Doi Inthanon National Park (Thai: อุทยานแห่งชาติดอยอินทนนท์), nicknamed “the roof of Thailand”, is in the Thanon Thong Chai Range, Chom Thong District, Chiang Mai Province, Northern Thailand. It includes Doi Inthanon, the country’s highest mountain. Established in 1972, The park is approximately 2 hours from Chiang Mai. It includes Karen and Hmong villages of about 4,500 people. Its elevation ranges between 800–2,565 meters (8,415 ft). Within its borders are a number of waterfalls: Mae Klang Falls, Wachiratan Falls, Sirithan Falls, and Mae Ya Falls.
The park has varied climatic and ecologically different sections. The climate is typically tropical and fairly cool on the summit of Doi Inthanon. In winter the average temperature is 6 °C (43 °F) in January and temperatures can sometimes drop below 0 °C (32 °F). You should be ready or check the weather temperature before visiting Doi Intanon.
Today, the summit of Doi Inthanon is a popular tourist destination for both foreign and Thai tourists, with a peak of 12,000 visitors. In addition to a range of tourist facilities on the summit, there is also a Royal Thai Air Force weather radar station at the summit and the Thai National Observatory (TNO). Chedis (monuments) dedicated to Their Royal Majesties, The King, and Queen pagoda, can be found atop the peak of the mountain.
We book a private car by KLOOK Travel for a comfortable travel tour. Approximately 1 half – 2 hours to the summit from the Chiang Mai city area. The entrance fee for adults is 300 Thai baht also 30 baht if you are using a van, normal car, or motorcycle. And if you are going to King & queen pagoda another 40 baht where you can find a restroom, small shop to buy food and drinks. Maybe it’s gonna be far for you but believe me, it was an amazing and magnificent view on top. And If you are a nature lover this tour is for you. I can say it was very cold so you must prefer yourself, bring a thick jacket or wear long pants. I was ready at that time so it was not hard for me. Or you can check the weather before you go.
(8 am – 9:30 am) – Promt Condo to Entrance Gate of National Park
Chiang Rai is a port city in northern Thailand, in the mountainous province of the same name. Chiang Rai City remains a sleepy provincial town with a pleasant atmosphere. Compared to its sister town Chiang Mai, it has a more relaxed and down-to-earth feel but is never short on historical and cultural attractions of its own. From Chiang Mai City I travel to Chiang Rai for 3 half – 4 hours by Car. I booked KLOOK Travel for private but they have also available tours for group and more good deals that suit for you. My first stop is to White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), Singha Park, Blue Temple (Wat Rong Suea Ten), lastly the Black Temple or Black House ( Baan Dam Museum).
WHITE TEMPLE ( WAT RONG KHUN) is a privately owned art exhibit style of a Buddhist temple in Chiang Rai Province, Thailand. They have Light show its called “The Illumination of White Temple” during the Light Festival. Wat Rong Khun is extremely beautiful when you see it outside. Unique Architecture and Structure. However, Wat Rong Khun is very touristic and it was crowded when the time I visit. It’s not really pleasant to go there when the other group tourists are shouting and very loud. The bridge of “the cycle of rebirth”: the main building at the white temple, the ubosot, is reached by crossing a bridge over a small lake. After crossing the bridge, the visitor arrives at the “gate of heaven”, when the visitors are not allowed to take pictures. Same in the gallery building(Golden Building) visitors are only allowed to take pictures outside. Admission for Thai nationals is free, foreigners are required to pay 100 baht and a different way to go inside.
BLUE TEMPLE ( WAT RONG SUEA TEN) Is the newest and modern Buddhist temple distinguished by its vivid blue coloring & elaborate carvings. Above all its magnificent blue interior with a large white Buddha that marks the spirits. The paintings are reminiscent of the style of what you can see inside the Blue Temple. It is a very small temple but very attractive, quiet and relaxing, unlike the white temple that is more crowded. You’ll also be expected to take off your shoes outside before entering the Blue Temple and wear proper clothes which is knees and shoulder should be cover. Wat Rong Suea Ten – Blue Temple is a temple and when you visit a temple in Thailand there are some rules to know and follow which is good to give some respect to the Buddhist. The good thing when you visit the blue temple you’re allowed to take photos inside so I’m able to share it with you. Admission is free.
SINGHA PARK Singha Park is a scenic refreshing park in a farm-like setting with tea & organic plantations, orchards & different flowers, trails, a tram & a petting zoo and more. You can find restaurants, Coffee shops, Souvenirs shop, and Clean toilet. I had my lunch here in Singha park after an almost 1-hour tour around Singha park. (See the video below) Admission Fee is 100 baht and you’ll experience by electric car they called around Singha park. Farm Tour is Open every day from 9 am – 5 pm.
BLACK TEMPLE (BAAN DAM MUSEUM) This Black Museum is a collection of woods, arts, and creation by Thawan Duchanee and other thai artists. Thawan devoted his life and spent his energy almost 3 decades building Folk Art Museum and Exhibit and the architecture are very unique in terms of arts. Each building has a display of works of art to admire and clearly demonstrate the identity of A. Thawan such as buffalo horns artwork, animal bones, tiger and snakeskin, crocodile skin, beautiful woodwork carving, ornate stucco artwork that conceals a philosophy and beliefs. It created a lot of excitement and also gets new concepts through these artworks. It’s a little bit creepy for me but it was fun and surprising as you can walk with the trees around you and take a seat while resting you can grab a black or white ice cream. Sounds good right?
1. WAT PHRA THAT DOI SUTHEP Is located at Doi Suthep Mountain. (9 หมู่ที่ 9 Mueang, Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200) This regal mountain overlooks the city from the northwest, providing commanding views from its summit. The Wat can be reached by road from Chiang Mai. From the car park at the temple’s base, visitors can climb 309 steps to reach the pagodas or take a tram. If the climb sounds like no fun, then simply ride to the top in one of the newly rebuilt cable cars (admission: 50 baht). Once inside the temple grounds, visitors must be appropriately dressed and must remove footwear. Like all other Buddhist temples, attire should be respectful. This means shoulders and legs (at least to the knee) covered, nothing skimpy. Men and women wearing tank tops should bring something to cover up with, same with short shorts, dresses, or skirts. (I still don’t understand that some foreign tourist cant follow this simple rules) The original gold plated Chedi is the holiest area of the temple grounds. Within the site are pagodas, statues, bells, a museum, and shrines. Aspects of the Wat draw from both Buddhism and Hinduism. Views of Chiang Mai can be seen on the far side of the temple. The temple is open from 06:00 to 20:00 every day, but weekends and holidays are usually very crowded. Entrance Fee is 30 baht. You can also continue your journey to BhuBing Palace and Wat Umong after visiting Wat Phratat Doi Suthep. For your easy tour simple book KLOOK travel.
2. WAT U-MONG Wat Umong is a 700-year-old Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Among the hundreds of Buddhist temples in Chiang Mai, the Wat Umong or “Tunnel temple” is unique because of its location in the forest and its system of tunnels. A temple located within the old city walls of Chiang Mai. The monk named Thera Chan used a tunnel to meditate in peace and quiet. The tunnels are rarely used for meditation anymore due to the number of visitors that come each day. When entering you should take your shoes off and remain silent as this is a place of worship. I also enjoy reading the Buddhist quotes outside the trees! To the left of the tunnels are a large lake and a small island that is connected by a bridge. Just before the bridge, there is a small stall selling fish food for 10 Baht. The lake is full of large catfish and by feeding them you gain good merit. There are also a few turtles and it is considered lucky if you spot one of them. While the food is meant for the fish, and I end up feeding the pigeons that live on the island as well. Wat Umong is located in Suthep Road, Soi Wat Umong Chiang Mai. The admission fee is free. Open from 6am- 6pm.
3. WAT PHRA SINGH Wat Phra Singh is perhaps the second most venerated temple in Chiang Mai after Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Located inside the old city wall and moat, at the western end of Ratchadamnoen Road, the temple’s signature Lanna-style roofs and glittering viharn (assembly hall) invite visitors. Wat Phra Singh was built in 1345 by King Phayu. Lai Kham is the main attraction of the complex. Besides Lai Kam, the larger main assembly hall (Viharn Luang) houses a 15th-Century Buddha image cast from copper and gold. Open from 6am- 5pm. Admission Fee is 50 baht.
4. WAT CHEDI LUANG is a Buddhist temple in the historic center of Chiang Mai, Thailand. The current temple grounds were originally made up of three temples — Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Ho Tham, and Wat Skin. Including the city pillar (Intake), main wiharn housing the principal Buddha image and a giant gum tree guarding the temple’s entrance. Only males are allowed to enter the city pillar shrine and not women. It is said that a woman on menstruation is deemed to be dirty and may anger Indra, (See in images in the video for full information). Continue your walk to the main attraction on the premise. Walk towards the back of the main hall that a Giant Buddha statue is located in and you will find Chedi Luang. At Chedi Luang monk hosts chats every day, tourists are invited to speak with monks and ask them anything about Buddhism or Thailand. Wat Chedi Luang is located on Phra Pokklao Road. The admission fee is 40 baht. Open from 8am – 5pm.
5. WAT PHANTAO Wat Phan Tao is a beautiful wooden/bamboo temple with a decorated garden area just next and few steps from the famous Wat Chedi Luang this temple is often overlooked but worth a visit. The main prayer hall is to your right and a walkway on your left leads you to the stupa at the back. The prayer hall was built back when the teak trade was at its peak and the wood was an offering to the Buddha. Opening hours are sunrise to late evening.
6. WAT SUAN DOK is also known as Wat Buppharam. The temple is on Suthep Road, approximately one kilometer west of Suan Dok gate at the west side of the moat. Built by a King of Chiang Mai on the grounds of his pleasure garden, this temple was originally intended to serve as a retreat for a revered monk from Sukothai. It is a Royal Temple of the Third Class. Wat Suan Dok is a wonderful place for photography and has spectacular vistas of Doi Suthep at sunset. At Wat Suan Dok you can find also the fascinating Royal Cemetery. Please give some respect when you enter in Cemetery. Free Admission. Open from 6am- 9pm.
7. WAT LOK MOLEE Wat Lok Molee is an older temple in Chiang Mai which features a 14th-century chedi, manicured garden area, and an impressive prayer hall. Located outside of the Old City moat, Manee Nopparat Road area just opposite of fascinating Wat Rajamontean/Wat Sripoom. Wat Lok Molee is not visited as often as other temples and therefore sometimes visitors can be alone in the whole temple grounds. There are lots to see at Wat Lok Molee, including interesting statues, Buddha images, elephants and it is a good place for photos. Look out for the intricate mosaics on the walls of the main hall and for different images from Hinduism or Chinese Buddhism. All the design and the color scheme in silver and brown is different from the other temples which gleaming in gold elements. Admission is free. Open from sunrise to 5 pm.
8. WAT SRI SUPHAN Wat Sri Suphan is also known as the Silver Temple because of its impressive handcrafted silver decoration. The temple is completely covered in silver, from the walls to the roof and displays some detailed silver carvings of Buddhism legends. Even the statues of Buddha are covered in silver. However, due to old Buddhist rules, women are not allowed to enter the inside of the temple and must remain outside. By the way, I paid 50 baht for the admission fee without knowing that women are not allowed. According to the temple was built for 12 years. Silver Temple is located in Wua Lai Rd, Haiya Sub-district next to Wualai Saturday walking night market. Open from 6am- 9pm.
9. WAT CHIANG MAN Wat Chiang Man is located outside of the old city moat, corner of Ratchaphakhinai Road and Phra Poklao Road. Wat Chiang Man is highly popular with tourists. The larger, standing Buddha is worshipped every April before the Songkran festival as it is said to bring the rain needed for rice growing. The smaller Buddha is carved from crystal and is also believed to have special healing powers. Despite being in the middle of Chiang Mai’s old city Wat Chiang Man is rarely busy. It has a nice, well-kept garden area to sit and reflect in. Admission is Free. Open from 8am – 5pm.
10. WAT BUPPHARAM Founded in 1497 by King Mueang Kaeo, the temple was where Kawila began a ritual circumambulation of Chiang Mai to reoccupy it after two centuries of Burmese rule. Wat Buppharam is located at Old city town, a 10-minute walk from the Phae Gate, but a worthwhile pit stop on the way to the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar and near Wat Saen Fang above. And it is only a few steps from the thapae gate Sunday market. I visited the evening so I didn’t pay any amount. (NOTE: If you want good pictures during your visit to the temple Don’t go after 5 pm it is not a good time for extraordinary photograph).