A heavier than normal rainy season has had longer term consequences for the Chiang Mai region of northern Thailand. In May and June, downpours forced schools to close and turned streets into streams after flash flooding. Water levels rose as high as 50cm in some places and the rain brought a dip in temperatures too across the province, with Doi Inthanon National Park seeing an early morning low of just 9°C, positively chilly for Thailand.
But the biggest impact for visitors has been on the area’s national parks, many of which announced closures stretching through to the latter part of the year to help aid the recovery of both the landscapes and the wildlife within them. Details, subject to change, are here and (in Thai) on the parks’ website – if you’re planning a trip, check locally for updates and ask tour companies to translate the website’s details.
- Doi Pha Hompok National Park (Huai Hian, Pu Muen and Mae Hang waterfalls; Kew Lom camping area) Closed 1 July – 30 September
- Doi Wiang Pha National Park (Wiang Pha mountain top) Closed 1 May – 30 September
- Doi Suthep-Pui National Park (Doi Pui camping area) Closed 1 May – 31 October
- Doi Inthanon National Park (Kew Mae Pan nature trail) Closed 1 July – 31 October
- Pha Daeng National Park (Jang-Pa Hok, Lom, Ngam and Pha Daeng Caves) Currently closed, opening TBA
- Si Lanna National Park (Mon Hin Lai waterfall) Closed 1 July – 30 September
- Huai Nam Dang National Park (Camping area) Closed 1 May – 30 September
- Op Luang National Park (Camping area) Closed 1 August – 31 October
- Op Luang National Park (Mae Tia waterfall) Closed 1 July – 30 September
Visitors to Thailand between now and October are advised to check their travel plans closely. As well as the annual closure of some national parks, visitors are also being advised to avoid Bangkok from 25-29 October. The late King Bhumibol Adulyadej will be cremated and major tourist attractions will be closed. The city is also expected to be crowded with heavy traffic congestion.