If you really want to visit a city of stars in your life, you must come in Chiang Dao. The potential of this small picturesque place is that it holds the third highest mountain in Thailand. Another beautiful matter of pride of this place is it is covered by fog most of the time and the temperature is moderate even in summer and rainy seasons. So, would you like to visit Chiang Dao and cut yourself off from the rest of the world?
1. Chiang Dao Caves
Chiang Dao Caves are situated in the province of Chiang Dao, north of Chiang Mai. It is one of the best places to chill out in Chiang Dao as the area is filled with mesmerizing views. Chiang Dao Caves stretch under the hill of Doi Chiang Dao but only a small part (of 5 caves) can be accessed by the visitors. There may be more than 100 caves in the entire length of the cave complex. You will get to see a small shrine of an ancient hermit who is said to have lived here.
You can go by yourself to the main cavern with a torch or hiring a guide may be a good alternative. Be careful while going inside because you tend to get wet due to constant dripping of water or possibly bleed a lot if your head hits the sharp rocks! Two caves titled Tham Phra Nawn and Tham Seua Dao can be easily explored by yourself as the places have electric lights. Both of these caves have many statues, shrines and Buddha images.
The other three caves titled Tham Kaew, Tham Naam and Tham Maa should be visited by hiring a gas lantern or under the guidance of local guides with a lantern. We will recommend you the last alternative.
Chiang Dao Caves
Address: Chiang Dao, Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai 50170, Thailand
Contact: +66 53248604
2. Discover endangered species at Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary was established on August 25, 1978 with an aim to save the nature and protect the flora and fauna. One of the most beautiful parts of Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary is that the area is covered by diverse forest types and these diversities depend on the altitude. Coniferous forests, dry evergreen forests, deciduous dipterocarp forests, hill evergreen forests and meadows are known as the various types of forests in this sanctuary.
Always keep your camera ready because you will find plenty of endangered species around you at Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary. Some of those species are Sumatran serows, big-headed turtles, long-tailed gorals, Asian golden cats, etc.
Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
Address: Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai 50170, Thailand
3. Doi Luang Chiang Dao – conquer Thailand’s 3rd highest peak
Doi Luang Chiang Dao is one of the highest peaks of the Daen Lao Range having a height of 2,175 m or 7135 ft. Some people also call it the third highest peak in Thailand. This mountain is a part of Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary. According to the archaeologists, Doi Chiang Dao is the part of 230-250 million year old limestone massif. The spectacular views of the surrounding peak terrains can only be possible from the highest peak. Hence, your visiting this peak is a must to feel like you are touching the clouds.
Doi Luang Chiang Dao
Address: O Bo Cho Chiang Mai 3232 Rd., Tambon Chiang Dao, Amphoe Chiang Dao, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50170, Thailand
4. Refresh your body at Pong Arng Hot Springs
Pong Arng Hot Springs should not be missed from your itinerary as this will make you feel fresh and rejuvenate your energy levels. This is located in Pha Daeng National Park (formerly known as Chiang Dao National Park). This place has all its beauty to refresh your mind and body. This place is also recommended by lots of people for picnics, and it is also a perfect romantic place for couples.
The hot springs are at different temperatures. You won’t believe how wonderful this place will appear when you come here during the coldest months like January and February. Here you are in a real paradise.
Pong Arng Hot Springs
Address: Mueang Na, Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai 50170, Thailand
5. Sri Sangwan Waterfalls
Located in the Pha Daeng National Park, Sri Sangwan Waterfall is a spectacular limestone waterfall in Chiang Mai. The lush tropical garden and the bamboo plants staggering in their height will make you feel you are in today’s Garden of Eden. You can climb the calcium-accreted stones on which water constantly flows in multiple cascades. Some of the lower pools are also suitable for bathing and enjoying in water. The picturesque natural beauty multiplies after the rainy season and it is better if you visit the destination between December and March.
Sri Sangwan Waterfall
Address: Mueang Na, Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai 50170, Thailand
6. Wat Tham Pha Plong Temple offers you high mental bliss
Wat Tham Pha Plong Temple is a beautiful and revered attraction for the tourists, mainly Buddhists in Thailand and across the world. The golden stupa at the exterior welcomes you to the Pha Plong cave where many Buddhist monks have studied, prayed and meditated for self-realization. This pagoda-shaped beautiful shrine allows you to sit quietly, pray or silently meditate and bring bliss to your mind. After all, this place was discovered and modified a few decades back by Luang Poo Sim, one of the highly revered Thai Buddhist monks. Due to his extreme devotion, penance and leading a life in solitude, he was recognized in the 1950s as the abbot of several monasteries in various parts of Thailand.
There is the main message of Buddhism posted on trees at the lower base of the staircase. The message “We should be rooted in mindfulness with every step we take in life” is adequate for those people who have little knowledge of mindfulness or awareness meditation. A 500 step concrete staircase at Wat Tham Pha Plong Temple will take you through a forest to have some spectacular shots from the top. There are some other messages on the wooden boards that remind one about the impermanence of the material world and permanence of one’s own self. The temple also contains some pieces of Gautama the Buddha’s relics that are worth seeing.
Wat Tham Pha Plong Temple
Location: Chiang Dao, Thailand
How to visit Chiang Dao
It is better if you can take a bus from the outside area of the airport and reach Chang Peuk, and from there you can get another bus to Chiang Mai district. From here you can take another bus to Thaton.
However you reach your destination, fascinating adventures and discoveries await!
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.