km beyond the temple past Phuping Palace (Winter Palace) and take a sharp right to head deeper into the park (after this sharp right the road becomes one lane, so drive slowly and beware of oncoming traffic). After a total of 24 km from the Old City you will reach the summit pullout for Doi Pui Meo Village.That’s it.

Highlights along the way to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep include the Chiangmai Zoo at 3.6 km from the old city, Wang Bua Baan viewpoint and falls at 5.5 km, Monthatarn waterfall at 7.0 km, a viewpoint worth a quick stop at 9.8 km.

Doi Inthanon National Park

doi inthanon national park, inhanon, doi inthanon, inthanon national park

Doi Inthanon National Park Tour

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Doi Inthanon National Park is the highest summit in the country and during the winter season the temperature on the top of the mountain can drop to 0 Degrees Celcius. This mountain is the endpoint for the Himalayan mountain range which traverses Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Thailand; it reaches 2,565 meters above the sea level. Within an hour drive of Chiang Mai town are numerous places that can provide that picture perfect postcard spot. Due to the difference of temperatures in high and low altitudes, the mountain supports more than one type of forest: the lower part of the mountain has plants that grow with light and heat whereas the top part of the mountain has plants that grow with humidity and the cold. Rare plants grow in these forests including Sphagnum Moss and the Delavay Rhododendron.

Doi Inthanon National Park has much to offer visitors besides its natural beauty. For centuries the area has been home to various hill tribes who still reside there and maintain their ancient way of life. At the base of the peaks you will find Hmong villages, where the people continue to tend their fields as they have done for hundreds of years. The only change is the crop. Thanks to the Royal Project, these people have switched from cultivating opium poppies and now grow other commercial crops such as vegetables and flowers. Visitors are welcome to the Royal Project, which is located right near the rangers’ station.

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The high elevation and abundance of water have blessed Doi Inthanon with a rich biodiversity that is unique in Thailand. Its lush forests include Moist Evergreen, Pine Forest and Mixed Deciduous. At the base of the mountains cleared agricultural land is interspersed with deciduous trees, which lose their leaves at the coming of the dry season. At higher elevations the deciduous forests give way to large swathes of tropical evergreen, which maintain their emerald hue all year round. Doi Inthanon is home to a large and colourful array of flowers, as well. Vanda Orchids, Phycastylis and Rhododendron can be found growing wild all over the park.

Inthanon National Park is also home to a wide variety of animal species. Although many of the large animals are no longer found in the park it is still home to a number of different species. Asiatic Black Bears, Barking Deer and Chinese Flying Squirrels can be seen, living alongside a large variety of primates including Gibbons, Macaques, Leaf Monkeys and over 30 species of bats. Doi Inthanon National Park is also the best locale in Thailand for bird watching, with over 300 different species making their homes among the trees.

Things to do in Doi Inthanon National Park

Trek at Doi Inthanon : This is a real jungle trek for nature lovers and for people who wanted to learn about nature, culture, and walking for botanical, birds, insects and butterflies. Otherwise it’s suitable for people who want to have plenty of time to spend in the forest and in the villages, to be with people with no botanical, birds, insects and butterflies. Otherwise it’s suitable for people who want to have plenty of time to spend in the forest and in the villages, to be with people with no rush and away from civilization.

Where to trek ?

doi inthanon national park, inhanon, doi inthanon, inthanon national park

Ban Mae Klang Luang is an ethnic community of Karen (or Pa Paa Ka Yor in ethnic Karen). The fourth highest peak of Doi Intanon (Intanon Mountain) is in the boundary of this village. This peak is situation at an elevation of 1,88l meters above sea level. The forest landscapes in Ban Mae Klang Luang area is coniferous forests alternate with hill evergreen forest. Ban Mae Klang Luang trekking trails are ideal for naturalists seeking for peaceful moments or getting to know villagers’ way of life.

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Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail is one of the most beautiful and rewarding walks in the park is a new trail which begins a short distance up the main summit road from Napamaytanidol. This short trail, winding through pristine forest for about 2.5 km, allows the hiker to experience the natural beauty of the forest at first hand. Rhododendrons, commonly found in the Himalayas, are found along the trail and they are in full bloom from Dec-Feb. Trekkers on Kew Mae Pan route should seek permission from the park headquarters at km31 for safety reasons. A group of not more than 15 people is recommended. Food consumption is not allowed while trekking. This nature trail is closed for reforestation from 1 Jun-30 Oct.

doi inthanon national park, inhanon, doi inthanon, inthanon national park

Ang Ka Luang Nature Trail, a combination of the highland peat swamp and hill evergreen forest situated at the mountaintop, features a special eco-system found nowhere else. Follow a 400-m-long wooden bridge; you will be introduced to a unique atmosphere of the Himalaya.vAncient tall lichen-clad trees hidden amid seas of fog and rare species of flora and fauna together with hundreds of birds have enticed visitors to the Ang Ka for many years.The birds’ annual feast begins in the cold season when wild flowers, especially red Rhododendrons, dotted the forests. Green-tailed sunbirds, chestnut-tailed minlas, rufous-winged fulvettas and several others are commonly found here. This is a real bird lovers’ paradise.

doi inthanon national park, inhanon, doi inthanon, inthanon national park

Summit of Doi Inthanon : Almost at the top of the mountain the road will terminate at a car park from here it is a short 5 minute walk to Thailand’s highest point and the true peak of Doi Inthanon. There is a large sign marking this posit and having your picture taken under this seems to be the most popular activity. The peak is still well forested so there are no views from this point, you will get better views a bit further down the mountain and the Royal Pagodas.

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Phra Mahathat Naphamethanidon and Nophamethanidon : The King and Queen Chedis: Erected in 1987 and 1992 respectively, the King and Queen Chedis are located on the summit of the mountain. The chedis are popular among locals who come here to offer their prayers along with flowers and incense sticks as a way of showing respect to the royal couple. The views are stunning and the gardens are breath taking. There are escalator services for those who do not want to make the climb up to the summit. There is an entrance fee of 40 Baht.

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Hmong Market : you shouldn’t miss shopping for handmade products, temperate vegetables, flowers and freshly picked fruits from tribal sellers dressed in colourful embroidered costume at Hmong Market. They wear Black trousers with a dark jacket with embroidered collars and green, white and blue stripes on their long sleeves. Traditional rice growing and gardens in the hills is being replaced by emphasis on other cash crops cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes and strawberries which were introduced as a substitute for opium growing. Hmong are involved in several royal projects such as the Doi Inthanon Royal Project which focus on crop substitution.

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Royal Agricultural Research Station : A project initiated by his Majesty King Bhumipol, The Royal Agricultural research Station was initiated to help raise the living standards of local hill tribes who reside in the park (mainly Karen and Hmong). Of interest to the visitor would be a walk around the research greenhouses displaying research in progress of flowering plants , fruit trees and other marketable crops. From the grounds of the research station an impressive cascading waterfall can be viewed in the distance.

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Khun Wang Cherry Blossom : If speak of ”Sakura” are you still thinking about Japan? But in reality, the beautiful cherry blossoms, Sakura isn’t being seen only in Japan. Several people commented that a ”phaya Sua flower” which crops up at Chiang Mai Royal Agricultural research Center (Khun Wang), Chiang Mai, Mae Wang is as beautiful as Sakura in Japan. Therefore, it is known as the cherry blossoms, Sakura even in Thailand now.

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Siriphum Waterfall : The Waterfall was formerly called “Lao Lee Waterfall”, which was named after the headman of a nearby tribesman village. After that Mr.Ror.Vor. Jakthong Thongyai, a former Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, named the Waterfall “Siriphum” to enhance the prestige of His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen. The Waterfall is located near km 31, Chomthong-Doi Inthanon Raod. This is an imressively high waterfall visible from a long ways off.

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Wachirathan Waterfall : The spectacular Wachiratharn Waterfall is located in Doi Inthanon National Park, halfway up the mountain. This scenic spot is excellent for picnics and is reached by a short, easy trail from the parking area. The waterfall has a steep drop of 50 meters with a large cascade plummeting over the edge into a deep pool below, creating a misty veil of great beauty.

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Mae Klang Waterfall : The Mae Klang Waterfall is the first waterfall you might encounter on the road going up to the top of Doi Inthanon National Park. Because of its easy access, this unusual waterfall has been visited by Thai people for many years and they continue to come in large numbers on any sunny day in the year to swim, picnic and relax in this beautiful setting. The rapids and waterfall spill over a wide exposure of granite and can be approached closely. Visitors are asked to exercise caution around the waterfall area and while swimming either above or below the falls. A well-maintained trail leads up the side of the waterfall, and continues to the Visitor Center and beyond.

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Mae Ya Waterfall : Mae Ya Waterfall, or Nam Tok Mae Ya, is one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in Chiang Mai. The fresh water splashes down over 30 tiers of rocks and boulders into small clear pools. Mae Ya Waterfall is a beautiful, fanning cascade, dropping down an ever-widening series of steps. The water tumbles down a 100 m cliff in a series of spectacular leaps and National Park officials estimate that the Mae Ya River plunges more than 250 m at this point. The main falls is about 40 meters high.

How to get to Doi Inthanon National Park : To get to Doi Inthanon from Chiang Mai take route 108 towards Chomthong. Follow this road for 57 km (35 miles) and turn right onto route 1009 (Chomthong-Doi Inthanon Road). Follow this road for 31km (19 miles) and you will arrive at the entrance of the park (trip time approximately 90 minutes). Once in the park you can explore it on foot or in a vehicle. While the climb is tiring, it is a great way to experience the entire park. The ranger station at the entrance to the park is well equipped and can provide maps, guides and information on the park.

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

Khun Wang Cherry Blossoms

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Khun Wang Cherry Blossoms “Romantic place in Chiang Mai”

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Chiang Mai Royal Agricultural Research Center or the traveller know as “Khun Wang Cherry Blossoms“. Along the route, it is filled with pink sakura of Thailand ( Dok Nang Phaya Sua Krong). Usually when we want to see this flower, we need to go abroad. As this place is located in the heart of the mountain, so it has a beautiful nature under this topography and the beauty of the area is also covered with cold weather throughout the year.

Traveling here, apart from having a chance to see several different winter vegetable and fruit beds, if you come here during early or late January (each year the time of blossom can be varied), You will also get to watch Dok Phaya Sua Krong or Thailand sakura which will be beautifully cherry blossoms blossom in pink all along the route.

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Khun Wang Cherry Blossoms is  very popular pace with people, who come here throughout the year to enjoy the cool and fresh air. Relax and take in the beautiful Himalayan cherry blossom over the winter months.

There are not many places in Thailand to see the beauty of wild himalayan cherry blooming. Mostly in Chiang Mai Chiang Rai and Loi. It usually bloom for only about two weeks a year during December – January when the weather is cold down for about one month. Highly recommended to get an update on the seasonal blooms before your trip.

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How to get to Khun Wang Cherry Blossoms:

Travel by private car, from downtown Chiang Mai, we will take the Highway 108 (Chiang Mai – Hod). Before reaching Chom Thong Province, turn right to Doi Inthanon National Park following the Highway 1009 and at about 30-31 k.m., there will be a T-junction at Khun Klang Village, and we will need to turn right. After that, in about 16 kilometers we will reach Khun Wang village and we will still need to go pass the village in approximately 2 kilometers more and we will reach Chiang Mai Royal Agricultural Research Center (Khun Wang). The route is already paved but there might still be some holes.

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Travel by public transportation, without private car, we will need to hire the yellow taxi (Song Tiew) at Chom Thong District which is a place that situated Song Tiew taking you up to Doi Inthanon National Park in front of Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong.

Kew Mae Pan

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Kew Mae Pan is among the best nature trails available in Chiang Mai’s national parks

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There are many nature trails on Doi Inthanon, the favorite one is Kew Mae Pan which suitable for everyone who have limited of time. This trail is about 3 kilometers long take about 1-2 hours every groups need a trekking leader. You could see the Rhododendrons, commonly found in the Himalayas. This trail passing through wet and cold areas in a lush valley. Forest above 2,000 metres is covered with lichens and wild orchids. Indigenous plants that needs a high level of nutrition, organic deposits.

Kiew Mae Pan situates at approximately 2,200 meters above sea level, is 3.2 km. long and takes around 2-4 hours to complete. Visit 3 different type of forest that separate into 21 stations offer detailed explanations about the plants and ecosystems, whether it be ferns from ancient times, Himalayan flora species, dense cloud forest or grassland.

First zone: The trail is really peaceful and green. You will enjoy the walk and the beautiful nature of trees , ferns , waterfall and more.

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1 Filmy Fern

Little sunlight cart penetrate, the dense canopy but there is enough for the epiphytic filmy fern to thrive. This is an ancient, its fossil record dated back 230 million years ago. Its leaves are so thin, they comprise of only one cell layer allowing gas and water molecules to diffuse directly through them.

During the short dry spell, they become dry, crispy and curly but only to spring back to life with a touch of cloud.

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2 Cloud forest

At this elevation, the temperature is low enough for cloud to form. The forest obtained most of its water directly from the cloud condensation.

The close cauliflower-like canopy is well separated from the undergrowth. Unlike the lowland tropical forest, there are few small trees and climbers. Epiphytes like orchids, ferns and abundant, covering almost every trunks and branches.

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3 Humble origin of a mighty river

The deep gorge on the other side is an evidenced its previous course. The low temperature and the splashing against rocks make mountain streams rich oxygen. All the streams in this watershed area flow into the Ping Rivet and eventually into the mighty Chao Praya, feeding the lives of millions of people in the central plain.

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4 Plants community in the cloud forest

Many trees here have relatives in the forest of temperate Asia, Europe and America. Tropical Oaks (Fagaceae, Oak family) and Schima Wallichii (Theaceae, Tea family) are abundant.

Members of the Ginger family are predominant ground over plants. Soils in cloud forest are rich but boggy and acidic. Few seedlings can grow where the leaf little is too thick.

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5 Dynamic forest

Situated at a high altitude, cloud forest has to withstand strong wind. Many trees gave in and fell, letting in sunlight to flood the forest floor like never before. Trees that cannot withstand strong UV light will gradually die out, giving opportunities- for the seeds of non woody plants to grow rapidly without competition. But when the soil become shaded and moist once again, the rapid growing woody plant will then take over. Slowly the original trees will recolonize, until the repair process is done, leaving little evidence of scar.

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6 Vines – aerial expressway

Unlike trees, vines do not invest energy in creating large trunk to stand tall and strong. Instead, they grow in length, clinging on trees tor support and climb to reach for the canopy rapidly in search of the precious sunlight.

The network of these vines provide convenient aerial routes for the squirrels and civets to travel from tree to tree.

Second zone : Leads to a cliff where you can enjoy breathtaking mountain views. There is an interesting feature called Pha-Ngam Noi rock out crop which is reputedly composed of eroded granite. This was the area where the pathway is narrow between two slopes in the opposite direction. On the left was the slope falling into the forest where trees grow green, tall and strong. On your right, the mountain just drops into a plunging valley that merges into other valleys, creating a beautiful contour of blueish-green. Reach to the rhododendron trees that thrive on acidic soil at altitudes of 1,800 metres and above sea level and panoramic views of king and queen pagoda.

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7 Sub-Alpine meadow

In the Himalaya, true alpine meadow occurs at more than 4,000 meters above sea level but here it occurs at only 2,000 – 2,500 meters.

The poor soil, steep slope and frequent fire prevent re-colonization of the forest. Constant battle to reclaim territory occurs at the edge of forest. Here, the meadow wins the battle. Flowers and a few small bushy plants from the Himalaya thrive here, create a unique habitat of the “sub-alpine meadow”

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8 The fire-tolerant bracken fern

At the bottom of the shallow gully where the soil is most damp, small flower bushes can grow but on the top of the mound where soil is dry, exposed to the wind and occasional fire, only the hardy bracken fern with its thick leaves to limit water loss are found. The stems of the fern lie beneath the ground so are protected and can regenerate after a fire.

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9 Panoramic view

The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.

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10 Rock cliff – a safe home for the goats

Goral are found from about 1000 up to 4,000 meters. Their range is from the Himalayas and northern India, to southern China, Burma and northern Thailand. The Thai species are mainly gray-brown in color much like the boulders and rocks that they live around.

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11 Phar-Ngam Noi rock outcrop

Over the years, erosion by wind and water has taken away much of the soil and rock of this hill side, leaving behind the most durable piece at this twin granite rock outcrop.

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12 Kew Mae Pan mountain ridge

The forest on the opposite sides of the mountain ridge are very different. The trees on the outer slope, facing the sun and the wind, are stunted. The soil here is of poor quality since the humus, layer is washed away by the rain. The occasional bush fire from the village below degrades it further. By contrast, the inner slope, protected from these hazards, is lush and green.

The rainfall over here dripless slowly among the leafy trunk and slowly sieves through the root system to eventually form the forest stream below.

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13 Rhododendron

Windy condition deprives the plants on the cliff of the precious water. The hardy rhododendron has what it takes to survive such harsh a condition. Its thick, sticky and hairy leaves are an adaptation to minimize water loss through transpiration. Their bright scarlet flowers, visible from distance even in a misty condition, advertising to the sunbirds to come to pollinate them.

At the base of the trunk, there are many spare buds ready to regenerate new branches in case they become damaged by wind or fire.

Final zone : After that, you will be led back to the forest again.

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14 Secondary forest

Looking down, you can see the secondary forest at the lower elevation, which is very different from the cloud forest. It comprises of the pioneer species of sun loving plant such as reeds and bananas.

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15 Watershed forest

Within the cloud forest much of the precipitation is the form of fog drip where fog condenses on tree leaves and then drip on to the ground. Because of the low decomposition rate due to the cool climate, the leaf titter and humus layer is thick acting like a massive sponge. This sponge prevents excessive surface water run-off and flash flood during heavy rain. In the dry season it slowly releases the trapped water to provide year round supply of clear and clean water.

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16 Mass-water loving but drought tolerant

Mosses love water. They grow abundantly around the tree bases and damp rocks, they are among the first plants to evolve from the primitive water plant to adapt to life on land. Their ‘roots’ are used primarily to anchor the rock surface. Water and nutrients simply diffuse through their leaves.

During drought, they become dormant. Millions of minute dust like spores are carried by the wind to settle on cool damp place where they will be able to germinate once again.

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17 Two generation forest

In a mature undisturbed cloud forest, you would find different kinds of trees with various heights. But here the tree community are not so diverse and are of relatively same age and height. This is a clue that this patch of forest has been previously disturbed, probably by a storm.

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18 Tall but easily fall

Despite the height of these giant trees, their root system are fairly shallow, spreading horizontally along the top soil. Fast surface water runoff on the steep terrain erodes the forest top soil .so, that it is only 1-2 meters deep. Below is solid rock.

Some of these trees develop buttress roots spreading out for support. But even with these specialized roots, they may not be able to withstand heavy storms.

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19 Tree fern, symbol of undisturbed cloud forest

The tall tree ferns are largest non-vascular plants. But since they lack strong woody stems, they can be easily broken. That is why we will find them only in the wet and shady gully, protected from strong wind and sunlight.

If the forest was disturbed resulting in extensive clearing, the tree ferns would not have survived.

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20 Listen to Nature’s voice

Be still be quiet, close your eyes and listen to the sounds of the forest. Listen to the sounds of the falling leave, the restless wind the swaying braches, the trickling steam, sweet chirping of bird, humming of insects delicate wings. Note the variety, subtlety and complexity of the forest symphony. Immerse, absorb and enjoy.

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21 Summary

This cloud forest nature trail is and outdoor classroom for everyone to learn about its complex ecosystem, evolution and adaptation, symbiosis and water cycle.

It is precious gift from nature for everyone to enjoy. As human, we cannot create such wonder, but we can conserve it and cherish it for generate to come.

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Entrance Ticket : The cost for trek on Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail is a 200 baht entrance fee which pays for a guide. (group of not more than 15 people)

How to get to Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail :

Doi Inthanon National Park is Thailand’s highest mountain. The peak is about 110km from Chiang Mai on highway 108 and 1009. Kew Mae Pan is on the 42km marker on highway 1009. The nature trail is open from November to May.

Wat Phrathat Doi Kham

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Wat Prathat Doi Kham is one of the best and famous Wat in Cheing Mai

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Wat Phrathat Doi Kham is a magnificent sight and the site is suppose to have an excellent view of Chiang Mai city.

Wat Phrathat Doi Kham is actually older than the city of Chiang Mai. It was established in the 7th century by the sons of Queen Chamadevi of the Haripunchai Kingdom, who had her capital in the nearby city of Lamphun. The Haripunchai Kingdom was a populated by the Mon people, who were the first to bring Buddhism to Northern Thailand.

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Phra That Doi Kham Temple is mainly visited by Thai’s who come to visit the 17-metre-tall image of sitting Buddha. The Buddha can be seen from the bottom of the hill and is decorated in gold lending to the temple’s nickname ‘the golden temple’. The large seated Buddha image of Wat Phra That Doi Kham is visible from far, being located on the foothills of the mountains south of Chiang Mai.

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In the temple itself, there is also ” Luang Por Tun Jai”, the Buddha image of success which people love to visit the temple to worship and make a wish. An announcer will broadcast through the temple’s PA system that the garland offering has to be “pledged” in multiples of 50, and you can only make 1 wish at a time. But if your wish does come true in 3 months, you must return to fulfil your promise with the jasmin garlands to worship and showing their gratitude to the Buddha image which you could see all jasmin garlands pile up on the table in front of the small chapel where the Buddha image places inside.

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The oldest structure of the Wat Phrathat Doi Kham temple is the chedi (pagoda. Walking around the pagoda area , visitors could see the small houses of the Gods and Goddesses  who protect the  temple area as well such as the 2 Giants Gods who protect the temple ground and the people in that area , the statue of Wasuthep Ruesii ( The hermit ) who use to meditation up on Doi Suthep Mountain and protect Doi Suthep Temple as present , Queen Jamathewee of Hariphunchai ( Lamphun province) as well as some other Gods and Goddesses around the pagoda base.

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There is an interesting folktale about Lord Buddha visiting this temple and meeting a rakshasa (demon) family who tried to eat him. Lord Buddha conquered them by sending them his kindness, which they could not stand. The rakshasa family eventually converted, revering our Lord Buddha, and also gave up consuming human flesh.

The temple grounds include a large terrace that gives a vantage point out over fields and towards the city below. From the viewpoints you will have great views of the surrounding area including nearby Royal Park Ratchaphruek.

Entrance Ticket : Foreigners pay 30 Baht entrance fee.

How to get to Wat Phrathat Doi Kham ?

This temple is situated in Tambon Mae Hia, Amphoe Mueang about 12 kilometers from Chiang Mai City.

Opening Hours : Daily from 08:00 am. – 05:00 pm.

Buatong Sticky Waterfall

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Buatong Sticky Waterfall outstanding beautiful waterfall in Chiang Mai

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Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall is most unusual because it is limestone waterfall and is not slippery so it is fun to climb it.

Buatong Sticky waterfall is height 100 meters and the slope is about 50 degrees. It has beautiful view and is in a natural rain forest. The surrounding forest floor is coated with moss and small colorful flowers. There are plenty of forest creatures, too, like butterflies and water bugs, and even the occasional minnow.

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After being in Chiang Mai for a while, you may hear foreigners talk about a waterfall you can climb up like a gecko climbs up a wall, and they might refer to it as the “Sticky Waterfall“, or maybe, the “Limestone Waterfall”. You might hear a Thai person talk about “Bua Tong Waterfall” or “Nam Phu Chet Si“, and casually refer to it as a nice place to visit. They would all be talking about the same place, and anyone will tell you it is an attraction well-worth experiencing, probably unlike any other you’ve had before.

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Buatong Sticky waterfall is located north of Chiang Mai in the area of Si Lanna National Park. The water source for Bua Tong waterfall is the Rainbow or Seven Colors Spring. The spring water contains a high amount of calcium carbonate. As the spring water cascades down the falls, the calcium is deposited on the rocks. The calcium carbonate then adds a non-slip surface to the rocks. Believe it or not, the rocks look slick but it is very easy to walk up the face of the falls without slipping. It is almost as if someone decided to pour cement down over the rocks and it hardened under the water. This single feature makes it a worthwhile visit to Bua Tong waterfall. However, don’t go just for the falls, go for the beauty of the forest as well.

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This Sticky waterfall consists of 3 levels of falls with flat stretches of streams in between. Enjoy a great time climbing up and down the falls and you feeling more and more secure on the sticky limestone as you can believe. On top of that, the rocks barely have any algae growing on them. The slippery slimy rocks that are normally found at a waterfall are nonexistent here.

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Food is not allowed to take with you down in the waterfall, but there are plenty of picnic tables at the area of the Park entrance. And it has a hut serving drinks and ice cream, and one or two other buildings. No gift shop or tacky souvenir booths, just locals picnicking on the grass and exploring the waterfall.

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There’s also another short hike depicted on a large wooden sign near the entrance to the fountain trail. Nam Pu Chet Si is a cold 6×8 meters spring with the water gushes out of the ground all year. The crystal blue water is the water source of Buatong Waterfall as the water runs from the fountain to Buatong Waterfall.

Operating day : Everyday

Operating time : 06.00 – 18.00

Address : Si Lanna National Park, Mae Ho Phra, Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai 50150, Thailand

Entrance Fee : Free

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How to get there :

Buatong Sticky waterfall is located north of Chiang Mai on highway 1001, the road to Phrao pass Mae Jo University and drive about 1 hour. Around 18 km before the waterfall you will see a metal sign for the waterfall. Stay on that road until you see another sign telling you to turn right. The road is very easy and the road leading to the waterfall is hard to miss.