14 Most Exciting Attractions At Phu Chi Fa (2024)

Phu Chi Fa, affectionately known as Phu Chee Fah, stands proudly as a breathtaking mountainous region and captivating national forest park in the picturesque land of Thailand. Nestled snugly in the northeastern-most tip of the majestic Phi Pan Nam Range, this awe-inspiring natural wonder is situated a mere 12 km southwest of the enchanting Doi Pha Tang, right at the vibrant, eastern boundary of the serene Tap Tao in the charming Thoeng District of Chiang Rai Province. An unmissable gem for adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike, Phu Chi Fa promises unforgettable memories and mesmerizing views.

Travel to enjoy the sea of mist in the Phu Chi Fa and Pha Tang mountains in Chiang Rai province. Gorgeous viewpoints and hill tribe villages, flower gardens, waterfalls, a spectacular sunrise on top of the world and the city’s main pagoda.

With the onset of winter, this is the perfect time to hike up into the mountains and enjoy the sea of mist. Phu Chi Fa Forest Park in Chiang Rai province is one of the main natural attractions of northern Thailand. Did you know that there are tours here all year round, but the sea of mist is thickest from November to February?

That’s why we would like to introduce you to the tourist spots you can visit at any time because since you have already ventured high up into the mountains, it’s worth visiting every stop. And for those of you who would like to travel during the low season to avoid the crowds, you can make your plans as to where to take your best shots.

Phu Chi Fa

Phu Chi Fa (ภูชี้ฟ้า), also known as the Phu Chee Fah mountain, located in Thoeng sub-district, Chiang Rai province, is one of the highest peaks of Doi Pha Mon mountain range, which serves as a natural boundary between Thailand and Laos. The mountain owes its name to its shape — a sharp peak reaching into the sky with a boundless sea of mist during sunrise — mountain’s beauty defies words, and the romantic atmosphere can compete with any European mountain trip.

This tour is recommended as an additional route when traveling along the Chiang Rai loop or to Doi Ang Khang. Before traveling through the mountainous regions, do not forget to read our article on why brakes can fail on an automatic scooter and how to fix them. Also do not forget our tips for riders in Thailand.

The best time of year to visit Phu Chi Fa is during the winter months from early November to late February. At this time you can enjoy the amazing misty dawn views and light tropical frosts. At this time, the area and viewpoints will be filled with crowds of Thai tourists who travel to the mountains to freeze.

Facts and statistics

Location: Chiang Rai Province
Area: 120,000 rai (192 sq.km.)
National Park Established: 6 February 1998
Elevation: 1,442 m
Prominence: 222 m
Mountain range: Phi Pan Nam Range
Best visiting time: Nov. – Feb.
Visitors: 197,144 (2019)

Heading to Phu Chi Fa

Driving To Phu Chi Fah

If you are riding a scooter or motorcycle, you can to visit the hill-tribe villages and go further to Doi Pha Tung and other tourist spots quite comfortably. If you are traveling by bus, you can catch your ride at the passenger bus stations in various villages or even hire a songthaew (Thai pick-up truck) to get you around.

If you are traveling with young children, then we strongly recommend renting a car. It will be safer for your family.

Bus From Chiang Mai to Phu Chi Fa

Bus From Chiang Mai To Phu Chi Fa

If you want to use public transport, a comfortable bus leaves from Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 3 to Thoeng town once a day. One-way fare is 270-350 baht. Travel time is approximately 5 hours. After that, you will need to hire a taxi, which for an additional 500-600 baht will take you to your destination.

Things To Do

Mae Kachan Hot Spring

Mae Kachan Hot Spring

Make your first stop at the hot springs along the main road. There are several places worth paying attention to here. Firstly, a fountain, from which a jet of hot water is pouring several meters upwards. Here you can take a photo as a souvenir. Secondly, you will find here hot mineral baths for your feet, where you can sit for a few minutes and relax for free. Well, thirdly, a stone bath with water whose temperature reaches 98 degrees Celsius. When you come to this stone bath, you will definitely be offered to buy quail eggs in a wicker basket, which you can boil and eat right there.

Around you will find many souvenir shops, 7-Eleven, several cafes.

Be careful when shopping for jewelry. Once, in this place, a jewelry seller sold us expensive earrings, which, according to him, were made of real gold. When we returned home, it turned out that it was imitation jewelry, not gold. We had to go to the police, who helped us get the money back. However, time was wasted.

This was not a seller’s mistake, or a language barrier misunderstanding. We are local and speak excellent Thai, and before paying the money, we asked the seller a lot of clarifying questions. However, we were deceived.

Tan Tong Waterfall

Tan Tong Waterfall

Before you cross the border of Lampang and Phayao provinces, you will meet Tan Tong waterfall on your way. By the way, if you suddenly do not know yet, during your trip to Pu Chi Fa, your path lies through 4 provinces of northern Thailand: Chiang Mai – Chiang Rai – Lampang – Phayao. And only after you enter Chiang Rai province again, you reach the top of Phu Chi Fa Mountain.

Dinosaur Viewpoint

Kwan Phayao Dinosaur Viewpoint

If you’ve seen dinosaurs, congratulations! Are you in Phayao! Keep left – there is an exit from the main road. Time for a selfie!

If you’re planning to vacation in northern Thailand for a few days and haven’t yet made up your mind about what sights you want to see, then check out our online Chiang Mai attractions guide.


Anyway, if you go to Pu Chi Fa, then you go there overnight to see one of the most delightful sunrises in the world. This means you have a lot of time to explore other attractions that you will meet along the way. Why don’t you turn off the main road for a couple of hours?

Phayao Lake

Phayao Lake

About 70 million years ago, when the lithosphere broke apart, Phayao Lake was formed. In the past, water from the mountains flowed into streams and rivers and turned into small swamps every year during the dry season in the area around Phayao Lake. A lot of temples used to be in the area around Phayao Lake. That was many years ago. Later, when the Department of Fisheries built a water gate to keep water in Phayao, the temple was flooded.

Bor Sib Song Cliff

Bor Sib Song Cliff

Bor Sib Song (Well #12) is a tourist attraction of Phayao Province. It is located at Ban Tom Sub-district, Mueang Phayao District. It is a forest and rock cliff. There have many large stones. There is a viewpoint as a cliff protruding (local people call it Phu Chee Fa Noi).

Lat Long
19.2422326, 99.9104293

After you get to this point – follow the signs. First, you will have to drive on a dirt road, and at the very end you will need to walk about 500 meters. If there was no rain, the dirt road will be dry and you will have no trouble getting to your destination.

Wat Analayo Thippayaram

Wat Analayo Thippayaram

The large seated Buddha image at Wat Analayo, which is 20 kilometers west of the town of Phayao and on top of Doi Busarakham, is well-known. The temple grounds have many more beautiful Buddha statues in different poses, as well as the Indian-style Rattana Chedi and a Chinese pavilion with Guan Yin Bodhisattva inside.

Where Are We Going Next?

Phu Sang Waterfall

Phu Sang Waterfall

Before reaching several kilometers to Phu Chi Fa, you will encounter another waterfall. Located in the area of Doi Phu Sang National Park, Phu Sang is a famous small waterfall filled with warm water from the hot springs. You can even take a swim! There is also a natural warm water pond where the water temperature is around 35°C nearby.

Lat Long
19.6634829, 100.3744398

Phu Pha Sawan Viewpoint

Phu Pha Sawan Viewpoint

Also located in the Phu Chee Fah area, this viewpoint offers views of the sea of mist. Visitors can pitch a tent in the camping area or find accommodations at one of many resorts in the area nearby.

Points of Interest

Main Viewpoint

Phu Chi Fa Viewpoint

According to Wiki, the height of the mountain is 1,442 meters (4,731 feet). The very top of the mountain offers a 360-degree, panoramic view of rare beauty. To see the sea of mist and to watch the sunrise, you will have to take a 1,5km hike up the mountain from Rom Fa Tong village, located next to the trail.

Your walk will have to begin early in the morning while it’s still dark, so you can welcome the first light of a new day. On the way down, among the wild Himalayan cherry trees, you can stop to watch the birds and study the nature around you.

The Best Time to Watch the Dawn, Sunrise and Misty Sea

If you want to meet the dawn on the top of the mountain, you will want to use this website to check the time of sunrise on the day in question at this link – https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/@19.850653,100.4516864

Phu Chi Fah Best Time For Sunrise Schedule

Note that “sunrise” is the time when the sun has already risen above the horizon. Thus, to see the dawn, you need to hike to the top of the mountain about 1 hour earlier.

But do not forget that you will need time to prepare for the day and get from your guesthouse to the foot of the peak and climb to the top. If the sunrise is at 6 a.m., then to see the dawn you need to wake up at about 4 a.m. to be at the top of the mountain at 5 a.m. That is if the sunrise is at 6 a.m., then to see the dawn you need to wake up at about 4 a.m. to be at the top of the mountain at 5 a.m.

After dawn and sunrise, you can also see how the misty sea dissipates and the mountains that separate Thailand and Laos appear from the thick white fog.

The entire morning and round trip to the top of the mountain and back will take about 3.5-4 hours. Therefore, do not forget to bring drinking water and sandwiches with you to the top of the mountain.

Watershed Management Ngao – Ngao

Watershed Management Ngao – Ngao

This is the spot to enjoy the beauty of blossoming wild Himalayan cherry trees. There are more than 5,000 trees in the area. There is also a camping area where you can pitch your tent and toilet and other facilities provided for the tourists.

Phu Chi Dao

Phu Chi Dao Viewpoint

If you go a little further, after you pass Phu Chee Fah, you will reach the Phu Chi Dao viewpoint. Starting to go to the top of the mountain in Thailand, reaching the highest point you will find yourself in Laos. On the way to the top, you can take a picture with the border post, and then tell your friends about the illegal crossing of the state border of the country which they probably do not know about =)

Doi Pha Tang Viewpoint

Doi Pha Tang Viewpoint

Located near the main viewpoint of the mountain, this is another spot that is perfect for an additional change to see the sea of mist and more wonderful scenic views against the backdrop of the Mekong river.

Correct point on Google maps 19.931140, 100.519447

Doi Pha Tang, Hill #104

Doi Pha Tang 104

Image source: https://readme.me/p/28899

This is possibly the best viewpoint in the area. It offers a 360-degree view of the mountains and the misty sea. There are many places around that are perfect for your Facebook or Instagram photo report. And, most importantly, this place is not as popular as the main summit, and therefore there is a very high chance that no one else will be here. But there is one small caveat. You can only get here by SUV. You can hire a guide with an off-road vehicle at any local resort.

After visiting Phu Chifa, you can head to Chiang Rai and continue your journey through northern Thailand.

Phu Chi Fa Weather & Forecast

At the time of writing this guide, the daytime temperature in Chiang Mai is 32°C, Chiang Rai is 29°C, while the nighttime temperature at the top of Pu Chi Fa is only 6°C.

Before you go to the mountain, be sure to check the local weather forecast and take a rain jacket with you, just in case. Also, do not forget warm clothes if you spend the night in camping. Below you see the weather forecast for this week. Note how cold it is in the mountains at night right now, compared to the daytime temperatures in the cities on the plain at the foot of the mountains.

Quick Facts About Phu Chi Fa

  1. Location: Phu Chi Fa is situated in the northeastern part of Chiang Rai Province, Thailand, near the border with Laos.
  2. Geographical Feature: It is a mountain area and national forest park, renowned for its high altitude and steep cliff.
  3. Altitude: Phu Chi Fa’s peak reaches approximately 1,442 meters (4,731 feet) above sea level.
  4. Famous For: The location is best known for its spectacular sunrises where the sun emerges above a sea of morning mist, creating breathtaking views.
  5. Flora and Fauna: The area boasts a rich biodiversity, including a variety of endemic plant species and wildlife, such as birds and smaller mammals.
  6. Cultural Significance: Phu Chi Fa is not only a natural wonder but also a place of cultural importance to the local hill tribes, including the Hmong and Yao people.
  7. Best Time to Visit: The ideal time to visit is during the cooler months, from November to February, for clear skies and comfortable temperatures.
  8. Tourism Facilities: The area offers basic tourism amenities like guesthouses, small hotels, and camping sites. However, facilities are relatively modest compared to more developed tourist destinations.
  9. Access: Phu Chi Fa can be accessed by road. The journey involves a winding mountain road, which is part of its unique experience.
  10. Activities: Visitors can enjoy hiking, nature walks, bird watching, photography, and cultural interactions with local communities.
  11. Conservation Efforts: There are ongoing efforts to preserve the natural and cultural integrity of Phu Chi Fa, balancing tourism with sustainability.
  12. Popularity: It has become increasingly popular among both domestic and international tourists, especially those seeking off-the-beaten-path experiences.
  13. Nearby Attractions: Nearby attractions include Doi Pha Tang, offering panoramic views, and the Golden Triangle, known for its historical significance in the opium trade.
  14. Visitor Guidelines: Tourists are encouraged to respect local customs and the natural environment, adhering to established trails and regulations.
  15. Photography: Phu Chi Fa is a popular spot for photography enthusiasts, particularly for capturing the sea of mist and sunrise scenes.

If you prefer to rent a car, including the option to return the rental car to a rental location in another city, we recommend that you compare car rental rates in Chiang Mai. Prices may differ by half or more.

Tips For Travelers

Pre-Trip Planning

  1. Season and Weather: Visit between November and February for the best weather conditions. Mornings are chilly and afternoons are pleasantly warm. Pack accordingly with layers of clothing.
  2. Accommodation: Book in advance, especially during peak season. Options range from basic guesthouses to camping sites. Staying near the mountain allows for an early start to catch the sunrise.
  3. Transportation: Renting a car or motorbike provides the most flexibility. Public transportation is limited. The drive includes winding mountain roads, so be prepared for a challenging but scenic drive.

During the Stay

  1. Early Start for Sunrise: Aim to reach the viewpoint before dawn, as it can get crowded. The main attraction is the sea of mist and sunrise, a truly breathtaking sight.
  2. Hiking and Trails: Engage in light hiking. Trails are not very strenuous but can be slippery. Wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring water.
  3. Local Interaction: Engage with the local hill tribes. Understanding their way of life adds a rich cultural dimension to your visit. Be respectful of their customs and traditions.
  4. Photography: For photographers, besides the sunrise, the area offers diverse flora and fauna, and cultural subjects. Carry extra batteries as charging facilities may be limited.
  5. Food and Supplies: Dining options are basic. Local eateries offer Thai cuisine. Stock up on snacks and essentials as shops are scarce.

Health and Safety

  1. Medical Preparedness: Bring a basic first aid kit. The nearest medical facilities are in towns far from Phu Chi Fa.
  2. Stay on Marked Trails: For your safety and environmental protection, adhere to marked trails.
  3. Respect Wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not feed or disturb animals.

Environmental Responsibility

  1. Leave No Trace: Maintain cleanliness. Dispose of waste properly or take it back with you.
  2. Water Conservation: Use water judiciously. Resources in high-altitude areas can be scarce.
  3. Support Sustainable Practices: Opt for services that promote sustainability.

Cultural Sensitivity

  1. Dress Appropriately: When interacting with local communities, dress modestly out of respect for local customs.
  2. Photographing Locals: Always ask for permission before taking photos of people, especially in tribal areas.
  3. Language: Learn a few basic Thai phrases. It enhances your interaction with locals and shows respect for their culture.

Emergency Preparedness

  1. Local Emergency Contacts: Keep a list of emergency contacts, including local authorities and your embassy.
  2. Travel Insurance: Ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance that covers remote travel.

Final Tips

  1. Cash is King: Few places accept cards, so carry enough cash.
  2. Network Connectivity: Expect limited mobile network coverage. Inform your loved ones about this in advance.

Pros & Cons


  1. Breathtaking Natural Scenery: Phu Chi Fa is renowned for its stunning sunrises, sea of mist, and panoramic mountain views, making it a paradise for nature lovers and photographers.
  2. Cultural Immersion: The area is home to several hill tribes, including the Hmong and Yao, offering travelers a chance to experience diverse cultures and lifestyles.
  3. Tranquility and Solitude: Compared to more tourist-heavy destinations in Thailand, Phu Chi Fa provides a peaceful escape, perfect for those seeking tranquility and a break from the hustle and bustle.
  4. Eco-Tourism: For travelers interested in sustainable and eco-friendly tourism, Phu Chi Fa offers opportunities to engage with nature responsibly.
  5. Affordability: Traveling in this region is generally cost-effective, with affordable accommodation and local food options.


  1. Accessibility Issues: Reaching Phu Chi Fa can be challenging due to its remote location and the winding mountain roads leading to it.
  2. Limited Facilities: Being a less developed tourist area, Phu Chi Fa lacks extensive tourist facilities. Accommodations and food options are basic and might not meet the expectations of those accustomed to luxury or a wide range of amenities.
  3. Language Barrier: In remote areas like Phu Chi Fa, English is not widely spoken, which can pose communication challenges for international travelers.
  4. Seasonal Limitations: The best time to visit is during the cooler months. Outside this period, the weather can be less predictable, and the scenic mist may not be as prominent.
  5. Wildlife and Terrain: The natural terrain can be rugged, and encounters with wildlife, while rare, are possible, requiring caution and preparation.


Phu Chi Fa is an excellent destination for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience in Thailand, combining natural beauty with cultural richness. However, it’s important for travelers to be prepared for the challenges of visiting a more remote and less developed area. Those willing to embrace these aspects will find Phu Chi Fa a rewarding and unforgettable destination.

YT Video Review


If you are going to Pu Chi Fa from Chiang Mai, note that it is advisable to spend at least 2 days to visit this place, as you will meet the sunrise here. There is no point in going here early in the morning to return the same day late in the evening.

From Chiang Mai you can reach this place by renting a motorcycle from our company or renting a car from one of the rentals in Chiang Mai.

If you prefer to travel by car, then we recommend that you use the EconomyBookings and RentalCars websites to find the best car rental rates among all major Chiang Mai rentals.

You can also get there by public transportation, but be aware that you will have to make several transfers. First you need to get from your hotel to the Chiang Mai bus station. You can use the inDriver app to hire a coach. If you live in the old city area, a cab from your hotel to the bus station will not cost more than 100 baht.

Then, you will ride in an air-conditioned bus for about 5-6 hours until you arrive at the Thoeng Bus Station. The ticket price for the Chiang Mai to Thoeng bus is about 250-350 baht.

Then, you will have to hire a cab to take you to the foot of the summit, where you can rent a room to spend the night near the top. The cost of a cab from the Thoeng bus station to Phu Chi Fa will be about 500-600 baht, the travel time is about 30-40 minutes.

A passenger pickup truck goes from the foot of the summit to the top every morning. The cost is only 50 baht. Any employee of any hostel or hotel is happy to book a trip for you and wake you up early in the morning so you do not oversleep the sunrise.

Sure, Phu Chi Fa is definitely worth visiting. The viewpoint offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, and the sunrises and sunsets are particularly beautiful. There are also plenty of hiking trails in the area, so it’s a great place to explore and enjoy nature.

No, Phu Chi Fa is not part of the Himalayas. It is located in the northernmost part of Thailand, near the border with Laos. The mountain range is part of the Phi Pan Nam Range. These mountains separate the Mekong from the Chao Praya watershed, and the sources of important rivers in Thailand originate in the area of Phi Pan Nam. Its name in Thai, “ทิวเขาผีปันน้ำ” roughly means “spirit mountains, sharing waters”, “spirits” (ผี phi ), here referring to the ancient mountain deities of Thai folklore.

First, look at the schedule of sunrises depending on the time of year. Then, plan your awakening so that you wake up 2 hours before sunrise and have 20-30 minutes to get to the top of the mountain, because “sunrise” means that the sun has already risen and appeared above the horizon.

That way, if you time it wrong, you won’t see the dawn and will arrive at the top of the mountain when the fun part is over.

Also note that there are often crowds of tourists in this place. If you want to see the sunrise in a more secluded atmosphere then after hiking to the top of Phu Chi Fa go to the hill number 104 that we wrote about above.

Phu Chi Fa Forest Park Office Address: Tap Tao, Thoeng District, Chiang Rai, 57310, Thailand

Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/AERDk4JzJnapXJcV7

Opening Hours: Daily 5:00 – 18:00

Contact: (053) 71-74-33, (053) 74-46-74, (053) 74-46-75

It is best to wear comfortable, lightweight clothing when visiting Phu Chi Fa. The temperature can be quite cool in the morning and evening, so it is recommended to bring a light jacket or sweater. Hiking shoes or sneakers are also recommended for exploring the trails. Sun protection such as a hat and sunscreen is also important, as the sun can be quite strong.

Before riding to Phu Chi Fa, check our rental rates and read our motorbike travel tips. You can contact us to book a motorbike on this page. See you! Also, check out our homepage for more information about scooter rentals in Chiang Mai. See you soon!

UPD: If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below.

Cat Motors Team

Was this post useful for you?

You can rate it by clicking on a star

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *