Trekking Around Chaing Dao
With the giant limestone mountain Doi Chiang Dao; lush green forests, an abundance of wildlife; the only place in Thailand where all twelve hill tribes can be found living in an ordinary, ageless existence in hill tribe villages; and the fact that Chiang Dao is surrounded by national parks; you can understand why this is one of the best places in Thailand to do some superb trekking. Despite these excellent credentials, it is not swamped with tourists like some of its more well-known peers. Trekking can be undertaken alone or with a guided tour group. The Pha Daeng National Park contains 1000 square kilometres of scenic craggy mountains, and it is cooler and drier than on the plains. The local flora are semi-tropical, and there are extensive bamboo forests with an array of mountain streams and waterfalls. There is an abundance of trekking tours available to guide you through the jungles, mountains, waterfalls and hot springs, there are also many organised treks to visit the Hill Tribe villages that are scattered around the area and also to tea and coffee plantations. You can book these tours from just about anywhere, but the local guesthouses will be happy to arrange them for you. The guesthouses Nest, Nature Home and Malee's are well known to organise guided trekking tours into the park ranging from 1-3 days duration. A 1 day jungle trek is around 3000B/1700B per person for 1pax/2pax and a 2 day jungle trek around 4600/2700 per person for 1pax/2pax. Check their websites for further details. There are a couple of short treks you can do alone starting from just past Nest Guesthouse. On the left, there is a signposted nature trail which takes you to the Chiang Dao Caves (takes 1.5 to 2 hours). There is also another trail which leads round the grounds of Wat Tham Pla Pong, although it’s not the easiest to navigate as it can be very slippery. *TIP* - Ensure you have plenty of mozzie repellent and lots of water when trekking around here.