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Chiang Mai | Doi Inthanon

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  • Chiang Mai | Doi Inthanon

    Doi Inthanon - the most popular National Park in Thailand

    Doi Inthanon is one of the most popular national parks in Thailand. It is famous for its waterfalls, few trails, remote villages, viewpoints, sunrise/sunset watching, birdwatching and the all year round cold weather on higher elevations. The main park entrance is about 70 km southwest from Chiang Mai city center. Also known as "The Roof of Thailand", Doi Inthanon National Park covers an area of 482 km² in Chiang Mai Province north of Thailand. The park is part of the Himalayan mountain range with elevations ranging between 800 and 2,565 meters. The highest peak in the park is Doi Inthanon Mountain which is the highest mountain in Thailand. The park has high humidity and cold weather all year round.

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    The park is named in honour of the king Inthawichayanon, one of the last kings of Chiang Mai, who was concerned about the forests in the north of Thailand and wanted to preserve it. After his death his remains were placed in the park as he ordered and the forest was renamed to Doi Inthanon. The flora consists of moist evergreen cloud forests, sphagnum bog on elevations over 1,800 meters asl, dry evergreen, pine, mixed deciduous teak and dipterocarp forests on the lower elevations.

    PLEASE NOTE: The rainy season is May to October with most rainfall around July to September. The rest of the year is quite dry with colder weather around November to February.

    ​Due to continuous poaching and habitat change most of the bigger mammals such as elephants, tigers, gaurs have been extirpated from the park decades ago. Some mammal species like wild boar, gibbons, deer and serow still inhabit the park. There are currently around 65 known mammals in the national park of which half are bat species. Lucky visitors may see serows along the Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail, but sightings are rare.

    With accidental visitors and historically few recorded species counted, there are around 500-510 bird species recorded in the park, which is the highest number in Thailand. Some of the bird species in the country that are only recorded from Doi Inthanon are; ashy-throated leaf warblers, dark-breasted rosefinches and collared grosbeaks. There are many more species that can only be found in Doi Inthanon or in the nearby parks.
    • The big bird migration to Thailand starts around March and continues with breeding time until June/July, which is the best time of the year to visit the park for birdwatching. There are currently around 50 known reptile species recorded from the park, but the real number is much more.
    • Pope's pit vipers (Trimeresurus popeiorum), the recently described Guo's green pit vipers (Trimeresurus guoi) and Himalayan mountain pit vipers (Ovophis monticola) are three pit viper species found in the park. Some other interesting snakes recorded from the park are; two-striped keelbacks (Hebius bitaeniatum) and white-banded wolf snakes (Lycodon septentrionalis).
    • Chiang Mai dwarf gecko (Hemiphyllodactylus chiangmaiensis) is an endemic species, currently only known from Doi Inthanon National Park. Other rare lizards recorded from the park are; Doi Inthanon bent-toed geckos (Cyrtodactylus inthanon), Doria's leaf-litter skinks (Scincella doriae), Yunnan dwarf geckos (Hemiphyllodactylus yunnanensis) and a few more.
    • Elongated tortoises (Indotestudo elongata), impressed tortoises (Manouria impressa) and big-headed turtles (Platysternon megacephalum) are currently known tortoise/turtle species of Doi Inthanon.
    • There are around 30 species of amphibians recorded from Doi Inthanon, including Chiang Mai newt (Tylototriton uyenoi). Inthanon horned toad (Megophrys angka), Anderson's odorous frog (Odorrana andersonii), Doi Inthanon torrent frog (Amolops archotaphus), Schmacker's odorous frog (Odorrana schmackeri), white-eyed litter frog (Leptobrachium huashen) and Inthanon stream toad (Ansonia inthanon) are a few rare amphibia species endemic to either park or the mountain range around.
    Getting to the park

    The only public transportation option is slower songthaews which are passenger vehicles adapted from pickup and truck. Getting there can be a bit challenging because one songthaew needs to change to another. If lucky with timings, it takes at least 2.5-3 hours to reach the park from Chiang Mai with Songthaews. Once in the park, the distances are big between the attractions, not easy to walk between unless one is up for very long challenging walks along the main road.
    Last edited by Tripadvisor; 10-20-2022, 04:17 PM.