It was a rainy day in Chiang Mai, but this was expected since we were travelling in the middle of the wet season, and because we had already booked a tour to Doi Inthanon National Park, we weren’t going to let that stop us.
We were picked up by our mini van at around 8am and then spent the next hour driving around Chiang Mai picking up the other people from their guest houses. It turned out that it was only going to be a small group of five of us, and we all sat there quietly as we made the drive through the Chiang Mai traffic to the outskirts of town.
The drive to Doi Inthanon National Park was lovely and typical of Northern Thailand. The rain had stopped enough to let us enjoy the stunning views of rice fields and locals going about their business, while the mountains of this part of the country were ever present.
As we entered the park I received the familiar peaceful feeling that I get when I am around the forest, and I couldn’t wait to get out of the van to smell the cool rainforest air. We passed the check point where our guide went about sorting out our National Park entry tickets, and then we were on our way to our first stop – Wachirathan Waterfall.
When we reached the car park at the waterfall, we were free to go and explore on our own. The car park is located basically right next to the falls, so it is only a short walk up a path to view them. As it was a wet day and we were right in the middle of the rainy season, Wachirathan Waterfall was at it’s best and I could feel the spray from the power of the falls as I made my way up the path. So much so that I had to keep my camera under my shirt to protect it from the water.
The waterfall was quite spectacular and we spent some time wandering around the edge of the falls while trying to avoid getting soaked from the spray.
Check out this short video of Wachirathan Waterfall:
Our next stop on the tour was the highest point in Thailand- Doi Inthanon. Although I absolutely love hiking to the top of mountains (yes that’s what I do for fun), on this particular day in the pouring rain, I was glad that it was possible to drive all of the way to the top.
As the road climbed higher and higher through the beautiful rain forest, that rain continued and we soon drove up into the clouds. When we got to the car park at the top of the mountain I could barely see more than 50 metres ahead of me.
Equipped with rain coats and umbrellas, we visited the highest point in Thailand. At 2565m it certainly isn’t very high compared to the altitudes that I have visited (5545m is my highest), but at least I can say that I have visited the top of Thailand.
There is a small shrine and a board walk to explore in the park, but with the heavy rain continuing we didn’t stay long and made our way back to the van to continue on our tour of Doi Inthanon National Park.
Have you visited Doi Inthanon National Park? What was your experience like?