17 In Hiking + The Outdoors/ Religion + Spirituality/ Thailand/ Travel

Standing on Thailand’s Tallest Peak + More in Doi Inthanon National Park

When Matt and I were in Chiang Mai, all we could think about is standing on the highest spot in all of Thailand. Thankfully the tour agency Travel Hub Thailand had an awesome one day tour to Doi Inthanon National Park. We had an awesome tour that took us to waterfalls, a coffee shop, to the highest peak and so much more.

Wachirathan Waterfall

Wachirathan Waterfall is a wonderful place to stop in Doi Inthanon. It breaks up the drive up the mountain and how can you see this and not want to stop? I was saying, ‘Wow!’ over and over as I walked up to the base of the waterfall. I loved that it cast a perfect rainbow.

   Doi Inthanon

Thailand’s Highest Point – Doi Inthanon

Thailand’s highest point is 2,565 meters (8,415 feet) and is marked by a sign and actually a stupa that contains the ashes of the last King of Chiang Mai’s ashes along with his daughter’s. This National Park is named for the last king of Chiang Mai, which is perfect because he was really concerned with preserving the forests in Thailand. So, it’s perfect that the National Park shares  a name with him.

The stupa 

Ang Ka Nature Trail // Mossy Fern Forest

This trail is just about a .25 miles, but it’s an interactive nature trail. It shows off the plants of the region and in the winter there are lots of rhododendrons that bloom.

 

This trail is absolutely stunning and a must-see for anyone who visits the Doi Inthanon National Park. I love all of the boardwalks and farms that grow all over the place.

  

The King and Queen’s Pagodas

Inside Doi Inthanon are pagodas dedicated to the former King who just passed last October. They were in honor of their 60th birthdays. The king’s was built in 1987 and the queen’s in 1992. The pagodas sit on top of a mountain that gives you the feeling of standing on top of the world.

   

Left: The Queen’s Pagoda // Right: The King’s Pagoda

I found the queen’s pagoda to be even more beautiful than the king’s because of the beautiful shades of purple throughout it. I loved these murals that graced the outside of the pagoda.

Soaking in that mountain view

 

The gardens up here are absolutely stunning! I’m a huge flower nerd, so I loved strolling through the beds of New Guinea Impatiens, cuphea and hydrangeas. Those pinks, peaches and reds were phenomenal.

   

Matt + I could not resist jumping on top of the world.

Nature Trek to Pha Dok Siew Waterfall, Rice Fields + a Remote Coffee Shop

After lunch, which was delicious, we took a trek to another waterfall with a local guide. It was a gorgeous and easy hike. The “hardest” thing was the bamboo walkways, they’re super uneven so just watch your step.

Our guide was very quiet, but pointed out different things and led us from a mountain to a waterfall to a village + rice terraces.

The berries + flowers that are now grown where opium used to grow!

One of the levels of Pha Dok Siew Waterfall! The photo below is one of the next levels down.

       Doi Inthanon

These are the lowest section of the falls. You walk right to the base of them!

 

Left: You can tell how close we were to the base from all of the mist. // Right: A viper, yes a crazy-venemous viper, on the trail. It was one of two that we saw.

At the end of the hike, we ventured through the rice terraces. Here we sampled some growing rice right off the plant. When it’s not completely ripe and you chew it, there’s “milk” in it. We also learned that sticky rice and regular rice actually come from two different plants. After walking down the hills and terraces, we made our way back up a hill to try some of the coffee that is also grown here. It was SUPER strong and SUPER bitter, but a great experience nonetheless.

This tour was the perfect way to explore Doi Inthanon. I loved that I didn’t have to worry about any transportation all day long. They picked us up from our Guesthouse and gave us the option to be dropped back off there or at the massive Sunday Night Market. Travel Hub Thailand offers this tour and one without the 2-hour trek, but I highly recommend this one. Plus, Travel Hub Thailand along with their sister company Blugecko Chiang Mai offer tours all around Northern Thailand.

Disclaimer: Although I took this tour at a discount courtesy of Travel Hub Thailand, all opinions, as always, are my own. 

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    Rhonda Albom
    October 21, 2017 at 5:07 am

    What a great daylong excursion. I love finding good, affordable tours. That viper you saw is so clear and crisp. How close were you to it for the photo? Were you afraid it would bite you?

  • Reply
    theworldnus
    October 21, 2017 at 5:40 am

    What a great tour, unbelievable that you got all that done in one day. We haven’t been to Chiang Mai yet so we’ll definitely save this for future reference. Specially with kids I love that there’s the option to be picked up directly from our accommodation. My favourite out of all these were the boardwalks at the Inthanon National Park.

  • Reply
    Sreekar Harinatha
    October 21, 2017 at 6:47 am

    I did hear about the fern forest when I was in Thailand. But I was too distracted by the photos of Phi Phi islands to think of anything else. Your pics make me realise that there is so much more to this wonderful country!

  • Reply
    London-Unattached.com
    October 21, 2017 at 7:23 am

    I love that the King has his Stupa on the highest point in Thailand! And Wachirathan Waterfall looks stunning. I’m fascinated by the idea of fresh rice too.

  • Reply
    Sabrina
    October 21, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Sweet! I had never heard about this part of Thailand before. As a big fan of waterfalls I definitely have to go here 🙂

  • Reply
    The Travelling Mermaid
    October 21, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Did you get up close to the viper? Or just zoomed the camera. I would totally freak out if I see one. 🙈

  • Reply
    Boarding Call
    October 21, 2017 at 11:31 am

    wow beautiful! I always read about the typical beach destination of Thailand so it was great to come across something new here. and that snake… omg… that would freak me out a bit!

  • Reply
    Divyakshi Gupta
    October 21, 2017 at 11:43 am

    What incredible pictures! 🙂 Love the Wachirathan Waterfalls! they look so picturesque! The fern forest is something I hadn’t heard of before. So magical! That walk through all the lush greenery! I loved the queen’s pagoda too 😀 beautiful mesh of colours! And those flowers! <3 Such a treat to the eyes!

  • Reply
    TastingPage
    October 21, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    I did not know that sticky rice and regular rice come from different plants. How cool that you got to eat it right off the plant and that there’s milk in there! I never knew!

  • Reply
    loisaltermark
    October 21, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Your photos are stunning, and I love both of you jumping at the top! That waterfall is so beautiful, and how cool that you got to see a rainbow with it! There’s nothing like really getting to see a place from its highest peak.

  • Reply
    Susan R
    October 22, 2017 at 3:15 am

    I’m impressed at how beautiful the gardens are up that high. It must have been interesting to see the place where they used to grow opium. As for the pagodas, they look stunning!

  • Reply
    Beverley Goodsell
    October 22, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    What a fantastic opportunity to visit the rice fields and eat some of the rice right off the plant. What I found interesting and didn’t know, was that sticky rice and regular rice come from two different plants.

  • Reply
    Meg Jerrard
    October 22, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    Doi Inthanon National Park sounds incredible – not only for conquering the tallest peak in Thailand (very cool!), but Wachirathan Waterfall is so stunning. The King and Queens pagodas are stunning, as are the gardens. I’m a wildlife fan though so I’m pretty excited by that viper!! Thanks for the tip on taking Travel Hub Thailand – sounds like a really fabulous day tour!

  • Reply
    gastrotravelogue
    October 23, 2017 at 12:21 am

    When I was in Chiang Mai I did not have the time to visit Doi Inthanon. It looks like a magical place. That part of the world is still mostly untouched and historically has been a huge producer of opium. It is great to see that they are now growing rice and coffee in the area instead.

  • Reply
    Meg
    October 24, 2017 at 5:42 am

    Awesome post! Just stumbled on your page. We are heading to SE Asia this week and it seems like we will be heading to some of the same places. Looking forward to reading more!

  • Reply
    Jen Joslin
    October 24, 2017 at 10:21 am

    We absolutely love Chiang Mai and have been several times, but have never climbed to the tallest peak or spent much time in Doi Inthanon National Park! This is something we must do on our next visit. I love the sound of the Ang Ka Nature Trail, with lots of chances to rest and read along the way 🙂 It would be amazing to visit the King and Queen’s Pagoda’s and pay our respects to the late King. Thanks for sharing this, pinning it for later!

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    October 24, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    We’ve been to Chiang Rai, but not Chiang Mai. I wasn’t really interested in adding Chiang Mai to our Thailand itinerary because I always just see it portrayed as a huge blogger and backpacker hub. But if I’d know about these waterfalls and beautiful nature, I’d totally have been more interested in visiting and doing this day trip. We visited the opium museum in Chiang Rai, so it’s nice to see that coffee has replaced opium. And I bet that coffee was delicious being so fresh!

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