Chiang Dao is home to some of Thailand’s most stunning scenery, surrounded by towering limestone mountains, verdant valleys and rugged gorges. The city is nestled on the slopes of Doi Chiang Dao mountain and offers a wealth of outdoor adventures, including one of Thailand’s deepest limestone caves, jungle hikes and secluded waterfalls.
Things to do in Chiang Dao
Active travellers can take on the challenging trek and climb to the top of Doi Chiang Dao. This prominent mountain stands at 2,175 metres tall and rewards hikers with panoramic countryside and mountain views. It’s also a great spot for you to spot rare wildlife, such as butterflies and birds.
Don’t miss experiencing Wat Tham Chiang Dao, a natural cave temple with stone-carved Buddhas, priceless religious statues, a fish pond and stalactites. You can explore more caves within Si Lanna National Park, including the famous Nong Pha cave system. Don’t forget to see the national park’s nine-tiered Mon Hin Lai Waterfall or swim in the tranquil springs.
Are you looking for some rest and relaxation? Take advantage of the various hot springs scattered around Chiang Dao, such as the Nong Khrok Hot Spring. It boasts open-air pools with mineral-rich water for soothing both body and mind. Afterwards, duck into one of the locally-run restaurants along Highway 1359, which serve delicious Thai cuisine.
Save time for Pha Daeng National Park, where you can hike through lush native jungles and tackle the 1,794-metre-tall Doi Puk Phakka mountain. It’s located near the Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to various endangered species, including long-tailed gorals, Sumatran serows and Asian golden cats.
Getting around Chiang Dao
Chiang Dao is about 87 kilometres from Chiang Mai, where you can hire a car or catch buses to the town centre. Chiang Dao is spread out, so most hotels offer motorcycle and mountain bike hire, while the local taxis pick up from the town centre and hotels.