Doi Pha Hompok National Park

National Park in Northern Chiang Mai Province

About 10km west of Fang at Ban Meuang Chom, near the agricultural station, this serene retreat is part national park and part public spa, with a gorgeous hot-springs complex (bor náam hórn in northern Thai) set in a forest. Find everything from private mineral bathhouses (adult/child 50/20B) to a public pool (20/10B) and a sauna (30/10B); masseurs complete the package.

To get here, turn off Rte 107 onto Rte 5054 and follow the signs.

The springs are wonderfully peaceful and the setting is sublime, with steam vents blasting up from a meadow crossed by boardwalks and dotted with almost boiling hot springs. The exception is at weekends, when sŏrng·tăa·ou (passenger pick-up trucks) full of Thai picnickers head out from Fang to boil eggs and bathe in the springs. Accommodation is in simple but comfortable bungalows and there's a campsite with equipment for rent.

Beyond the hot-springs complex, the rest of the park is a ruckus of forested mountains, with lots of hiking trails and forest campsites. The most popular destination is the 2285m summit of Doi Pha Hompok, Thailand's second-highest peak. Most trekkers camp below the summit and leave early to reach the top at sunrise for an epic view over the surrounding countryside. At the top of the mountain, average temperatures are a mere 2°C during winter and 14°C during summer.