Chiang Dao, in the north of Chiang Mai, is one of those places that when you visit it you feel like you could stay for a lifetime. Surrounded by an incredible landscape, among mountains, limestone rocks and rice fields, Chiang Dao is an ideal visit when you are getting to know the north of Thailand.
Chiang Dao is known as the city of stars and is located in the province of Chiang Mai only 85 km from the capital near the border with Myanmar. As such, it is a small town with a quiet atmosphere typical of these mountain areas.
WHAT TO DO IN CHIANG DAO – DISCOVER NORTHERN THAILAND
Here we leave you all the information about the different attractions you can find, all the detailed information to know what to do in Chiang Dao.
WHAT TO DO IN CHIANG DAO
Visit Wat Tham Pha Plong: Located halfway between Chiang Dao and Chiang Dao Cave, Wat Tham Pha Plong is located on a hillside that offers incredible views of the surrounding area. To access it, you must climb a staircase decorated like a mythological Naga with 500 steps. It is also a meditation center and is highly revered in the area because one of the most important monks in all of northern Thailand, Luang Boo Sim Buddha Caro, practiced his teachings there for more than 10 years.
Visit the Chiang Dao National Park: With an area of about 1200 square km the park is located about 40 km from the village. The area covers the 2 most important mountain ranges in the area Doi Chiang Dao and Doi Pha Dang, having its highest mountain in the Doi Pukphukka with about 1800 m. Due to its remoteness and its proximity to the Burmese border, the park is one of the best preserved forest masses in all of Thailand.
Visit Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary and Species Recovery Center: Only 1 km from the entrance to Chiang Dao Cave is this protected sanctuary or reserve and its species recovery center. The sanctuary is an ideal place for bird watching, which makes it receive many visitors a year. It is also an ideal place for short hikes. On this excursion you should not miss visiting the recovery center and seeing all the programs and species being treated, both birds, mammals and cats.
Visit Chiang Dao Cave: Considered one of the largest caves in all of Thailand, Chiang Dao Cave is a 12 km cave system with impressive stalagmites and stalactites created thousands of years ago. The cave is also famous for housing a small Buddhist shrine over 1700 years old with Buddha figures and a sculpture of a reclining Buddha. The entrance to the caves is through a temple with an access staircase decorated with life motifs and Buddha images.
HOW TO GO TO CHIANG DAO
The easiest way is to go by bus (Chang Puak Bus Station) from Chiang Mai itself. Buses depart every 90 min. If you are riding a rented motorcycle, you will have to take the road to Fang and make a detour to Chiang Dao.
You can also go by bus from Bangkok, the trip takes about 12 hours and the buses leave around 8 pm from Mo Chit Bus Station. The best option is the 24 seat VIP service.
WHERE TO SLEEP IN CHIANG DAO
Chiang Dao has a small but suitable hotel offer for all tastes. In the same village you can find very cheap accommodation, from 150 bth a night.
Be aware when you visit Baan Tong Luang that you have to be very respectful, it’s not a zoo or a circus.
Avoid visiting the caves on weekends, they are usually quite crowded. Wear comfortable, non-slip shoes.
Try to sleep in San Phakia, the camping area that is in the same natural park. Here you can rent tents for the night. The surroundings are spectacular, with an incredible view of the Doi Chiang Dao.