Doi Inthanon Mountain (nickname: the roof of Thailand) has been on ma bucket list since learning it has the highest peak in Thailand. Pretty bad ass I say. It wasn’t till a couple weeks ago chatting with a couple friends the trip to Doi Inthanon was becoming reality.
Hiking, stupas and waterfalls are the key reasons people head to Doi Inthanon in addition to visiting the peak. All up 13 of set out on the adventure, departing from Rimping in two cars and five scooters, stocked up with food and goon.
Driving there was smooth once you get on the highway headed south from Chiang Mai. We all stuck together, the cars doing their best to not hit us scooterers as we battled the smoke and dust. It is tough to know how long it took us to get there, we stopped for a feed and one tyre repair was required enroute.
Entrance to the park is 300 baht (locals and foreigners with work visas get a cheaper price).
Doi Inthanon Mountain Waterfall
The first stop is the most popular, and largest waterfall in the National Park – Wachiratarn Waterfall. When you are on a Doi Inthanon day trip the guides let you have 30 minutes here but we luckily spent two hours or so adventuring.
There is a not so obvious track, but when you get to the main viewing platform, look to the left when facing the waterfall and you will see a track that takes you up to the top of it. There is plenty of room to run around up the top and overlooking the waterfall is pretty sweet.
Next stop, was the King and Queen stupas. A few of us scooter peeps were now struggling for gas and given we were going pretty slowly up the hills we crammed into the cars. I guess the extra weight did not agree with the cars, one overheated but we let it cool down while we went and checked out the stupas. The two pagodas were constructed for the King and Queen, the colours make it obvious which one was which. Given we are in the heart of Chiang Mai burning season we didn’t get much of a view, but the gardens still made for a nice place to walk around.
With a bit of coolant in the car we drove up to the summit. Once you get to the summit, there isn’t really any good viewing points. The views are much better at the stupas but it is awesome to get the token photo. This is now the second time I have been to the summit in a country (first one was Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia!), good bit of fun.
It was time to head to camp now with the sun setting where we played some drinking games, cards and tag. With such awesome people, it was a great night.
We were in no rush to leave the following morning, eventually, we all went our various ways. I joined a few peeps who were going to another waterfall. This one was definitely not on the tour guide route. We spent 45 minutes there and not one person (aside from a ranger) was seen. The water was cold, but paddling was still fine. It was also a double waterfall!
Once I got dropped off at my bike it was time to head back to my Nimman accommodation in the city. The drive is straight-ish the whole way once you are off the mountain so no need to hire a car if you don’t want to.
The trip was awesome, I would have loved to do some hiking but there will be a next time. If you left Chiang Mai before 9am and don’t mind getting back later the following day you can easily fit in a bunch of hiking in addition to what we did above.