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The Ping River Valley

  • Upper North Thailand is defined by its river valleys and in its centre is the Ping River, on which are the Cities of Chiang Mai and Lamphun. The Ping River Valley is a treasure house of Mon, Tai Yuan and Shan art and architecture as well as the access depot to four National Parks. The important locations in the Valley are Lamphun, Chiang Mai City, Chiang Dao Caves and the mountain Wat, Wat Phra Boromathat Doi Suthep. These are detailed in separate links. This link considers those additional places of interest within the Valley.

Elephants Working Timber Logs, Chiang Mai

  • The upper valley of the Ping River north of Chiang Mai is attractive for its tropical forest scenery. For tourists the natural vegetation and landscape formations are unlike that of Europe, North America or the Southern Hemisphere and accordingly are a high light. At the lower levels one sees deciduous diptercarp-oak forest of widely spaced trees with an abundance of variety mixed with oaks. In the dry season these are producing a canopy of orange or flaming red flowers before they drop their leaves as a consequence of declining moisture. Other trees flower when they have dropped their leaves making them more accessible to pollinators. Large stands of bamboo in various forms are also everywhere.

The major tourist places of interest in the Ping Valley north of Chiang Mai include:
  • The caves of Chiang Dao
  • The elephant training centres
  • The various villages of ethnic minorities such as the Karen, Akha, Hmong and Lisu

Gold Chedi At Wat Phra That Sri Chom Thong