Rising 8,415 feet (2,565 meters) above sea level, Doi Inthanon, situated in the center of Doi Inthanon National Park, is Thailand’s tallest mountain. While many visitors strive to see the views from its summit, the surrounding forests, waterfalls, stupas—dome-shaped Buddhist shrines—and trails are just as impressive.
Doi Inthanon is one of the most popular day trips from Chiang Mai (the mountain is named for the city’s last king, in fact), and you’ll find plenty of tour options. Active travelers can trek through paddy fields to plummeting waterfalls, cruise down the peak on a mountain bike, or navigate the rapids of Mae Wang Valley, which sprawls out at the foot of the mountain. A guided small-group or private tour of the park often includes a trek to the summit of Doi Inthanon, plus visits to a hill tribe village, a Hmong market, and the twin King and Queen pagodas; you’ll also learn about the region’s ecosystem by exploring the Kew Mae Pan or Ang Ka nature trails.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Doi Inthanon is a must-see for adventure travelers and nature lovers.
- Dress in layers; daytime temperatures in the park can be surprisingly cool.
- Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking on uneven surfaces.
- Most day tours from Chiang Mai include roundtrip transportation and lunch.
- Expect a full-day tour to last upwards of eight hours.
How to Get There
The easiest way to get to Doi Inthanon is by joining an English-speaking guided tour of the park or hiring a private taxi for the day. Convenient public transportation to the park is lacking.
When to Get There
For the best chance of clear views from the summit, plan your visit for the dry season (between May and October). During the rest of the year, Doi Inthanon is blanketed in perpetual fog and sees almost daily rainfall.
The Mae Kha Ning Phenomenon
If you visit Doi Inthanon over New Year’s, you’ll likely be joined by locals coming to witness a phenomena known as Mae Kha Ning, or frost—a rare sight in a climate as warm as Thailand’s.