Doi Ang Khang (Thai: ดอยอ่างขาง) – is a popular tourist destination in Fang, Chiang Mai. The top of the mountain is the coldest point in Thailand, where the temperature drops below zero. On the way to this place, you will get acquainted with the stunning natural beauty of Thailand, and you will see the delightful blooming wild Himalayan cherry among the strawberry fields. It’s an amazing route that takes you through mountain peaks and shows you some sights that will last a lifetime! The three peaks that the route predominately revolves around are Doi Ang Khang, Doi Pha Hom Pok, and Doi Lang, which are part of the Daen Lao mountain range.
These places are famous and popular for three reasons:
– by local standards, it is very cold here and for the local population, who lives in a country with a very hot climate, visiting these places is about the same as a foreigner living in northern Europe visiting hot Thailand while it is winter in his homeland;
– from mid-December to mid-February, sakura blooms everywhere here, and endless landscapes consisting of millions of pink flowers attract lovers of beautiful and stunning views here;
– bird watchers will be able to find hundreds of different bird species here, including rare species that are difficult to find elsewhere.
If you are traveling along this route, be sure to pay attention to our tips for riders, read the article on why the brakes on the mountain descent can fail on an automatic scooter and how to avoid it, as well as pay attention to other unique and amazing routes to Phu Chi Fa or around Chiang Rai loop.
This route passes in some places on very steep slopes, so we do not recommend riding a motorcycle in these places if you do not have enough motorcycle experience, especially if we are talking about motorcycles with a variator, the speed of which cannot be adjusted by the gearbox.
Also, if you are traveling with children, we strongly recommend renting a car instead of a motorcycle, since in our opinion, only madmen who do not care about the safety of their children can travel to these places on a motorcycle with children.
We recommend planning your trip to Doi Ang Khang for 2-3 days because there is so much to see and do along the way.
The Chiang Dao Mountain 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 accessible parts 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 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.
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.
Also along the route, 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.
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.
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 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. Many little shops serve exceptional food – a must-try being the Chinese noodle soup and dumplings.
Doi Ang Khang is Thailand’s 15th highest peak at about 1928 meters high. The mountain neighbors 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. 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.
It can get very cold here with the temperature sometimes dropping below zero. Yes, this is still Thailand, where the average daily temperature is +30 degrees Celsius.
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 at Monson Viepoint. You can make your reservation on Ang Khang Monson campground Facebook page (อ่างขางม่อนสน).
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 4:30 – 5:30 am depending of the seasons (check here), if you are sleeping in a viewpoint camp.
If you are interested in the life of the mountain tribes of Thailand, then on Doi Ang Khang you can find the original mountain tribes of Musoe, Karen, and Lahu, as well as visit one of the mountain villages called Ban Khop Dong, the house of Musoe.
Mountain people of the Khop Dong village believe in spirits and ghosts, as well as in magic rituals. The village is lost among the mountain peaks and dirt roads, and it seems that time has stopped here.
Agriculture and handicrafts 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.
Ang Khang Royal Project started 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.
Doi Ang Khang loop is a route that will take you through the tourist attractions in the Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park. The 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!
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 are 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 has been kept to a minimum.
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, other mineral water pool options are available too.
Drone flights around Doi Ang Khang. Great aerial view from which you can see mountains, fields, meadows, tea plantations, and much more.
Guys ride motorbikes along the route and pleasant Thai music sounds in the background. Here you can see what roads you have to drive on the way to this place. This video was released in 2016, but you can be sure that the quality of roads is just as good right now.
Here you can see how people who arrived at the top of the Doi Ang Khang mountain meet the sunrise.
Pay attention to how they are dressed! It is really very cold there, and this is not a joke! Dress warmly!