Our Family Guide To Doi Inthanon, Thailands Highest Mountain
If you read about our experiences teaching Thai students at an English Camp, you’ll know that Sunisa, the lady who ran the event, invited us out for the day as a thank you to us for helping.
Her three sisters were going to be visiting her in Chiang Mai, from Laos and Southern Thailand.
So she planned a big day out for all of us to visit Doi Inthanon National Park.
Sunisa had organized a minivan and driver who collected us from our hotel bright and early for the 2-hour drive ahead.
It was fun to get to know Sunisa’s sisters and her teenage daughter.
Even though her sisters didn’t speak any English, we got on really well and there was a lot of laughter.
We Joined Sunisa And Her Family On Doi Inthanon
So here’s our-guide-to-Doi-Inthanon National Park
Doi Inthanon is Thailands highest mountain standing at 2565 meters high.
The mountain and the surrounding park lie about 60 miles South West of the city of Chiang Mai.
You can drive all the way to the top of Doi Inthanon and as we had a lot to pack in the day, so we did exactly that.
A short walk from the van and we were at the highest point in Thailand, and, let me tell you it was chilly.
There’s a short trail to the actual highest point marked by a huge sign to have your picture taken by.
Doi Inthanon, The Highest Point In Thailand
The Angkha Nature Trail continues on through the mossy forest for a short way (15 mins ) and is well worth the walk.
Following boardwalks, through the cool forest, you can see tree ferns and mosses.
There weren’t many people walking so it was lovely and peaceful.
The Forest Walk At The Summit Of Doi Inthanon
Annabel With Sunisa’s Daughter
Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail
Backtracking along the one road that climbs to the summit of Doi Inthanon we arrived at the Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail.
The 3km nature trail is only accessible with a Hmong tribe guide.
Our guide handed out bamboo sticks to aid us on the rough trail before we headed off into the forest.
Ready To Explore The Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail
As we walked through the lovely forest we asked our guide if there were tigers here and he said that he had seen them early in the morning on more than one occasion.
We don’t know how true this is but there’s no reason he should lie.
The trail dropped down to a beautiful waterfall that ran over mossy rocks.
Waterfall On The Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail
Waterfall On The Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail
Our path soon left the evergreen forest and out onto an open meadow which overlooked the countryside below.
Unfortunately, the view was obscured a little by a heat haze that was building up.
The trail led us to a wooden viewpoint where we sat and took in our environment and the fresh air.
The Trail Opens Up Into Beautiful Meadows
View Point On The Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail
The trail continues around the mountainside but Sunisa’s sisters, being quite senior decided to backtrack the way we’d come.
You can walk on a bit further to the twin pagodas around the hillside.
For us, though it was time to eat, so after heading back along the trail to the road, we found a small place that offered food.
It was a very simple plastic chair affair but served up yummy Thai dishes that were very inexpensive.
Our Guide On The Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail
The Royal Pagodas
Perched on the side of Dao Inthanon and only minutes away from the Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail, are the beautiful twin Royal Pagodas.
Set in beautiful gardens the pagodas reach towards the sky with their golden spires.
The grey Phra Mahathat Naphamethanidom pagoda was built in 1989 to commemorate the then Kings 60th birthday.
Whereas the purple Phra Mahathat Naphapholphumisiri pagoda was built for the Queens 60th birthday in 1992.
The Stunning Twin Royal Pagodas
The grounds around the pagodas are full of beautiful flower beds and paths to wander.
The views out over the surrounding countryside and mountains are stunning.
Phra Mahathat Naphapholphumisiri Pagoda
There are a few really great waterfalls around Doi Inthanon but we visited Wachirathan Waterfall, which is about 15 miles outside of the national park.
The falls themselves are only a short walk from the car park.
You can take a trail to a viewing point at the top of the falls or a lower trail which skirts the pool at the bottom of the falls.
The falls look glorious as the water flows over the rock face above and into the pools below.
It was all too quickly time to make our way back to Chiang Mai, after a wonderful day.
We were so lucky to be invited out for the day by Sunisa and her family.
Being able to share experiences like this with another family beat going with an organized group or independently, hands down.
We had a wonderful day out at Doi Inthanon made all the more enjoyable by being with Sunisa, her daughter and sisters.
We all got on really well and the sisters all had a great sense of humor and were so friendly towards us.
There’s lots to do on Doi Inthanon and you could easily spend a few days exploring the area.
We especially liked the Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail and the Royal Pagodas.
It’s a long day but totally worth every minute.
The Nitty Gritty
How To Get To Doi Inthanon
Doi Inthanon is approx 65 miles South West of Chiang Mai and is the highest mountain in Thailand at 2565 meters.
You can reach the very top by vehicle, along the one road that climbs to the summit.
Various tour companies arrange organized trips that you can join from Chiang Mai.
You could also hire a car or mopeds for the journey to Doi Inthanon.
Another possibility is to hire a car with a driver for the day from Chiang Mai.
Most of the things to do on Doi Inthanon are quite close to one another.
If you hire a car and driver, they can drop you off at each location and wait while you explore.
Costs And More Information
You can get more info on visiting Doi Inthanon by going to their website here
Viewpoint On The Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail