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Chiang Mai Sightseeing

Hmong Village

Doi Pui Hmong Village is a part of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park

hmong village, doi pui hmong tribal village, hmong tribal village, doi pui hmong village

Within Doi Pui area, there’s the Hmong Tribal Village. Doi Pui Hmong village is about 4 kilometers away from Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. It offers an insight into how Thailand’s tribes live. The villagers wear traditional Hmong clothes, sell traditional Hmong handicrafts, and live in traditional Hmong style homes.

There are about 1,000 Hmong Hill Tribe people living in Doi Pui Hmong Village . You can see and buy Hmong handicrafts such as cross stitch material, hemp clothes etc. at the big market in this village. There is also a Hmong Museum with a beautiful garden.

hmong village, doi pui hmong tribal village, hmong tribal village, doi pui hmong village

hmong village, doi pui hmong tribal village, hmong tribal village, doi pui hmong village

To be honest, this Hmong tribal village has been hugely affected by tourists such that you can really feel that the culture it had is being lost. Having said that, not all the villagers are involved in the tourist trade…you can tell how important farming and traditional crafts like clothes making (which has surely long been a ‘tourist’ trade anyhow) still is here. The farmers come back to comforts like electricity and TV (and probably soon the internet).

Life seems hard for some here and there didn’t seem to be so many young adults chances are many have left to find work down in Chiang Mai.

hmong village, doi pui hmong tribal village, hmong tribal village, doi pui hmong village

The scenery is stunning as you can see from the pictures. When you first arrive there’s an open area where the local villagers play sport when the sun’s not high. Around this area are numerous restaurants. The streets of the village are lined with shops, most selling traditional Hmong clothes. Some even have a rental service where you can put the clothes on and have your photo taken. For the number of tourists, there seems a disorientate number of shops.

Further on and you seem to naturally make your way to an entrance (20 baht) to a beautifully cared for garden area with a trickling waterfall. It’s worth going here because the views are spectacular. There’s a path accessed from here that will take you beyond the village.

hmong village, doi pui hmong tribal village, hmong tribal village, doi pui hmong village

Heading back into the village and taking a higher road (it’s a small village so getting lost might be a 2 minute issue…) and you’ll see signs for a museum and entrance to a beautiful area where opium poppies are grown. The museum….is…interesting for…its….simplicity! There’s not much there…the opium poppy area is interesting. Some great views from here across the mountains.

All in all, it’s an interesting experience….you might not leave with a broad smile on your face but it’s thought provoking to see how tourism has affected the village….(whether you’re happy to be part of this is another question). Being there, you can see why the village grew in this area….it really is beautiful and the mountain air is so fresh. If you head up to the viewpoint above the village you can look down upon the village from quite a height.

hmong village, doi pui hmong tribal village, hmong tribal village, doi pui hmong village

hmong village, doi pui hmong tribal village, hmong tribal village, doi pui hmong village

A visit to the Tribal Village is often combined with a visit to Doi Suthep Temple, Phuping Palace and some of the waterfalls in the area, as well as a jaunt to the Hilltribes Museum.

Categories
Chiang Mai Activities Chiang Mai Sightseeing Chiang Mai Trekking

Inthanon National Park

A lovely day at Inthanon National Park

inthanon national park, doi inthanon national park, inhanon, doi inthanon

Inthanon National Park is the highest mountain  of Thailand, 2776 metres above sea level. Doi Inthanon forms the watershed between the Ping River to the east and the Chaem River to the west, both of which eventually feed the Chao Phraya River, which supplies water to rice farms of the central plains and to Bangkok.

Inthanon National Park extends over an area in excess of 48,000 ha and, after the road climbs through the lower dry regions, there is a noticeable drop in temperature and increase in lush vegetation. This is a land more reminiscent of the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island mists, ferns, rhododendrons and a wonderful feeling of freshness everywhere.

inthanon national park, doi inthanon national park, inhanon, doi inthanon

One of the places to admire such flowers bloom is at the Chiang Mai Royal Agricultural Research Center (Khun Wang) in Mae Wang district. The flowers are always in full bloom during the second week of January and will last for about two weeks. Late February is the ideal time to see the full blooms of the red rhododendrons. At the summit (in January, an average nighttime temperature is a chilly 5 Centigrade), there is a large sign which advises “The Highest Point in Thailand” and, of course, this is a photo opportunity for every visitor. The ruins of an ancient temple is a short distance through the trees and a stupa, in which the ashes of King Inthawichayanon (after whom Doi Inthanon is named) are interred, may also be visited.

inthanon national park, doi inthanon national park, inhanon, doi inthanon

Many activities are available at Doi Intharion : here is a list of the top activities to do, from the top of the mountain to the bottom. First is the peak of Doi Inthanon (Km 48) : once up here, you’ll be at the highest (and probably coldest) point in Thailand. From this point, if you are interested in mountain hiking, villagers can take you on a long trek in the surrounding forest where you will meet with Karen and Hmong villages (half day and full day trek). Nearby the peak of Doi Inthanon is a radar station belonging to the Thai Air Force as well as a memorial of the last ruler of Chiang Mai.

inthanon national park, doi inthanon national park, inhanon, doi inthanon

Just a few meters below the summit car park you will find the start to the Ang Ka natrure trail this 360m long elevated boarded walkway is well worth the effort as it will take you into the un spoilt forest and you will really be able to get a feel for the flora which exits at this altitude.

inthanon national park, doi inthanon national park, inhanon, doi inthanon

Kiew Mae Pan (Km 42) is one of the most beautiful and rewarding walks in the park is a new trail which begins a short distance up the main summit road from Napamaytanidol. The path leads for a kilometer or more through dense, moist evergreen forest, then emerges and follows the top of a steep slope bordering the canyon headwaters of the Mae Pan River. Dotted with red rhododendron, the trail proceeds southward for another kilometer with fine, open views to the west, then re-enters the forest and eventually terminates at Napamaytanidol Chedi. Two hours would allow a leisurely walk with camera stops.

inthanon national park, doi inthanon national park, inhanon, doi inthanon

About 500 meters from Kiew Mae Pan. Visit one of the best points to stop to take in the views over the Doi Inthanon National park can be found at the location of the twin Royal pagodas (Km 41.5) which were built by the Royal Thai Air Force in commemoration of the 60th birthday of Their Majesties The King and Queen in 1987 and 1992 respectively.

inthanon national park, doi inthanon national park, inhanon, doi inthanon

The Hmong market (Km 31) is a good choice for anyone who is looking for products or souvenirs created by members of this hill tribe. They wear Black trousers with a dark jacket with embroidered collars and green, white and blue stripes on their long sleeves. Traditional rice growing and gardens in the hills is being replaced by emphasis on other cash crops cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes and strawberries which were introduced as a substitute for opium growing. Hmong are involved in several royal projects such as the Doi Inthanon Royal Project which focus on crop substitution.

inthanon national park, doi inthanon national park, inhanon, doi inthanon

Wachirathan

inthanon national park, doi inthanon national park, inhanon, doi inthanon

Siriphum

Inthanon National Park also houses some of the region’s most beautiful waterfalls, some have calm pools where one can fully immerse oneself, while other are simply beautiful, shady spots to dip your toes. Most waterfalls can get thunderous in the wet season and caution should be exercised on slippery rocks and, if you might not always get them all to yourself, the sight of relaxed, smiling locals enjoying the tranquil settings is an experience in itself. The most spectacular waterfalls : Mae Klang, Wachirathan, Siriphum Mae Pan and Mae Ya Falls.

inthanon national park, doi inthanon national park, inhanon, doi inthanon

Mae Ya

inthanon national park, doi inthanon national park, inhanon, doi inthanon

Sirithan

How to get to Inthanon National Park

Inthanon National park is situated about 60km south west of Chiang Mai via highway 108 then turning right in Chom Thong onto the 1009 The highest mountain Doi Inthanon is actually a further 50 Km drive into the Park. Using public transport to visit the Park is a bit limiting, although you can charter a songteaw in Chom tong to take you to the main attractions in the park. If you don’t have your own transport then consider one of the organized tours which depart from Chiang Mai daily.

Entrance fee

The cost of entry is 300 THB for adults and 200 THB for children.