How to go from Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon?
Doi Inthanon national park is a center of attraction from Chiang Mai. The biggest question to various visitors is how to get to the park easily and quickly. Well, don’t worry anymore because you have come to the right place. In this article, we’ll share with you the best ways to get to Doi Inthanon Park and, more so, what to do at the park and where to stay.
Doi Inthanon relevancy in the world of Thai National Parks
Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest peak rises to 2565 meters (8, 415 feet) above sea level. This altitude ensures that temperatures on Doi Inthanon during the cool season (October to February) are refreshingly brisk year-round and frequently fall below zero.
The National Doi Inthanon encompasses and bears its name covers 482 square kilometers (186 square miles) and includes Sanpatong District, Chomthong District, Mae Chaem District, Mae Wang District, and Chiang Mai Province Toi Lor Sub District.
Doi Inthanon National Park is a true gem of natural beauty, composed of rough mountainous terrain blanketed by lush tropical forests and dotted with strong rivers and majestic waterfalls.
The protected status of the park makes it a refuge for a wide variety of animal species, and it is perhaps Thailand’s best place to watch birds. Around 362 different bird species make their home at Doi Inthanon National Park, many of which are not found elsewhere in Thailand.
Doi Inthanon’s diversity doesn’t only apply to plant and animal species. The park has long been home to Northern Hilltribes villages, too.
The latest efforts were made to enable these special villages to maintain their traditional cultures while living in harmony with modern developments like tourism and the Bhumibol Dam, something that harnesses the Ping River’s power to supply electricity to thousands of Thai people.
The park was somewhat adapted to accommodate the tourist trade, and there are some areas for eating and drinking, as well as accommodation.
The rough landscape is now crisscrossed with paths and roads to make tourists more accessible. Nevertheless, the construction was tightly controlled, and every effort was made to maintain the natural beauty of the surroundings.
For those wishing to explore Doi Inthanon, there are several different options. See our Doi Inthanon Tours make it simple on your own, and make sure you don’t miss something. Another choice is to visit the park on a motorbike or in a rental car.
From Chiang Mai, you are required to take route 108 towards Chomthong to get to Doi Inthanon. Follow that road for 57 km (35 miles) and turn right onto Chomthong-Doi Inthanon Road (Route 1009). Follow this path for 31 km (19 miles), and you will enter approximately 90 minutes at the entrance to the park trip time.
You can discover this once in the park on foot or in a car. While the climb is tiring, it’s an excellent way to experience the whole city. The ranger station at the park entrance is well equipped and can provide maps, guides, and park information.
How do I get from Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon?
Getting from Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon National Park takes around one hour and a half drive. The best way to get to this place is to hire a local driver or tour guide. Alternatively, you can hire a red truck taxi from Chiang Mai’s Old City’s main streets.
Hiring the driver for the day, and negotiating a price, is not unusual. The driver will take you there after you have agreed on the rate, wait while you’re exploring, and then bring you back. Pay your driver in Thai baht currency.
Alternatively, you can rent a motorbike or a car and drive yourself. The drive is astonishingly simple. The road is wide, well maintained, and is not very curvy or steep.
From Chiang Mai Old City to Doi Inthanon, you can take the trip by turning south from the moat at Saen Pung Gate onto Thipanet Road (Route 108).
Go for 50 km towards Hang Dong, and then turn right onto Route 1009. The park entrance is further eight kilometers away, where you’ll have to pay to get in.
Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon taxi
One of the reliable, as well as easy ways to get to Doi Inthanon from Chiang Mai, is to hire a taxi. The full-day taxi service will make your day more enjoyable as the driver will drop you off at each national park attraction’s parking area and wait until you’re ready to move to the next.
You can enjoy any attraction whenever you want. Appropriate service hours are with 7 am pick up in Doi Inthanon until 4 pm, the driver to start driving back to your hotel at 4 pm latest.
When you’re traveling in a group of 2 or more, maybe your best bet is a taxi.
A one-way trip would cost around THB 3-4,000. Having a return would be much easier, but you’d have to bargain with your taxi driver to stick around for the day while you’re looking around.
While it is a more expensive option than renting a car or a motorbike, it is the easiest option for passengers looking to sit back and relax and watch the northern scenery of the Kingdom fly past their window.
Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon motorbike
Getting to Doi Inthanon for the day trip by bike from Chiang Mai is simple. Second, you depart Chiang Mai in the direction of the airport. Then drive onto #108 road to Hang Dong, and then you have to go straight without turning anywhere. After about 40 kilometers from the city of Chiang Mai, you will see a green road sign about a right turn onto #1009 lane.
You have to pay attention to the amount of gas in your motorbike at this moment. But don’t worry if your gas tank is about half empty, then close this turn is a gas station. Get to that gas station and fill up a full fuel tank.
Otherwise, chances are you won’t have enough gas to get to the tip since fuel is consumed more rapidly at a motorcycle while climbing a mountain. You’ll be at the destination after turning onto Road #1009 in about 30-40 minutes.
The motorbike will help you explore either driving or Doi Inthanon National Park. You will be able to drive to the top of Thailand’s highest mountain, Doi Inthanon, and visit small minority villages that visitors rarely come across.
Spend time with the locals, learn about their culture, and explore nature on our way. Lots of waterfalls, forest views, traditional farms, and paddy fields will be seen all along the way.
Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon by public transport
A songtaew (a larger version of the famous tuk-tuk) is the only public transport available to get to Doi Inthanon from Chiang Mai.
First, board a yellow songtaew near Chiang Mai Gate Market in front of Pratu Gate.
The last exit to this songtaew is at Chom Thong, the national park’s southeast side. Then, turn to another songtaew for headquarters in Doi Inthanon National Park.
While riding a songtaew looks fun, only a few places of interest in the national park will be accessible as songtaews will not take you to the summit and other attractions located in the park’s north and west regions.
The journey could take three hours, as songtaews are slower than cars. Besides, the trip could take an even longer time as drivers will often not depart until the songtaew is complete.
Doi Inthanon tours
Doi Inthanon Park offers both private tours and group tours. All tours to the highest point in Thailand will give you a thrilling experience. Visit Doi Inthanon National Park, the site of the highest peak in Thailand, on these Chiang Mai tours.
Move through the jungle, and see exotic butterflies and birds. The tour takes about 2 hours of hiking hit the hill tribe village. Drive through the park’s largest Hmong village, Baan Khun Klaang, and then see the King’s royal plans.
You’ll spend the day at Doi Inthanon National Park during the tours and immerse yourself in the warm, natural riches of northern Thailand. See the Wachiritharn Waterfall and get spectacular panoramic views of the park from the Chedis of the King and Queen (Buddhist stupas).
Take it to the perch of the highest peak in Thailand, and take in the vast expanse of forest and greenery. Roam along the Angkha Nature Walk among more plants, and visit His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Royal Agricultural Station Inthanon.
The tours include
- English-speaking tour guide
- If you are a group a quality air-conditioned transportation
- transfers from your from hotels around Chiang Mai
- Entrance fees to all attractions
- Thai lunch, snacks as well as fruits
- bottled drinking water
Doi Inthanon national park without a tour
If you don’t like tours, then you can go without a tour of the Doi Inthanon national park. Chiang Mai is only a few hours away from the Doi Inthanon national park. Hence the best way to go without a tour to Doi Inthanon Park is to rent a car or a motorbike.
Touring Doi Inthanon without a tour is no doubt enabling you to plan your itinerary as freely as possible. Google Maps or GPS systems will be your best friend during your ride. But be warned, being in a mountainous region, the road towards Doi Inthanon is full of twists and sharp turns.
Stay to the left, especially when driving around turns blind. If you’re going through a scooter, make sure you’re dressed properly for the cold winds, like gloves.
Doi Inthanon itinerary
The itinerary starts early by picking you up from your Chiang Mai city accommodation, or convenient location at 7 am. Instead, we drive straight to Thailand’s highest peak-Doi Inthanon at an altitude of 2,565 meters.
We have a short hike up to take in the sights and take some pictures and then drive to the pagodas of King and Queen Twin just a short distance away.
This is another beautiful sight surrounding the pagodas with neatly trimmed bushes and an abundance of flowers.
From there, it’s another short drive to a local Hmong village and Royal Agriculture Project, where we explore community-grown seasonal crops, food crops, fruit farms, coffee, orchids, and other flowers abundant.
From here, we go trekking for about an hour and a half and enjoy the flora and fauna that surrounds us at high altitudes. This is a region with almost no visitors, where you can admire it Natural Park’s untouched beauty. We have a lunch break along the way during the walk and see a waterfall as well.
Our destination is the village of Mae Klang Luang Karen, surrounded by beautiful rice terraces and coffee plantations with arabica. You will be able to purchase local products as well as souvenirs; however, bear in mind that we still have more trekking to do nothing serious about that.
Based on your speed and desires, our afternoon trek takes about three hours. Please note this is an optional long trek. See the tab Tour Options for more info.
We walk in a forest for those who do the afternoon hike to Watchiratan waterfall and enjoy the peace of this path that is totally off the beaten track.
We stop at Wathiratan waterfall on the way to Chiang Mai for the ones who want to miss a long trek. We return late into the afternoon to Chiang Mai. During the day, the exact time depends on your speed and your wishes.
How long does it take to hike Doi Inthanon?
Doi Inthanon national park in Chiang Mai’s best place to go for a walk. If you’re a fast walker, the whole hike takes about 2 hours or 1.5.
It is important to note that each year from 1 June to 30 October, the Mae Pan Nature Trail is closed for reforestation. Remember not to miss this trail on your day trip through Doi Inthanon.
What do I need to bring to Doi Inthanon?
When you are going to visit Doi Inthanon for the day, make sure to bring:
• Water sunscreen and hat (many areas provide little to no shade)
• Bug spray (this is a must in rainy season)
• Sweater, jacket or raincoat, depending on the season.
Where can I stay near Doi Inthanon National Park?
Doi Inthanon National Park boasts numerous hotels. Prices start from $100 USD a night. Some of the hotels include;
Little Home Inthanon Resort
The resort is set in a sequence of resorts just off Chom Thong on Route 1009, cool Little Home Resort offers a great deal and is the bunch’s clear choice.
Aesthetics-wise with the layout was not too much imagination: two parallel rows of bright, orange-painted chalets line up a concrete driveway.
There is a good garden off to the right, though somewhat over-formal.
National Park accommodation
Its official national park accommodation is chalets of various sizes ranging from three rooms for individuals to larger eight rooms.
The bungalows are perfectly suitable— they provide hot showers, are fan-cooled, and located in trees grove just off the road.
Mae Chaem Hotel
It is a small resort-style hotel with wooden chalets set in a courtyard. The Mae Chaem is still a reasonable option— don’t forget, you’re in the middle of nowhere.
There’s a very dingy two-story block overlooking the carpark that houses what’s going through to the reception and covers the view of the chalets and garden upon arrival.
Pam view Hotel
Pam view Hotel is one of the cleverest hotels in Mae Chaem. The hotel is located in a well-maintained and elegant garden, with a choice of rooms in either a two-story block or garden chalets with wood finishes.
The air-conditioned or fan-cooled rooms are nothing flashy but comfortable enough and a tad better maintained than Mae Chaem Hotels.
Baan Kub Doi
The hotel welcomes you into the hosting scene of Mae Chaem; the luxurious Baan Kub Doi is perhaps more hacienda than Lanna.
We feature a tile-roofed L-shaped building with rooms plus balconies overlooking a small lawn and swimming pool. Rooms are spacious and airy, with French sliding doors and partitioned balconies, and the interiors are spotless, though undecorated, giving a rather clinical look.
What the cheapest way to get to Doi Inthanon from Chiang Mai National Park?
One of the cheapest ways, as well as a flexible way to get from Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon National Park, is to drive by hiring a car at Chiang Mai. It will costs $7 – $11 and takes 1h 24m.
What is the fastest way to get to Doi Inthanon National from Chiang MaiPark?
The quickest option available to get from Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon National Park is to hire a taxi that costs $30 – $40, and it will only take 1h 24m to get you to Doi Inthanon.
How far its from Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon National Park?
The distance between Chiang Mai and Doi Inthanon National Park is 54 km by air, but the road distance is 84.2 km.
How to travel from Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon National Park without a car?
The excellent way to get from Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon National Park without hiring a car is to board a bus, which takes 2h and will costs you $13 – $16.
How long does it take to get from Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon National Park?
It takes approximately 2h only to get from Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon National Park, while including transfers from your hotel rooms.
Can I drive from Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon National Park?
Indeed, you can drive from Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon. The driving distance between Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon National Park is around 84 km. The whole driving will take you approximately 1h 24m from Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon National Park.