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Written by Veyroniqa, Dawn Pillay
Edited by Dawn Pillay

Thailand is gaining popularity as a destination to escape the tropical heat. We kid you not!

If you’ve never considered checking out the mountains in Thailand, here’s why you should start thinking about it.

Up high in Thailand’s mountains (which Thailand has no lack of), there are many pleasant surprises awaiting. From jokester witches to erupting geysers, it’s all part of their charming parcel.

You will also be able to witness the rolling sea of clouds, not above you, but below! It’s quite an eye-opening experience so come along on the journey with us~

PS: If you’re keen to explore and experience the beauty and magic of Thailand’s mountains, transport is key. We went on a roadtrip to explore several of them ourselves and rented a car for it!

How to get there?

One of the most reliable and affordable car rentals we found was Europcar Thailand. We picked up our car upon arriving at the airport in Bangkok, and started our road trip immediately! (Their rental prices start from USD $35 / approx. 1091 Baht per day)

Our tip: If you plan to drive up mountainous roads like we did to reach Khao Kho, we recommend renting an SUV with higher power to go up the mountain. We got a 1.6L Sylvia and almost stalled the car, and 2 of us ended up having to get out and walk up while our friend drove up!

1. Mae Rim, Mon Cham

Stay among strawberry fields or a waterfall resort, dine with a view and more

First things first so you aren’t confused, Mae Rim is a district, and Mon Cham is an area near this district. Generally, this will be the area you cover when exploring Mae Rim/Mon Cham.

There’s much to do here. Whether it’s staying at a true waterfall resort with albino peacocks, or staying among the strawberry fields – there’s also interesting places to visit around the area!

a) Stay in luxury tented villas by cascading waterfalls – Sukantara Cascade Resort & Spa

One of Chiang Mai’s unique hotels, this waterfall resort surrounded by lush mountains and greenery is slowly enchanting many with a blissful retreat.

Set on flourishing hillside, this divine abode offers Lanna-Balinese style cottages set in jungle greenery and cascading waterfalls. Its pool villas are famously frequented by celebrities both local and international. But we propose taking the off-beaten path and staying at tented villas by the waterfall.

Photo Via TripCanvas

As the trickling water falls on the boulders, the sprinkled water creates luscious mist and it’s basically an experience that begs to be had once in a lifetime!  Enjoy crossing the resort’s sling bridge to reach your tented villa. If you reserve both tented villas (there are only 2), then you have this whole other side of the resort all to yourself!

b) Witness a beautiful sunset at this mountaintop cafe – Baan Mon Muan

Looking for a restaurant with incredible views in Chiang Mai?

High above the city is Baan Mon Muan, a mountaintop resort with a rustic restaurant set in the rolling hills of Chiang Mai. If you visit in the late afternoon, you’ll witness a beautiful sunset over the mountains.

Bushy shrubs, ferns and flowers fill the garden, and tall trees cast shade on those dining below. The outdoor deck with wraparound couches has been built over the jungle and offers beautiful, uninterrupted views of the hillside and farmland.

Photo Via Note_999,Nickname_nook26,Patsamon

Seafood, fried fish, traditional Thai side dishes, and cute little Thai dessert cakes and coffee is what you can expect to find on the menu.


c) Dine like a local and drink in the glorious views – Moncham Chiang Mai

A holiday hotspot and unique activity in Chiang Mai for holidaying locals, we were pleasantly surprised by how lovely it was to dine here.

Get seated in one of the little huts that feels like it’s right on the edge of the mountain, there are no chairs here. What you’ll get are comfortable seats on the bamboo platform, with a raised table in the middle, overlooking the mountain valleys.

Photo Via [email protected],TripCanvas,Jameskipa

Food is simple but fresh and oh-so-good. I would kill for another serving of that cabbage dish stir-fried with Thai fish sauce. (Another example of sweet mountain produce. :P)

PS: Don’t forget to visit the beautiful, sprawling flower fields of Mon Cham here. The local hillside tribes (supported by the Nong Hoi Royal Project) use sustainable farming methods to produce a variety of vibrant flowers, as well as cooler-weather fruits and veggies such as strawberries and lettuce!

d) Live on top of the misty mountains of Thailand ― Mong Nuea Homestay

Imagine you are among a cluster of wooden huts scattered in a lush green landscape, with breathtaking views from the top, fresh air and chilly weather.

Here’s where you can experience the folk life of Thailand’s most mountainous region – Mong Nuea homestay, a perfect welcoming place only a few hours’ drive from Chiang Mai. As this place is not well known, you won’t find many tourists, so you can immerse in the local culture and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Photo Via Gojourneytogether,Jsp_may

Meanwhile, tear yourself away from your gadgets, technology and social media. Mong Neua is about purely experiencing the simple lives that the people lead. Give your mind that much-needed rejuvenation!

e) It’s a glamping paradise in the mountains! – Paradise Camp Monjam

A row of white glamp tents on the mountain top, with views for days. For those looking to experience something new and live a little, consider a night’s stay here!

Photo Via TripCanvas,Nuknik.j

We stumbled on this as we were driving through the mountain, and found that they were newly opened at the end of December 2017. It looked like an utter dream and for an instant, we almost decided to spontaneously book a night’s stay there just for the experience!

f) Excellent food in an incredible location with a view of Mae Rim Valley – Sala Mae Rim, Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai

Let yourself be pampered at this resort with an incredible view of the Mae Rim Valley. Nestled among the lush vegetation, the restaurant is perfect for a romantic dinner or a relaxing high tea overlooking the mountains and rice fields.

Photo Via Delibang,Holidayrunway

Here you can indulge in exquisite dishes from Thai and international cuisine, fine wines and cocktails. The staff is attentive and helpful and will make sure you have an unforgettable experience!

Mon Cham

For more info, tap to expand!

Address: See addresses for various attractions!
Getting there: Fly to Chiang Mai International Airport, and rent a car or hire a private chartered car with driver. It’s a 1 hour drive from there!
Best time to visit: For perfect cold weather, visit during winter from November to February. It gets hotter from March to June. The rest of the time, it’s good to go!

a) Sukantara Cascade Resort & Spa

Rate: From USD $ 145 (Approximately 5124 Baht)
Address: 12/2 M.8 T.Maeram A.Maerim, Mae Rim, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Contact: +66 81881 1444
Website

Check Rate on Agoda

b) Baan Mon Muan

Price: Mains from USD $4.20 / approx. 150 Baht
Address: 175 Moo 2, T. Pongyaeng, A. Mae Rim, Chiang Mai
Contact: 083 318 6444, 083 318 6555
Opening hours: Daily from 7.30am to 7.30pm

Website

c) Mon Cham Chiang Mai

Price: From 150 Baht / USD $4.20
Address: Unnamed road, Tambon Mae Raem, Amphoe Mae Rim, Chang Wat, Chiang Mai, 50180. (Coordinates here)
Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 6pm

d) Mong Nuea Homestay

Getting there: Coordinates here.
Contact: +66 84 363 8014

Website

e) Paradise Camp Monjam

Rate: From 2000 Baht / USD $$63.70 (for 2-3 pax stay)
Address: Mae Raem, Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai 50180, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 91 802 6642
Facebook

Website

f) Sala Mae Rim, Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai

Price: From USD $10 / approx. 350 Baht; USD $49 / approx. 1,650 Baht (Afternoon Tea for 2)
Address: 502 Mae Rim-Samoeng Old Road | Mae Rim, Chiang Mai 50180, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 53 298 181
Opening hours: Daily from 7am to 10pm

Website

2. Khao Kho

Popular for their sea of clouds but pleasant surprises await at every corner

Just 5 hours from Bangkok and to the north of Phetchabun, lies a magical land that will steal your breath away. It has been gaining more attention and is it conveniently accessible from Bangkok!

Also read: Thailand’s Cameron Highlands a few hrs’ drive from BKK: 19 Magical things to do in Khao Kho

a) For the European romantic at heart, with hot air balloon rides! – The Blue Sky Resort

Fields and fields of blooming flowers will lift your spirits at this resort, filled with delicate Euro architecture. The rooms are also to die for – paneled wooden walls in light shades and floral coverlets.

Photo Via Dpromptly

They even have ceilinged lavender at their dining area. The grounds are rich with color, and you can also go on a hot air balloon ride!

b) Stay in one of a kind baroques standing on the edge of the mountain  – The Sense

Panoramic views await you at these romantic villas overlooking the sea of clouds every morning. When the mist clears, the revealed view is no less beautiful.

Photo Via Gibb_zaa

With numerous photo-op spots around the resort, you’ll be spamming your instagram feed for days. (There’s a restaurant on-site too!)

c) Ready yourself for great finds and a good food time  – Lom Sak Street

You’ll have a pleasant time discovering great food and their floating market, with boats lined up on the river bank – where you’ll find handicrafts by the mountain tribes.

Make sure you’re hungry before you hit the place because you will totally wish you were. There are favourite Thai snacks and other arts and crafts.

The entire marketplace is decorated with flags and fairylights, and it’ll be so nice to stroll through it with the cool weather – rather than feeling hot and sticky in Bangkok markets.

Photo Via Tourismthailand

d) Freshwater jellyfishes and hoards of butterflies  – Bang Rachan Islet แก่งบางระจัน เขาค้อ

If you like nature, this is a great activity for you. With rare freshwater jellyfishes floating in the river, you might want to prepare a waterproof camera to capture the unique sight.

Photo Via Panonikki,Nutsinee Buapadung,Happy Together

It’s a place for you to relax and enjoy, so just bring your peace of mind and just let your mind wander while witnessing the greatness of nature.

e) Hold on to your hats because you’ll be blown away  – Wind Farm Khao Kho

A large farm harnessing the powers of the wind for energy. But that’s what not travellers are here for – it’s the giant swing.

Photo Via Myinspire_mylife,Knong_supachai

Ok, but the windmills are pretty impressive too. Just look at all the turbines and the people having a blast taking selfies. Doesn’t it just look like a postcard?

PS: There’s a small local market at the entrance of the Wind Farm, and a few local shops selling fresh and super sweet strawberries (tastes as good as Korean strawberries, if not better!) in the Wind Farm too.

f) This Temple is probably unlike anything you’ve ever seen before  – Wat Prathat Phasornkaew วัดพระธาตุผาซ่อนแก้ว

With all the things you could do in Khao Kho, this is one you really shouldn’t miss. They use coloured tiles in their designs, and when the sea of clouds roll in, you won’t be able to believe your eyes. It looks like something right out of a myth.

Other than that, others come to view the five sitting Buddha statue.

Photo Via Arak-Ngamkittipat,Newbuffhill-Chanken,Tar-Teerapong

g) A farm and an eatery all rolled into one so the produce is fresh as can be  – Tanrak Talaymok

Did you know that fruits and vegetables grown on mountains tastes the best? Sweet and fresh – and fresh food with a view at Tanrak Talaymok? Ain’t that the life!

Plus, it’s incredibly affordable. When you’re done eating, pack up because you can’t leave without exploring the place and taking a picture with the lavender and other flowers!

Photo Via Kru_bloom,Iamjeefree,TripCanvas

They also have accommodation, so if you’re reluctant to leave, you can always spend the night.

h) A world of great coffee and a local favorite  – Pino Latte

Touted as the best coffee by foreigners and locals alike. They also serve colourful cakes and western cuisine.

It’s one of the best places to chill and watch the clouds rolling by. With great value for money, no wonder it’s such a popular spot.

Photo Via Arakngam,Warinthron-Nay-Tuensri

i) Grab a bear as your date for the day and marvel at the scenes before you  – Louis Cafe

Another great spot to gather with your friends and some stuffed teddies. From tiny to humongous. You will definitely find a bear that appeals to you.

Photo Via Aui_thitiwan,Pimpimkeerati

The views are comparable to all the other lookout points you’ll find in Khao Kho, just that this one has cuteness all around you.

Khao Kho

For more info, tap to expand!

Address: Khao Kho, Khao Kho District, Phetchabun 67270, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Getting there: Fly to Bangkok and rent a car or hire a private chartered car with driver. Khao Kho is 5.5 hours’ drive from Bangkok. Alternatively, you may fly domestic to Phetchabun Airport and rent a car. From there, it’s less than an hour’s drive.
Best time to visit: For optimum coldness, visit during winter from November to February. It gets hotter during summer between May to June. Otherwise, it’s good to go the rest of the time!

a) The Blue Sky Resort

Rate: From USD $220 / approx. 7000 Baht
Address: 96 Moo 5, Campson, Phetchaboon, 67280 Khao Kho, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +(662) 247-5744
Website

Check Rate on Agoda

b) The Sense

Rate: From USD $150 / approx. 4800 Baht (for Standard Rooms)
Address: 180 Moo 12, Khao Kho 67270, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 86 177 3566
Website

Check Rate on Agoda

c) Lom Sak Street

Rate: From USD $3 / 100 Baht
Address: ตำบล หล่มสัก Lom Sak District Phetchabun 67110 Thailand (Coordinates here)
Opening hours: Every Saturday from 5pm to 11pm
Contact: +66 99 240 5534

Website

d) Bang Rachan Islet แก่งบางระจัน เขาค้อ

Rate/Entrance fee: From USD $6 / approx. 200 baht per boat (accommodates up to 4 pax)
Address: Nong Mae Na, Khao Kho District, Phetchabun 67270, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 4pm (open during October to May)
Contact: 087-889-3855

Website

e) Wind Farm Khao Kho

Price/Entrance fees: From USD $3 / 150 Baht per person (you’ll have to pay for parking, and take the shuttle into the farm)
Address: Thung Samo, Khao Kho District, Phetchabun 67270, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Opening hours: Daily from 5am to 6.30pm

f) Wat Prathat Phasornkaew วัดพระธาตุผาซ่อนแก้ว

Price/Entrance fees: Free but donations are welcomed
Address: 95 หมู่ 7 บ้านทางแดง, ต.แคมป์สน อ.เขาค้อ, Amphoe Khao Kho, Chang Wat Phetchabun 67280, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 84 494 1262
Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 5pm

g) Tanrak Talaymok

Rate: From USD $2.80 / 90 Baht (for a smoothie) – (MUST-TRY their cabbage dish! It’s really good! But be sure to ask for less salt, chillies if you’d prefer)
Address: Khao Kho, Khao Kho District, Phetchabun 67270, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Getting there: Fly to Phetchabun Airport and rent a car. From there, it’s less than an hour’s drive. take Route 2215 to ตำบล บุ่งน้ำเต้า for 5 mins before turning left onto Route 2001 for 3 mins. Then take Route 2302 to Route 2325 in ตำบล เขาค้อ for 36 mins. Turn right onto Route 2325 for your destination.
Contact: +66 91 453 9888
Opening hours: Daily from 7am to 8pm

h) Pino Latte

Price: From USD $17 / approx. 550 Baht (for dinner sets)
Address: 232 Moo 5, Khaem Son 67280, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 87 099 4497
Opening hours: Daily from 7am to 6.30pm

i) Louis Cafe

Price: From USD $3 / approx. 100 Baht
Address: Khaem Son, Khao Kho District, Phetchabun 67280, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 97 007 7214
Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 10pm

3. Mae Hong Son

Stay in a tea plantation, eat a $1 noodle with a million dollar view

How would you like to be transported to a lovely Chinese village complete with a signature tea experience during your Chiang Mai trip? That’s what you’ll get at Baan Rai Thai. Not just that, Mae Hong Son has spectacular views awaiting you too.

a) Indulge in tea, scenery and more in this quaint little Chinese Village – Baan Rai Thai, Mae Hong Son

Baan Rai Thai is a small village with a population of just around 1,000 who are mainly Chinese-born or Thai-Chinese.

With a heavy Chinese influence on its signboards, buildings, and even the local language, Baan Rai is now stealing travellers’ attention with its unique charm, cool weather, Chinese food and locally grown Oolong Tea.

Photo Via Aneanee,Olive_club,Oat-r

Originated from China, the famous Oolong Tea is grown right in these plantations. You can learn all about its production and harvest, and enjoy a hot cuppa tea yourself, while taking in the tranquil and green surroundings.

Tip: The best time to visit Baan Rai is from October to February, especially in February when an annual Tea Tasting Festival takes place.

In addition to a tea-licious holiday, you can also trek, cycle or do horse-riding around the scenic village, while staying at the most popular accommodation, Lee Wine Ruk Thai Resort, for that authentic Baan Rai Thai experience you won’t get elsewhere in Thailand.

b) Eat a bowl of noodles in the sea of mist – Ban Ja Bo Village

Your legs are dangling in the air, with a bowl of hot noodle soup that costs one dollar on the table. In front of you, there’s a panoramic view of a sea of mist filling up the mountain valley down below.

Photo Via Haekheetiew,Sneak-Out,Premlaphat

That’s what we call ‘a dollar dish with a million dollar view” – especially if you’re looking for the best places to see the sea of clouds in Thailand.

Ban Ja Bo Village is situated on Phu Pha Mok Mountain close to Myanmar border in Mae Hong Son province. In this small hill tribe village, the villagers live quietly with their traditions, but willingly welcome you to their homes.

At the entrance of the village, this roadside wooden shack sells only noodles and coffee, and the good view is complimentary. It opens early in the morning for the mist hunters but if you come in later in the day, you still can get a good view of the mountain.

If you’re not hungry, there’s also another viewpoint along the road in the village. The village is easily reachable by car, but the road is notorious for its countless curves. You can stay at a few homestays at the village too, if you’d like to immerse yourself in the culture of this unspoiled village.

Mae Hong Son

For more info, tap to expand!

Getting there: Fly to Chiang Mai International Airport, and rent a car or hire a private chartered car with driver. It’s a 5 hour drive from there! Otherwise fly domestic to Pai Airport, and take a 2 hour drive there instead.
Best time to visit: For perfect cold weather, visit during winter from November to February. It gets hotter from March to June. The rest of the time, it’s good to go!

a) Baan Rai Thai, Mae Hong Son

Address: Moo 6 Tambon Mog Jum Pae, Amphur Muang, Mae Hong Son, Thailand. (Coordinates here)

Lee Wine Ruk Thai Resort

Address: 3 Moo 6 Tambon Mokjampea Amphur Maung, Other, Mae Hong Son, Thailand, 58000. Coordinates here
Contact: +66 89-950-0955, +66 89-262-1335

Website

b) Ban Ja Bo Noodle

Price: From USD $1 / approx. 30 Baht
Address: Pang Mapha, Pang Mapha District, Mae Hong Son 58150, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Opening hours: Wed-Mon, from 6.30am to 4.30pm (Closed on Tuesdays)

4. Phu Tub Berk (ภูทับเบิก จังหวัดเพชรบูรณ์)

See Thai Sakura blossoms and the peak of Phetchabun

Near Khao Kho and similarly just shy of six hours’ drive from Bangkok, it is the perfect place to travel to, to escape the Bangkok heat. If one sets out early in the morning, one might catch the incredible rolling clouds. If not, no matter, there’s still that low temperature to look forward to and the few attractions we’ve scrounged up.

a) A warm and inviting spot in the cooler climate  – Mountain Tiger Kitchen ครัวเสือภูเขาภูทับเบิก

Grab a cold one and cosy up, aside from the low temperatures to look forward to, the pork leg also looks pretty impressive.

Another thing to try is their chicken wings with fried cabbage, because they have their own cabbage patch there – so you’ll be able to taste the sweet mountain fresh produce.

Photo Via Kannika_noogun,Miearchan,Phetcharat_j

And, If you’re wondering whether you can get reception up here, I’ll do you one better – they have free wifi!

b) Take off your jacket and get a selfie with the huge thermometer – Phu Tub Berk Lookout อาคารหอดูดาวและที่วัดอุณหภูมิ

And prove to the world/your friends that you are made of steel. Plus, it’ll make a pretty cool post. If you’re a guy (or a very sporting girl) you can even take that one step further and take off your shirt 😉

Photo Via Chanomworld,M1ndangelo

You will see locals setting up camp at the campside on the lookout point, and if you’re really adventurous you, too, can give it a try.

c) Get bundled up for a cosy walk in the cold, and check out the local market – Phu Tub Berk Market

Located a walking distance from Phu Tub Berk Lookout, you will find the local market. That’s where you’ll be able to buy steaming roasted sweet potatoes, Hello Kitty Pancakes, cute winter wear and more! It was actually quite a fun experience strolling up and down the mountain alleys peeping at the local stores.

Phu Tub Berk, Petchaboon (ภูทับเบิก จังหวัดเพชรบูรณ์)

For more info, tap to expand!

Address: Wang Ban, Lom Kao District, Phetchabun 42120, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Getting there: Fly to Bangkok and rent a car or hire a private chartered car with driver. Khao Kho is 5.5 hours’ drive from Bangkok. Alternatively, you may fly domestic to Phetchabun Airport and rent a car. From there, it’s around an hour’s drive.
Best time to visit: Best to visit from August to February. If you visit during the rainy season from August to November – the cabbages are at peak. If you visit during the colder season from December to January – Thai Sakura is in full bloom!

a) Mountain Tiger Kitchen ครัวเสือภูเขาภูทับเบิก

Price: From 100 Baht / USD $3
Address: จุดชมวิวภูทับเบิก Phetchabun 67120 (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 94 558 9873
Opening hours: Daily 6:30AM to 11PM

Website

b, c) Phu Tub Berk Lookout อาคารหอดูดาวและที่วัดอุณหภูมิ, Phu Tub Berk Market

Price: Free admission
Address: Ban Noen, Lom Kao District, Phetchabun 42120, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Opening hours: 24 hours (market open from 10am to 8pm)

5. Doi Inthanon

Find the highest peak in Thailand and visit a Royal Project

Doi Inthanon is home to the highest peak (Kew Mae Pan) in all of Thailand! It’s also where you’ll be able to explore a Royal Project, and find great views of course.

a) Try duck with coffee sauce and trout steak with salsa!  – โครงการหลวงอินทนนท์ Royal Project Inthanon

It might sound like weird combinations, but they are two of the most highly rated dishes here.

The airy open space goes well with the cool temperature, imagine sipping your hot coffee while breathing in fresh mountain air and a soft breeze happens to float by. Ah! Bliss.

Photo Via Janjira_k1984,Napacha_piriya,Piyaid

If you’re not up for anything too crazy, they do serve your standard Thai cuisine too.

b) Finding Cingjing (Taiwan) in Thailand – The Sheep Farm

There’s another gorgeous area here that resembles Taiwan’s famous Cingjing Green Green Grasslands, that’s called The Sheep Farm (duh)! This is where you’ll get to interact with free roaming sheep and take photos with them.

Photo Via Chomthongchiangmai

c) A holy grail for athletic nature enthusiasts and photographers – Kew Mae Pan

The less athletically inclined might be more comfortable snapping pictures at the lookout point – but those who are not afraid of a challenge, should put on their hiking shoes because the nature trail is said to be amazing.

FYI, there is a secret opening between the 14th and 15th checkpoint that shows you a great view of twin pagodas.

Photo Via Kanannut,Pakkardbabygift,Mountain

d) Huts thatched from rattan or built from rocks  – Inthanon Eco Hut

Honestly, we’re not sure if it’s actually thatched out of rattan, but it sure looks like it! And that’s pretty interesting: kinda like spending the night in a super oversized wicker basket.

They also have a caveman alternative, a villa made from what looks like bedrock. Really brings back memories of the Flintstones…

Photo Via Eve_jtrz.pt,Chimchart,Pantip

It can get pretty cold at night though, so think two pairs of jammies and socks plus an additional heater (300 baht) and an extra blanket (50 baht).

e) Claimed to be the highest spot in Thailand – Phra Mahathat Naphapholphumisiri

It is a great place for night sky photography, perhaps because it is so close to the heavens? Or perhaps it just that there is no light pollution going on in that area? Let us know in the comments if you do, but for now, let’s drool over these amazing wallpaper shots:

Photo Via Fdofigueroaarratia

Aside from those killer views, the place has its charms too. Large gardens and cheap eats, it’s definitely a place to explore with your more outgoing and adventurous friends. Just make sure you check the weather forecast before visiting, you don’t want to get rained on!

f) A place with so many photo ops, it’ll make your head spin  – Royal Garden Siribhume สวนหลวงสิริภูมิ

Cherry blossoms, rustic trails and waterfalls. This place has it all. Oh, and did I mention? It’s also a great watchpoint for the sea of clouds.

Photo Via Crissmebabyboo,Pu.jeeranan

Plus, it’s not too far from Phra Mahathat Naphapholphumisiri, so you could potentially attraction-hop.

The clear waters would have you itching for a swim, but you’re not allowed to, so keep your clothes on! Although, you might see some naughty local kids splashing away..

Doi Inthanon

For more info, tap to expand!

Address: บ้านหลวง ซอย2 Ban Luang, Chom Thong District, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50160, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Getting there: Fly to Chiang Mai International Airport and rent a car or hire a private chartered car with driver. Take the 2 hour drive there!
Best time to visit: The National Park opens from November to May (closed during rainy season). The best time to see the sea of clouds is from November to February.

a) Kew Mae Pan, Chiang Mai (กิ่วแม่ปาน จังหวัดเชียงใหม่)

Entrance fee: You’ll have to pay to enter Doi Inthanon National Park. USD $8.50 / 300 Baht (for foreigners), USD $4.20 / 150 Baht (for children);  USD $1.40/50 Baht (for locals), USD $0.60/20 Baht (for local children). For the Nature Trail, you will require local guide which will cost USD $7 / 200 Baht for a group of 10.
Address: Ban Luang, Chom Thong District, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50160, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: 053 286 729 (Visitor Center)
Opening hours: Daily from 6am to 4pm
Best time to visit: The National Park opens from November to May (closed during rainy season). The Nature Trail opens from 6am to 4pm. The best time to see the sea of clouds is from November to February.

b) Inthanon Eco Hut

Price: From 1200 Baht / USD $38.20
Address: Ban Luang, Chom Thong District, Chiang Mai 50160, Thailand (Coordinates here)

Website

c) โครงการหลวงอินทนนท์ Royal Project Inthanon

Price: From 200 Baht / USD $6.30
Address: Unnamed Rd, Tambon Ban Luang, Amphoe Chom Thong, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50160, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 53 286 777
Opening hours: Daily 7AM to 9PM

Website

d) Phra Mahathat Naphapholphumisiri

Price: From 40 Baht / USD $1.30
Address: Chang Khoeng, Chom Thong District, Chiang Mai 50160, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 80 924 5459
Opening hours: Daily 8AM to 5PM

Website

e) Royal Garden Siribhume สวนหลวงสิริภูมิ

Address: Ban Luang, Chom Thong District, Chiang Mai 50160, Thailand (Coordinates here)

f) The Sheep Farm

Address: Ban Luang, Chom Thong District, Chiang Mai 50160, Thailand (Coordinates here)

6. Doi Ang Khang

Immerse yourself in truly stunning views and local tribe experiences

3 hours away by car from Chiang Mai is a pretty little quaint settlement, perfect for those who like unique experiences. It is a quiet life up by the border, where you can ride mules and go for long nature walks.

Photo Via TripCanvas

Home to four hill tribes – Musur, Palong, Thai Yai and Jean Hor – do not be surprised when you come across individuals who look distinctly Tibetan or Burmese (as some of them actually immigrated from there). They are very much into agriculture, so you will find plenty of farms, but more than that, you’ll be able to glimpse what it means to live simply.

Note: The main road to Doi Ang Khang has been closed for repairs from 25 July 2018 to April 2019.

a) It’s all about sustainable living at this nature hub – Angkhang Nature Resort

Aptly named for what it stands for, the resort employs villagers from the surrounding hill tribes, hoping that it would have a positive impact on the communities.

They practice separating their garbage for ecological reasons – the wet goes into fertilisers and the dry can be recycled. They pipe their grey water to the Royal Project so that nothing is wasted, amongst other things.

The rooms are nice and comfortable, proving that you don’t have to forsake luxury to be more environmentally friendly!

Photo Via Bjdogcom,Ceciliakwang,Ducky1717,Yingtoomtim

b) A Bonsai heaven at a research institute – Royal Angkhang Station Project

They do have other plants, but the Bonsais are exquisite. Maybe due to the colder climate.

The lovely flowers that grow there are quite unusual due to being cold climate florals – perfect for snapping that selfie. Or, if you’re a photographer, you’ll surely enjoy having the locals/tribesmen as your subjects as they tend the fields.

Photo Via TripCanvas

c) Sweet strawberries, glorious views and steaming sweet corn – Strawberry Farm (ไร่สตรอเบอรี่บ้านนอแล)

As you drive along as we did, you’ll chance upon an extremely picturesque Strawberry Farm hidden in the mountain valleys. Make sure to have a small pitstop to stop and get some photos, buy strawberries, or even pick the strawberries if you’re up for it.

Apart from the Strawberry Farm, there are some small local stalls selling nibbles like steaming roasted sweet potatoes and corn, as well as roasted eggs. (That corn was the sweetest corn I’d ever eaten!!)

d) Gaze down on Burmese valleys at the Thai-Myanmar border – Ban Nor-Lae

There’s a little village on the border and there you can take a picture with the sign that says you’re at the border. The view that awaits you is rather dramatic as it fuses the two countries together.

When you’re done marvelling at the fact that the scene below you is all Burmese, head back to the main road and you’ll find wares of indigenous crafts. If you do a bit of exploring, you’ll also come across a Thai army post.

Photo Via TripCanvas

Doi Ang Khang

For more info, tap to expand!

Entrance fees: Entrance Fee to Doi Ang Khang National Park is USD $0.70/25 Baht. Tent rental is USD $6.40/225 Baht. Sleeping gear rentals are from USD $0.60 – $1.50/ 20 – 50 Baht. If you bring your own tent, the tent slot fee is 50 Baht. Reservation is recommended.
Address: Doi Ang Khang, Amphoe Fang, Chiang Mai (Coordinates here)
Getting there: Fly to Chiang Mai International Airport and rent a car. From the airport, drive onto ถนน โชตนา to Route 1249 in ตำบล แม่สูน for 3 hours then follow Route 1249 to your destination in ตำบล แม่สูน.
Contact: 66 5381 0765-8 ext. 104 , 108
Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 5pm
Best time to visit: See the sea of clouds from November to February. However, the area is cool all year round, great for those looking to escape to a cooler climate!

a) Ban Nor-Lae

Address: Fang District, Chiang Mai, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +65 9736 7164

b) Angkhang Nature Resort

Price: From x Baht / USD $70
Address: 1/1 Moo 5 Baan Koom Tambol Mae Ngon Amphur Fang Doi Angkhang, Chiang Mai 50320, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 53 450 110
Website

Check Rate on Agoda

c) Royal Angkhang Station Project

Address: หมู่ 5 ต.แม่งอน Amphoe Fang, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50320, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: 053-450107-9

Website

d) Strawberry Farm (ไร่สตรอเบอรี่บ้านนอแล)

Price: From 150 Baht / USD $4.70 (for a box of locally grown strawberries)
Address: Unnamed Road, Amphoe Fang, Chang Wat Chiang Mai, Thailand (Coordinates here)

7. Doi Tung

Brighten up your life with a festival where you least expect it

Home to Doi Tung Royal Villa and a botanical garden Mae Fah Luang Gardens, it also hosts the annual Colours of Doi Tung Festival. (This year’s wrapped up on the 28th of Jan, to get dates for the next event, you can contact TAT directly via the details listed below.)

Even if you’re there when the festival isn’t on, it’s still great for visiting. This Royal Project is a tribute to the late Princess Mother, who wanted improvement for her people’s lives – and at the same time, the Royal Project contributes to the late Princess Mother’s goal.

Photo Via Suriyanfight

There are different stops to visit at Doi Tung, and there’s not only great views and culture to immerse yourself in, plenty of locals bring their families here to get inspired to live their best lives.

Photo Via TripCanvas,Kati_2533

Visit the Doi Tung Royal Villa, and Hall of Inspiration to see how the late Princess Mother and the Royal Family lived, there are some quotes  and inspirational food for thought to be found there. (We were inspired too!)

Photo Via Theprincessmothermemorialpark.org,Iamai

Special Mention: Make it a full day’s trip! – Choui Fong Tea Plantation

If you’re inspired to travel to Doi Tung Development Project, then you should consider a trip to Choui Fong Tea Plantation in the morning before heading up to Doi Tung!

Wander through the tea plantation, smell the fresh mountain air tinged with the scent of tea – and head into the cafe for delicious drinks and nibbles.

All we can say is, we fully enjoyed the drinks and cake we ordered – and our editor has been enjoying a steaming pot of Osmanthus Oolong Tea from them as she writes – purchased from Choui Fong Tea Plantation!

(Generally, the quality of tea here truly isn’t shabby! Tested, and proven.)

Doi Tung

For more info, tap to expand!

Price/Entrance fee: 200 Baht (adults), 100 Baht (kids and elderly) – Special Package for 4 attractions including Mae Fah Luang Garden, Mae Fah Luang Arboretum, Doi Tung Royal Villa, and Hall of Inspiration. (There’s a free shuttle ride from the base of Doi Tung to the Development Project!)
Address: Doi Tung Development Project, Tambon Mae Fah Luang, Amphoe Mae Fah Luang, Chiang Rai (Coordinates here)
Contact: 053-767-015-7
Opening hours: Daily from 7am to 5.30pm (The Doi Tung Bazaar is only available on winter weekends between December to January)

Website

Choui Fong Tea Plantation

Price / Entrance fees: From 150 Baht / USD $4.80
Address: หมู่ 10 ซอย 9 แม่จัน, Amphoe Mae Chan, Chang Wat Chiang Rai 57110, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 53 771 563
Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 5pm

Website

8. Huai Nam Dang National Park

You’ll be surprised to find witches and a hotspring geyser!

So big, you’ll find two provinces in this national park. Spanning 180 square KM, it’s probably Bear Grylls’ dream home. After you pay the park fee, you’re pretty much welcomed to stay as long as you want – provided you bring your own camping equipment.

Photo Via Siri_zoza,Monzillla

Psst… You can even rent a longboat and row your way through bat infested caves that are two parts mesmerising and one part creepy.

PS: See if you can find this traditional swing/ferris wheel!

a) It’s a coven of coffee!  – Anchalee Coffee Me

Smack in the middle of seemingly nowhere, is this unexpected cafe. The witchy theme, coupled with their proud brew makes for a great stop.

It’s a place that is definitely making a name for itself. Surely, it makes a good story: you won’t believe what we saw…

Photo Via Game_p,Smile-Small,Nuch_sirinapa

And the coffee was wonderful. (But honestly, I’m more of a herbal girl)

b) Now it’s time to get ALL WARMED UP by a geyser – Pong Dueat Hot Spring

Surprised to find a geyser? Not as surprised than we are. Promise.

You can buy some eggs to boil in the hotspring geyser, or you can camp out for the night. But you must definitely take a dip in the hot water, there’s something about chilling (so punny) in hot water while atop a freezing mountain.

Photo Via Sinapat_d,Aundamon15,Sarastravelstories

There are some weird flowers around, so if you’re an enthusiast, maybe you can tell us what it is? But watch out for the elephants, there seems to be a few around and remember: if there’s a seat on it, it’s not ethical. So, walk away.

c) Explore a 2000+ year old spooky and impressive cave – Tham Nam Lod Cave

Described as “next level mesmerising” by a traveller, you’ll want to check out Tham Lod Cave for yourself. It’s one of the biggest caves found in Northern Thailand, and is equal parts spooky and impressive – with fish in the river and bats hanging above you.

Photo Via C.h.i.r.a.t.h_d.e.w,Jessmasself

You’ll get there to the cave via a bamboo raft, and then you’ll walk. Sounds like quite the adventure, yes?

Huai Nam Dang

For more info, tap to expand!

Entrance fee: Entrance Fee for National Park USD $8.50 / 300 Baht (for foreigners), USD $4.20 / 150 Baht (for children);  USD $1.40/50 Baht (for locals), USD $0.60/20 Baht (for local children).
Address: Moo 5, Tombol Kid Chang, Amphoe Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai (Coordinates here)
Getting there: Fly to Chiang Mai International Airport and rent a car or hire a private chartered car with driver. From the airport, it’s a 2 hour drive!
Best time to visit: The sea of clouds is available all year round, but the best time to visit is from November to February when temperatures are cooler and there’s less rain.

a) Anchalee Coffee Me

Price: From 50 Baht / USD $1.60
Address: 80 หมู่5 ต.ป่าแป๋ Amphoe Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50150 (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 86 439 7988
Opening hours: Daily 6AM to 6PM

Website

b) Pong Dueat Hot Spring

Price: From 300 Baht / USD $9.50
Address: Pa Pae, Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai 50150, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 93 589 0190
Opening hours:  Daily 9AM to 6PM

c) Tham Nam Lod Cave

Address: Tham Lot, Pang Mapha District, Mae Hong Son 58150, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 4pm

Website

You know what they say, life begins at the end of your comfort zone. So stop flying to the same old places for the same old things. Explore a little. Live a lot.

The mountains of Thailand are calling, don’t you hear them? So the next time someone talks about travelling, don’t forget to bring this up!

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Travel Writer

An aspiring storyteller through scribbles and snapshots. When she’s not losing herself in YA fiction, she’s out chasing daydreams. A few include #vanlife, a never-ending roadtrip and a laptop that doesn’t run out of juice or wifi! She’s known as @veyroniqa on the internet and if you’re ever on blogspot, Youtube or Instagram, feel free to hit her up.