The twin granite peaks of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park offer the best views of Chiang Mai’s breathtaking natural splendor.
The sacred summits of Doi Suthep and Doi Pui mountains reach over 5,000 feet into the sky, and the park that shares their name covers more than 160 miles of forests that hundreds of species of birds, plants, and animals call home.
Near Doi Suthep’s peak, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep’s golden chedi - built in 1383 A.D. - is a shining beacon for Buddhist pilgrims and travelers on luxury tours of Thailand. The chedi is believed to contain a bone relic from Buddha. Visitors and pilgrims can hike the 306 steps flanked by a pair of golden naga (snake deities) to the temple near the summit, or take a cable car.
Not far from the temple, the royal family’s winter palace, Phra Tamnak Phu Phing, is often open to travelers on Thailand tours hoping to see its famous dancing fountains, and stroll through the well-kept temperate gardens. Hmong hill tribes also dot the forested areas, and several of them are welcoming to travelers looking to take a step off the beaten path.
Some 300 species of bird call the mountain park home and thousands of species of flowers and ferns bloom in the often misty forests on the slopes. When the annual rains come so many butterflies dot the landscape that it seems like flowers are floating through the air.
Hiking trails wind through the forests, and waterfalls like Nam Tok Wang Bua Bahn course through the mountain before collecting into refreshing pools that are swimmable year-round.
Chiang Mai’s best weather is November to January. The rains June to October fill the forests around the mountains with life, and the hottest weather in the region is March through May.
Dominating the skyline of Chiang Mai City in Thailand’s northernmost province, Doi Suthep-Pui’s mountains and forests can be easily reached by private vehicle using the parks well-tended roads in about a half-hour.
Nature lovers and cultural enthusiast find plenty of enjoyment in this beautiful park on the edge of Chiang Mai City.
Appropriate Attire :
Dress for a hike for most excursions in the park and bring a swimsuit for a post trek dip in the waterfall pools. If you’re planning to visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep or the royal family’s winter palace, the strict dress code requires shoulders, arms, and knees to be covered.
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