Peak mountain range at sunset in Doi Luang Chiang Dao wildlife sanctuary.

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Doi Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary

Chiang Dao

Doi Chiang Dao rises dramatically above the plain, wrapped in a thick coat of tropical forest. This jungle wonderland is one of Thailand's top spots for birdwatching, with more than 300 resident bird species, and is one of the best places in the world to see giant nuthatches and Hume's pheasants. It's a steep full-day hike to the summit, which offers spectacular views over the massifs. Guides typically charge between 1000B and 2000B per person; an overnight stay costs 500B.

If you just want a taste of the marvellous scenery, take a right at the junction just before the cluster of lodges at Ban Tham and follow the gorgeously scenic, winding mountain road that climbs to the ridge through the forest. This is a challenging route and you'll need transport with sufficient power to handle the gradients.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Chiang Dao attractions

1. Wat Tham Pha Plong

0.12 MILES

This beautiful and serene forest wát lies on the edge of the Chiang Dao massif. A steep naga stairway climbs through the forest to the rocky crevice where…

2. Wat Tham Chiang Dao

0.96 MILES

Set in pretty grounds that teem with jungle butterflies, this forest wát sits at the entrance to Chiang Dao Cave, a chilly warren of passageways that…

3. Pha Daeng National Park

15.52 MILES

North of Chiang Dao and reached by following Rte 1178, Pha Daeng National Park offers lush, jungle scenery and stunning birdlife. Flanking the Myanmar…

4. Si Lanna National Park

17.46 MILES

Declared the 60th national park in Thailand in 1989, Si Lanna is 1406 sq km of natural beauty (along with a few unnatural things here and there, such as a…

5. Nam Tok Bua Tong (Sticky Waterfall)

25.32 MILES

Ever walked up a waterfall? An increasingly popular day trip from Chiang Mai to Si Lanna National Park's 'Sticky Waterfall' allows visitors (with no magic…

6. Nam Tok Mae Yen

27.26 MILES

Nam Tok Mae Yen is worth a visit, particularly after the rainy season (October to early December). The waterfall is a couple of hours’ walk down the rough…

7. Tha Pai Hot Springs

29.87 MILES

Across Mae Nam Pai and 7km southeast of town via a paved road is this well-kept local park. Through it flows a scenic stream, which mixes with the hot…