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Chiang Mai Activities Chiang Mai Trekking

Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail

Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in Chiang Mai

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Kew Mae Pan is renowned as the most picturesque viewpoint for the sea of hill fog and the sunrise at dawn atop Doi lnthanon National Park, the highest mountain in Thailand. It is a grand creation of nature to highlight that we are only small human on the mountain’s height of 2,000 meters above the sea level.

If you plan on visiting ‘Doi Inthanon‘ and see beautiful sunrise, it is a good idea to take the opportunity to visit ‘Kiew Mae Pan‘ before making a trip back.

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There are many nature trails on Doi Inthanon, the favorite one is Kew Mae Pan which suitable for everyone who have limited of time. This trail is about 3 kilometers long take about 2-4 hours every groups need a trekking leader. All 21 stations offer detailed explanations about the plants and ecosystems, whether it be ferns from ancient times, Himalayan flora species, dense cloud forest or grassland.

“At the northwestern end of Kew Mae Pan forest, you can see a tiny water source only a metre in diameter.”

The tiny stream cascades down the mountain’s evergreen forest, combining with other small streams and finally becoming an impressive waterfall hidden in the deep jungle.

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kew mae pan, kew mae pan nature trail, Kiew mae pan, kiew mae pan nature trail

“Its height is more than 100m in total,” Soonthorn confirmed.

During rainy season, it’s easy to spot the white stripe of the waterfall among the dense jungle while driving on highway 1192 from the national park’s second checkpoint. But it is a bit far from other attractions on the mountain, which is probably why Mae Pan Falls is far less popular than Kew Mae Pan. Standing about 2,200m above sea level, Kew Mae Pan is among the best nature trails available in Thailand’s national parks.

Kew means narrow path, and this one snakes along a towering mountain range which is home to great variety of plants and animals.

“Just dim light and fog may be enough for the delicate fern to grow. It may turn brown and lifeless in summer, however, it springs back to life once it gets moisture from the fog in the rainy and hot season,” a sign along the trail explained about the highland fern.

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kew mae pan, kew mae pan nature trail, Kiew mae pan, kiew mae pan nature trail

At such heights, we try to walk much slower than usual, allowing our lungs to absorb more oxygen from thin air.

Slow hiking, by the way, allows us to notice the natural wonder on the trail to Mae Pan Falls. Trees grow as high as 40m to get light while the cloud regularly hits the mountain and soaks the whole forest with high moisture.

Moss and tiny ferns cover all tree trunks. When cloud hits the forest, covering the whole with mist, they all seem to be shivering under green blankets. The most stunning view is a semi-alpine meadow that sits side by side with the jungle, but on the other side of the slope. The meadow is caused by severe deforestation from the past. Strong winds prevent young plants from growing here.

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kew mae pan, kew mae pan nature trail, Kiew mae pan, kiew mae pan nature trail

It is said that Kew Mae Pan is most beautiful during rainy season when the forest recovers its lushness after the dry spell. However, it is a pity that the trail is also temporary closed in the rainy season, allowing nature to refresh.

So, if you want to see the Doi Inthanon forest at its greenest, Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail may be a good choice.

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kew mae pan, kew mae pan nature trail, Kiew mae pan, kiew mae pan nature trail

How to get to Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail

The Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail, is found at kilometer 42 on the road to the summit.  It has been developed as an ‘educative nature trail’ and there are quite a few signs (in Thai and English) along the well-maintained trail. 

Opening hours & Entrance fee

The trail open from beginning of Nov until the end of May each year. It’s 200 baht per group to hire a guide for the trail, which isn’t optional.

Categories
Chiang Mai Sightseeing Chiang Mai Temples

Phra That Doi Kham Temple

Phra That Doi Kham Temple is a lovely temple with magnificent views

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Phra That Doi Kham Temple is a beautiful temple situated on a lush mountainside near Chiang Mai Town.

‘Wat Phra That’ refers to the fact that this temple houses relics of the Buddha, and ‘Doi Kham’ means ‘Golden Mountain’. The sacred temple was built more than 1300 years ago, in 687 A.D. It had been abandoned, but in 1966 villagers discovered a hidden chamber containing many ancient Buddha images of various sizes, and this find prompted a revitalization.

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In the temple you can find the Buddha image of the success. Named “Luang Por Tun Jai”. Because of this image, most believing Buddhists come to the temple. They want something from the image of success. If the desire is eventually fulfilled, the faithful return to show their gratitude.

You will see people sell jasmine flowers since on the street before reaching the top where temple located. Or you still can buy jasmines for worship in the temple. Do a wish, do things all make your wishes come true. And finally, you wait for success result.

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The temple’s courtyard containing the chedi and the viharn is partly enclosed by a gallery lined with square green pillars decorated with golden flower motifs. The gallery contains numerous seated Buddha images in various postures seated on white pedestals surrounded by smaller Buddha images. A number of prayer boxes are placed inside the gallery.

The courtyard contains large numbers of bells and very large gongs that visitors can strike. Several large warriors armed with swords similar to those at the Grand Palace in Bangkok and white lion figures or Singha guard the grounds. The viharn contains beautifully carved window panels, its roof is decorated with Naga bargeboards.

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The large seated Buddha image of Wat Phra That Doi Kham is visible from far, being located on the foothills of the mountains south of Chiang Mai. At 17 meters tall, it’s the largest seated Buddha in Chiang Mai. It’s also larger than a number of other famous giant Buddha images, such as those at Kamakura and Nara in Japan. The Buddha has characteristic Lanna features typical of Buddha images from Northern Thailand, such as a round face and lotus bud shaped crown protrusion.

The temple grounds include a large terrace that gives a vantage point out over fields and towards the city below. You can also find the Hindu gods Vishnu and Ganesha hanging out on the viewing platform and enjoying the scenery.

From the terrace of the temple, visitors could see the view of the Royal Flora Rajchapruk Park where the Thai people honor the show the respect to His Majesty the King of Thailand for his 60th years on the throne with the big cerebration. This is one of the place to visit in Chiang Mai because you could also visit to the park as well as Chiang Mai Night Safari as well.

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There are different ways to get to Wat Phra That Doi Kham but for the true experience, take the staircase. There are 300 steps from the bottom to get to the temple and the staircase is decorated with a serpent on each side winding down the mountain.

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How to get to Phra That Doi Kham Temple

Phra That Doi Kham Temple is quite easy to get to the temple with your own transportation. Just head south on the Canal Road and turn right at the sign for the Night Safari and Ratchaphruek Royal Flower Gardens. You’ll then see the temple up on top of a hill ahead of you. The road twisting up the mountain is not difficult. The easiest way to get there is to hire a taxi. Most tour agencies in Chiang Mai can book for you. 

Entrance fee & opening hours

The entrance fee is only 30 baht per person, Thai nationals are freel. It’s open times are 8:00 until 178:00 daily.

Categories
Chiang Mai Activities Chiang Mai Sightseeing

Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall

Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall the Jewel of Chiang Mai

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The Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall is located about 60 km north of Chiang Mai City, in the Sri Lanna National Park. Not too many people know about this waterfall, because it’s off the well-worn tourist track.

Chiang Mai is surrounded by places, where nature works its miracles. There are beautiful mountains with breathtaking views, gardens full of exotic flowers, and waterfalls… lots and lots of waterfalls. Maybe not so impressive, but definitely very interesting, is the Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall.

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The Buatong Waterfall is actually a series of horsetail falls (water flowing over rocks without cascading or abruptly dropping) that cut through the jungle landscape, but what makes them unique is that they flow over tiers of porous limestone. Water is constantly rushing over the limestone, but the surface of the limestone has an almost sticky feel that creates great traction with skin. As a result, you can walk down the falls as if there were no water at all.

Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall is fed by a small stream which ripples its way down a 100-metre slope covered in limestone accretions. It’s pretty rather than spectacular, and there are also bathing pools at the foot of the steep hill. A short distance further on along a trail you’ll see the Rainbow Spring where, as long as the sun is shining, the spray creates a natural rainbow effect above the pond.

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buatong sticky waterfall, sticky waterfall, bua tong waterfall, buatong waterfall

The Sticky Waterfall is a great place for a picnic. There are drinks and light snacks for sale on the premises and clean, although Thai-styled, bathrooms. Food is not allowed down in the waterfall area (there are no trash cans to dispose of your garbage), but there are plenty of picnic tables with shade near the top area of the park entrance.

How to get to the Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall

Drive on the superhighway towards the Central Festival Mall in Chiang Mai and take the exit up the 1001 highway towards Phrao.  You’ll drive past Mae Jo University and keep heading north. Just go straight past Mae Jo University and keep driving north. Before the Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall you’ll see a big blue metal sign that says Buathong Waterfall 18km.  Just stay on that road and you’ll see another smaller blue metal sign when it’s time to make a right.  It used to be a small wooden sign that was easy to miss, but now it’s quite easy. 

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Entrance fee & opening hours

This waterfall is no entrance fee. It’s open times are 6:00 until 18:00 daily.