Doi Inthanon National Park Chiang Mai
- Doi Inthanon National Park at 2,565 meters is Thailand's tallest mountain. The National Park is 482 square kilometres and home to enormous diversity of forest plants, 66 species of mammals and 386 species of birds. Doi Inthanon is in Chomthong, Mae Cham, Mae Wang and King Amphoe Doi Lo of Chiang Mai Province.
The geography is rugged mountains with streams, waterfalls and forests. The seconded highest peak is Doi Hua Mot Luang at 2,330 meters above sea level.
- As with Doi Suthep National Park the diversity is a function of altitude, changing vegetation types and supported eco-systems.
- For the first 1000 meters (3,281 feet) the vegetation is the same as the rest of the North Thailand, namely mixed deciduous forest, bamboo and deciduous dipterocarp forest.
- Towards the summit is evergreen forest with epiphytes (green ferns, mosses, lichens, orchids and flowering plants). One can also find rhododendrons.
Doi Inthanon Temples
The main tourists attractions at Doi Inthanon are;
- Doi Inthanon Peak
- Mae Klang Waterfall
- Siriphum Waterfall
- Mae Ya Waterfall
- Vachirathaan Waterfall
- Brichinda Cave
Doi Inthanon Forrest Walkway
- Doi Inthanon is Thailand's premier bird watching location due to its diversity of altitudes, migration paths above and diversity of plant habitats. This is a premier spot for eco-tours and bird watching tours. Doi Inthanon is constantly shrouded in mist which collects on vegetation then to form droplets which constantly rain from the canopy (fog drip). The area is a major water source for the Ping and Chaem Rivers which ultimately feed the Chao Phraya River which in turn feeds the Central Plain and Bangkok. Abundant water ensures constant supplies for the year-round water falls. The three most spectacular are, Mae Klang Waterfall, Mae Ya Waterfall (250 meters) and Wachiratan Waterfall (50 meters). The Park is also home to Hmong and Karen villagers and is close to the Ping Valley south of Chiang Mai City and Chom Thong and its Wat.
- Doi Inthanon is known primarily as Thailand's highest mountain and tops both Doi Pahom Pok ( 2,285metres ) and Doi Chiang Dao ( 2,175 metres ), the country's second and third highest peaks, though it is visually the least spectacular of the three at least when seen from a distance. Then again, the appeal of Thailand's mountain peaks is more sublime than sudden, more subtle than stunning. True, there is nothing to compare with perpetually snow capped Hkakabo Razi at 5,881 metres neighbouring Burma's highest peak but Doi Inthanon, like Doi Chiang Dao, is part of the same extraordinary geological phenomenon, as indeed is Mount Everest itself.
- As we now know, terra firma the fixed land surface of the earth is indeed anything but fixed. Instead, the surface of the globe is made up of rocky "tectonic plates" permanently shifting on the semi molten mantle below. About 200 million years ago the Indian subcontinent then near the south pole split off from Antarctica, and "hurtled" towards the Asian land mass at the remarkably fast rate ( in geological terms ) of about 15 cms a year. The titanic crash which followed, about 40 million years ago, caused the Asian plate to buckle and rise upwards, forming the Himalayas, a process which still continues. And at the eastern end of that cataclysmic collision, Doi Pahom Pok, Doi Chiang Dao, and Doi Inthanon form the last, unlikely outcrops of the great Himalayan chain.
- Seen in this light, perhaps, Doi Inthanon's modest 2,595 metres may seem more spectacular. Still, the appeal of this mystic peak transcends mere figures. Now encompassed in the 428 square kilometre Doi Inthanon National Park, the mountain hosts an ecosystem unique in Thailand, essentially forming an island of sub-Himalayan flora and fauna deep within the confines of tropical Southeast Asia. A popular and important destination for naturalists and bird-watchers, the mist-shrouded upper slopes support a wealth of orchids, lichens, mosses and epiphytes, as well as nearly four hundred species of birds more than any other habitat in Thailand.