Doi Ang Khang: Authentic Northern Thailand Experience
Table of Contents
- 1 Doi Ang Khang: Authentic Northern Thailand Experience
- 1.1 Route to Doi Ang Khang
- 1.2 Doi Ang Khang
- 1.3 What else to see on the route
On your way to Doi Ang Khang you will be taken through some of Thailand’s spectacular raw, natural beauty. It’s an amazing route that take you through mountain peaks and shows you some sights that will last a lifetime! The three peaks that the Doi Ang Khang route predominately revolves around are Doi Ang Khang, Doi Pha Hom Pok and Doi Lang.
These three peaks are nestled in the northwestern corner of Thailand, very close to the Burma border. This area is known as Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park and tourists from all over the world come to see these parts of Thailand for birdwatching in particular as it is home to a variety of many rare birds and specific mountain species. This route also has many trails and treks that nature lovers will thoroughly enjoy.
Route to Doi Ang Khang
Pha Daeng National Park (Chiang Dao National Park)
Amongst all the National Parks in the Chiang Mai District, Pha Daeng National Park (previously known as Chiang Dao National Park) is one of the most popular National Parks for bustling tourists, curious about Northern Thailand’s national treasures.
The National Park was declared a wildlife sanctuary a few years ago and has since become a favoured place for trekking, camping, cave exploring, bird watching, animal spotting, hot springs and not to mention the handful of serene Buddhist Temples.
Pha Daeng is also home to multiple village-sized settlements, otherwise known as ‘tribal’ villages. the most visited tribal village in Pha Daeng is the Karen Long Neck Tribal Village. A visit to the National Park provides a good insight into the lives of these simple, tribal communities and allows tourists to understand the way they work and live.
We recommend planning your trip to Doi Ang Khang for several days as there is lots to see and do on the way! Especially for the curious nature lover – there is a trek to the top of Doi Chiang Dao (Doi Luang Chiang Dao) mountain which can take around 4-5 hours one way!
Chiang Dao Cave and Temple
The Chiang Dao Mountain (located on the way to Doi Ang Khang) has multiple caves in its crevices. The total length of the caves are said to be about 12 kilometers long, some that have, and have yet, to be explored with most of them being dark. Of the 12 kilometers of cave systems, a few of the caves are open to visitors and have well-lit ceilings and corridors that highlight the stalactites and stalagmite formations.
Most of the cave is inaccessible to tourists but the parts that are accessible are lead by local tour guides. The main atrium of the Chiang Dao cave is well lit and safe, however, it is advisable to take a small tour with a guide.
A little further from the caves is a temple that is built into the mountain cavern, surrounded by beautiful green scenery, it is a very small, humble place. This Buddhist temple is accessible from the caves although it is better to drive up to it, as parts of the cave route are restricted.
Wat Tham Pha Plong
Wat Tham Pha Plong is a cave temple that is located in Chiang Dao, atop a mountain. The temple is interesting because the actual shrine is within a cave, but the golden stupa is located in front of it. The temple is built in typical Thai style with a golden stupa and many Thai carvings on its walls.
There are 501 steps that lead up to Wat Tham Pha Plong, they’re not too steep but can become a little tiring. The temple is usually quiet, with hardly any visitors and has a meditation hall near the main shrine for people who like to meditate.
Buddhist Pagoda of King Naresuan
Also along the route to Doi Ang Khang, you can visit the Buddhist Pagoda of King Naresuan (a Thai memorial for a great ruler – being dedicated to King Naresuan or Sanphet the Second).
The memorial is very well maintained and is a place of pilgrimage for most Thai locals. Behind the memorial, there are barracks that you can walk through to get a sense of the history behind the memorial and the great king it is dedicated to.
Sri Sang Wan Waterfall
The Sri Sang Wan Waterfall is within the Pha Daeng National Park premises. Until recently, it was a very quiet waterfall, but now attracts a lot of tourists because of its unique sight. The Chiang Mai district is blessed with a lot of streams and rivers that feed these waterfalls and Sri Sang Wan is one of them. The Sri Sang Wan Waterfall flows wide and high, and to any traveler it looks like a plane of frothing water.
The area surrounding the waterfall has many pools and parks that have been developed over the years for tourists and therefore charging a small entry fee. But either way, the view of the water flowing down the rocks with a green, picturesque setting is truly like no other.
Arunothai Village (Burma border)
The remote village of Arunothai is at the tip of Thailand’s border, north of Chiang Dao and along highway 1322 at the Burmese frontier. It’s a place that everybody should visit, (with your own mode of transport – especially a motorcycle) because the drive up to this little village is picturesque and beyond compare.
The village is located about an hour from Doi Ang Khang with the best time to visit during the early hours of the morning. The locals have their morning bazaars before 9 am and is an experience that is worth waiting around for. There are many little shops that serve exceptional food – a must try being the chinese noodle soup and dumplings.
Doi Ang Khang
Doi Ang Khang is Thailand’s 15th highest peak at about 1,928 meters high. The mountain neighbours two other peaks that are of similar heights. The mountain peak and the way up is home to many rare bird species and is one of the main reasons that tourists flock here every year.
These mountains are home to the people belonging to the Lahu and Palaung hill tribes. To see people from these tribes dressed in their traditional clothes is a very common sight in the area. This particular mountain range is the heart of Thailand’s lucrative Opium trade.
The climb on the Thailand side is pretty drastic so the best way to get to the summit of this peak is on a motorcycle.
Doi Ang Khang Weather
It can get very cold here in Doi Ang Khang, with the temperature sometimes dropping below zero. Yes, this is still Thailand, where the average daily temperature is +30 degrees Celsius.
Things To Do on the Doi Ang Khang
Sakura or Wild Himalayan Cherry Blossom
Doi Ang Khang Camping
You can stay overnight in one of the guesthouses, or you can also choose a tent with a beautiful morning view of the boundless sea of fog.
Sunrise on the Doi Ang Khang
You must remember that the “sunrise” is the time when the sun has already risen above the horizon. Therefore, if you want to see the sun rise over the horizon – you should wake up about 1-1.5 hours earlier. Recommended time for getting out of bed is 5:45am, if you are sleeping in a viewpoint camp.
Doi Ang Khang Market, Cafe and Food
Markets and cafes are in the open air so if you are cold, then head into the cafe where you can buy something hot to warm up.
Doi Ang Khang Birds
The chirping of exotic, rare birds that you will not find anywhere else in Thailand – what could be more beautiful in the winter!
Doi Ang Khang Royal project
The Doi Ang Khang Royal Project started off as a way to pacify the summit because at the time the only crop the farmers were growing was opium. The idea behind the project was to provide the farmers with other alternative crops that they could grow in the region.
The Doi Ang Khang Loop is a loop that will take you through the tourist attractions in the Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park. The Doi Ang Khang Loop is one of the ultimate northern Thailand experiences a traveler can experience and with all the above mentioned attractions, no traveler will be left wondering what to do!
What else to see on the route
Fang Hot Spring
The Fang Hot Springs is in the area of Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park. The hot springs are amidst forests, mountains, greenery and is as close to nature as you can get. The National Park authorities have developed the area to attract tourists but at the same time manage to keep it as natural as possible. For instance, the pathways around the springs are all made of stone and the use of concrete and modern construction material have been kept to a minimal.
On the way to Doi Ang Khang we suggest that you take a dip into the pools as the water in the pools is said to contain many vitamins and minerals that do the skin and body the world of good. If you are uncomfortable with the water quality, there are other mineral water pool options that are available too.