Chiang Dao

Chiang Dao National Park

Chiang Dao (เชียงดาว) is a town in Chiang Mai Province, Northern Thailand. It is in a valley north of Chiang Mai between green mountains. Its main attractions are the Chiang Dao Cave and the Pha Daeng National Park.


Chiang Dao lies above the Mae Nam Ping Gorge on the green slopes of Doi ("mount") Chiang Dao. The name means "city of stars", and derives from its earlier name piang dao, or "(at the) level of the stars". True to the name, limestone peaks reaching a height of 2,186 m (7,174 ft) make Chiang Dao an impressive area. The village is a quiet little picturesque area, with a quaint northern Thailand feel.

Get in

From Chiang Mai, Hwy 107 runs 72 km north to Chiang Dao and then on to Fang and Thaton. The nearest major airport and railway station are in Chiang Mai. A metered, air conditioned taxi will cost about 1,000-1,200 baht one-way.

By bus

Every half hour from 06:00-18:00, buses and songthaews run south to Chiang Mai (40 baht) and north to Fang (40 baht). They can be flagged down anywhere alongside the highway.

Six buses per day also run from Chiang Mai to Thaton via Chiang Dao. 90 minutes, 40 baht.

You can ask the driver to stop anywhere along the side of the road, which is often better than getting off at the Chiang Dao bus stop, where songthaew drivers charge 100 baht or more to take you to a resort.

Get around

Most guesthouses can hire out motorcycles for around 200-300 baht/day. This will work out cheaper than taxis because the town's few taxis fix their prices high: a ride will always cost at least 150 baht.

Taxis usually loiter near the 7-Eleven. Negotiate with the drivers directly: while guesthouses can arrange cabs, they will add a substantial mark up.

Some places, such as Mon and Kurt's Restaurant and Guesthouse, rent reliable bicycles and mountain bikes (~100 baht per day).


Getting there: The peak is accessible on foot. At Chiang Dao cave, guides, porters, and chartered transfers to the starting point of the trail are available. Rented local trucks cost around 900 baht and a porter is 300 baht per person. There are no tourist facilities on Chiang Dao Mountain. Visitors must bring their own sleeping bags, food, and water. If you are a very fit trekker you might be able to climb up and down in one day if you start very early. There is a small village with the lodging near the start of the northern trail, easily accessible on a motorbike via paved road.
Descending the mountain is possible on the trail near Ban Tham, which is located near Chiang Dao cave. The trail is rather steep; nevertheless, it could shorten the walking distance upon descending. It is quite difficult to climb up.


Waterfall in Chiang Dao National Park




Restaurants and guest houses are the places to drink in Chiang Dao. There are also several karaoke bars scattered throughout the town.


Go next

Orange buses (every hour, 40 baht) and orange songthaews (every 30 minutes, 40 baht), pass through Chiang Dao on Hwy 107. You can wave them down anywhere and they will stop for you if not already full.

  • VIP (32 seat sleeper), First class, air conditioned bus, leaves at 18:30 (664 baht), in front of Mon and Kurt's Restaurant. Arrives about 05:00 in Bangkok.
Regular 52 seat sleeper bus leaves as follows, in front of Mon and Kurt's Restaurant (Reserve tickets across the street, at local mini-mart):
  • Leaves Chiang Dao 08:30, arrives Bangkok 20:00. 569 baht.
  • Leaves Chiang Dao 19:30, arrives Bangkok 07:00. 569 baht.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, September 26, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.