Doi Inthanon National Park

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Doi Inthanon National Park
Doi Inthanon National Park

Also known as “The Roof of Thailand”, Doi Inthanon National Park covers an area of 482 km² in Chiang Mai province north of Thailand. The park is part of the Himalayan mountain range, elevation ranges between 800 and 2565 meters with the highest peak at Doi Inthanon which is the highest mountain in Thailand. Due to the high altitude, the park has high humidity and cold weather all year round. Mid day temperatures are normally around 10-12 °C.

Doi Inthanon National Park
Doi Inthanon National Park

Doi Inthanon is named in honour of the king Inthawichayanon, one of the last kings of Chiang Mai, who was concerned about the forests in the north of Thailand and wanted to preserve it. After his death his remains was placed in the park as he ordered and the forest was renamed to Doi Inthanon.

The flora consists of moist and dense evergreen cloud forest, sphagnum bog, and deciduous dipterocarp forests.

The Center for Wildlife Research at Mahidol University has recorded total of 362 bird species in the park which makes it in numbers the second highest in Thailand after Kaeng Krachan National Park. Over 190 of the bird species are listed as common to abundant. Some common birds seen in the national park are green-tailed sunbird, ashy-throated warbler, green/purple cochoa, sikkim treecreeper, maroon oriole, bar-throated minla, green-tailed sunbird, rufous-winged fulvetta, chestnut-crowned laughingthrushand speckled/ashy wood pigeons. The big bird migration to Thailand happens March to May with some birds still breeding until June/July makes it a good time to visit the park for birds.

Doi Inthanon National Park
Doi Inthanon National Park

Due to hunting and habitat change bigger mammals such as elephants, tigers, gaurs has been extirpated from the park. Some mammals such as wild boars, gibbons, deer and serows still inhabits the park. There are currently around 65 mammals in the national park, half of these bat species.

The main attractions of the park are the summit of Doi Inthanon for its spectacular views of early morning, several waterfalls, few trails and two chedis (stupas) dedicated to the king and queens 60th birthday anniversaries. Most of the waterfalls within the park have relatively good flow of water all year round but the best season for water flow is during the rainy season from May to November. One of seasonal attractions of the park is the blossom of Siamese sakura flowers covering trees in pink during December to Februari.

The entrance fee is 300 THB for foreigners (children 150 THB) and 50 THB for local tourists (children 20 THB).

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