Doi Chang, a picturesque treasure tucked away in the Chiang Rai region of Northern Thailand, is a destination that seamlessly blends the raw beauty of nature with the rich tapestry of Thai culture. As a seasoned traveler, I have found this idyllic corner of the world to be a memorable stop that offers a unique combination of breathtaking landscapes, refreshing cultural experiences, and unparalleled tranquility.
The journey to Doi Chang is a riveting adventure in itself. As your vehicle ascends the curvy mountain roads, you are presented with an ever-changing canvas of Thailand’s stunning natural beauty. Verdant hills, serene valleys, and the occasional glimpse of exotic fauna make the drive a mesmerizing prelude to the charm that awaits you at Doi Chang.
Once at the heart of Doi Chang village, a multitude of experiences await. The locale takes pride in its famed Doi Chang coffee plantation, where the process of transforming a humble coffee bean into a rich and aromatic brew unfolds. It’s an enlightening journey that lets you appreciate the meticulous art of coffee making, culminating in a taste of some of the finest brews that Thailand boasts.
A stone’s throw away, you will find the tranquil Buddhist Park, a peaceful sanctuary nestled amidst the tropical landscape. Whether you’re seeking spiritual insight or simply a place to reflect, the park’s serene ambience provides a calming retreat.
Then, there are the stunning mountain peak views, which truly encapsulate Doi Chang’s captivating beauty. The panoramic vistas of lush hills and valleys unfurling beneath you, seen from the summit, are nothing short of magical.
Join me as we venture into the captivating realm of Doi Chang – exploring its bountiful beauty, experiencing its rich culture, and discovering the tranquility it has to offer. This mountainous retreat in Northern Thailand promises to be an unforgettable chapter in our ongoing journey of travel and exploration.
Doi Chang Viewpoint is a tourist attraction site in Wa Wee, Chiang Rai Province. The mountain peak is the spot if you want the best view overlooking the magnificent mountains and gorgeous coffee plants. The location is slightly further up the hill from Temple Park, also known as Buddhist Park. If you rent a motorbike in Chiang Mai, it’s very easy to get here from anywhere in the city. You can enjoy a night or two or glamping and watching the sparkling stars at night.
If you want to visit the viewpoint with a sign saying that you are on the border with Burma, then you should visit Doi Chang Mub. Check it out on Google Map. It is close to Doi Tung which you can visit on the same day.
The busiest times around this site happen between November to January. People are day-tripping and glamping and enjoying the quiet nights and good food. There are also hill tribe homestays for those who wish to experience an immersive local and cultural experience in their traditional bamboo houses and prepare meals together.
Something to keep in mind is the roads are not always correctly displayed on google maps. Sometimes the road goes downhill, but if you continue, it leads you to a stunning vantage point.
The Buddhist Park, also called the Temple Park, is a regular favorite among tourists who explore the Doi Chang area. It is located higher up the mountain from the village. A local monk rehabilitated the site over several years and brought many unique and impressive plant species, like beautiful bamboo that runs through and surrounds the park.
The Buddhist Park allows you to enjoy a natural forest, a curated bamboo garden, exotic trees, and macadamia plantations. Whether you want to take a walk through and catch some beautiful photos, take a moment to meditate, pray, do some yoga, heal, or simply observe, you will find calmness and a sense of peace that you have never experienced before.
Doi Chang Buddhist Park is even more special for Buddhists to experience the Buddha site with holy fountains and Buddha statues. The location is unique and prevails a natural spiritual awakening for people from all walks of life. The forest with bamboo trees, streams of water, and little ponds allow for a calm and quiet experience.
Check it out on Google Map.
Not to be mistaken with Doi Chang the village, Doi Chaang is the company that runs the coffee trading business. It is the central success story regarding the commercialization of Arabica coffee production. When coffee plants were introduced in the region as a replacement crop for opium, the growth increased, but the production slowly languished.
That happened due to the lack of real market and industry knowledge. The Doi Chaang Coffee founders helped to solve the problem by taking over the coffee plantation and creating an export market and successful Doi Chaang chain brand in several parts throughout Thailand.
You can visit the Doi Chaang Coffee Café in Doi Chang village and tour the Estate during weekdays or as per the availability. You get to see and enjoy the coffee roasting process and possibly get some tasters. The Doi Chaang coffee shop is a must-visit to try out their delicious drinks.
The coffee farm is the heart of Doi Chang. This is where you will land when making a trip to the village. It is also where you can enjoy the Doi Chaang coffee shop and see the beautiful plantations of coffee. If you book a tour, that will cover everything you need to see, but if you go independently, it is a good idea to chat with one of the locals and absorb more of their culture.
When you get to Doi Chaang Farm, you immediately find the coffee house of the Doi Chaang Coffee franchise. They have a lovely, simple menu to indulge in. It is a little wooden house with an open-air design and an upper floor overlooking a beautiful view with a fresh breeze.
On the farm, you can pass through the coffee plantation trees. As an independent visitor, you can walk around and enjoy a slow pace taking in everything you see. If you book a tour ahead of time, you can get more structure of what to do there, look out for, and possibly take in a little more local culture and information.
You will notice individual families plant the coffee in little pots. They care deeply for the plants and ensure the production of high-quality organic coffee. Everything at Doi Chaang Farm is natural, uncommercialized, and unstandardized.
The Doi Chaang Academy of Coffee, first established on April 2007, provides in-depth information about the plantation and processing of Arabica coffee to people growing coffee in Thailand and surrounding countries.
The Academy is located on the farm in the village, just behind the official Doil Chaang Coffee House, and tourists can enter it and take pictures while absorbing the information. It is a small space, museum-style, which provides you with all you need to know about growing coffee in that region of Thailand.
The Mae Suai Lake is beautiful and one of the most scenic you will see in the entire country of Thailand. Impressive rock formations surround it. You can view it from high up the slopes and be mesmerized from every angle with every blink. The southern shore has a stunning temple and dam that is well worth seeing. You can get the most incredible pictures there.
The lake is not far from Doi Chang, and you can make your way there by visiting Mae Suai town, which is around 50 km from Chiang Rai on the way to Doi Chang if you take the southern route. The lake is just 3 km north of the town. The road to Doi Chang from the lake is jaw-dropping. At every curve, and the higher you go, you can find a phenomenal mountainous viewpoint.
Chiang Rai, often mistaken as the same place as Chiang Mai (they are different), is a city and the Northern part of Thailand. Chiang Rai is also the northernmost province known for its mountainous scenery and valuable Lanna culture. It is also home to Doi Chang village, situated in the northern highlands and the Golden triangle (border regions of Thailand, Burma, and Laos).
There is much to explore within Chiang Rai, especially before or after you visit the Doi Chang village. Some exciting stops along the way also exist to make on your trip to Doi Chang from Chiang Rai.
The White Temple in Thailand is located over the sea of hands and reflects in the surrounding ponds of albino fish. An artist – Ajarn Chalermchai Kositpipat, built the temple. He is also a teacher and devoted his life to the project, which truly shows in the stunning architecture and unique concept.
It is called The White Temple because it is pure white. There are tiny mirrors that shine extremely bright on sunny days. Japanese fish (koi carp) live in the water and fountains surrounding the temple. Additionally, weird statue hands surround the temple – reaching up to the sky. It is a sign of tribulations and temptations.
Similarly, you can find weird and eerie skulls on trees near the temple. It is a sight to see – from the temple to the water and even the odd interpretations. The White Temple is a must-visit and unique experience to enjoy while you are around Chiang Rai in Thailand.
Chiang Rai might not be as touristy as Chiang Mai. Most people visit Chiang Rai only to make their way to Doi Chang, but the city has some monumental locations that would be a shame to leave without seeing. Apart from the White Temple, about 7 km south of it, the Black House is one of those places.
The Black House is called Baan Dam, built by Thawan Duchanee – Kositpipat’s former teacher. About forty monuments make up the location, including bones, skulls, skeletons, animal skin, and bizarre furniture. The house might give you some Adams Family vibes from the outside, but once you get near, it will feel even spookier.
On the grounds of the Black House, you can find what looks like a black submarine, and you probably don’t want to look inside – unless you do – or you will see something like a torture chamber. Thawan wanted to create a unique style portraying quirkiness. It is undoubtedly not for the faint-hearted, but a site you can’t leave without checking out.
Doi Chang is a gorgeous mountain village to tour the Doi Chaang coffee plantations and enjoy delicious caffeine drinks while learning more about the hill tribe families and getting insight into local culture and cuisine. Take a trip through stunning views from the city and province of Chiang Rai after enjoying some of its sites and other stops along the way.
If you are traveling around the province of Chiang Rai, then in this case you can visit not only Doi Chang, but also other delightful and amazing places that are nearby. For example, Doi Ang Khang and Mae Salong.
Before you go to Doi Chang, get to know this wonderful place by watching this video. Among other things, you will find out what condition the roads are in and how heavy the traffic is in these places.
This video will tell you in detail about how one of the most famous coffee bean growing and processing companies appeared in the Kingdom of Thailand.
Doi Chang, nestled in Thailand’s Northern region, became a renowned coffee growing area in the 1980s. An initiative backed by the Thai Royal Project helped transform it from opium cultivation to sustainable coffee farming, dramatically changing the lives of local hill tribes.
The high altitude, cool climate, and fertile soil of Doi Chang are ideal for Arabica coffee. These beans have a distinctive, full-bodied flavor with low acidity and notes of chocolate and nuts.
The switch to coffee cultivation has significantly improved the living standards of the Akha community living in Doi Chang. It’s provided a stable income, promoting community development and reducing reliance on illicit crops.
Yes, some plantations offer hands-on experiences where you can learn about the cultivation process, harvest coffee cherries, and understand the journey from bean to cup.
The coffee harvest season typically runs from November to February, which is also the best time for plantation visits.
Yes, guided tours are available. They often include a walk through the coffee plantation, a visit to the processing facilities, and of course, coffee tasting.
Doi Chang is rich in natural beauty. Aside from the scenic coffee plantations, you can explore local hiking trails, bird watching, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the mountainous landscape.
There are numerous cafes around Doi Chang offering fresh, locally-grown coffee. Doi Chang Coffee House and Akha Ama Coffee are two well-regarded spots for a great coffee experience.
While there’s not a specific coffee festival, the region often celebrates local harvests. Keep an eye out for local event listings during the harvest season.
There are a variety of accommodations, from homestays that offer an authentic experience, to comfortable lodges and guest houses.
Coffee beans or ground coffee from Doi Chang make excellent souvenirs. Additionally, you might find handmade crafts from the local Akha tribe that make unique mementos.
You can visit local Akha villages to learn about their culture, explore nearby waterfalls, or hike mountain trails for breathtaking views. The region offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
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If you prefer to travel by car, be sure to read our guide on how you can save up to half the cost of a rental car in Chiang Mai.
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