Camping in Chiang Mai is a great outdoor experience, especially at this time of the year. If you are a nature lover in search of adventure and you want to swim in a waterfall, hike in a forest or spot Thai wildlife, then check out these 4 great camping
hotspots in Chiang Mai. You are in for some great nights under the canvas!
From Doi Suthep you will get the best view of Chiang Mai city below. It is stunning! Especially at night when the city is lit up. Silence and solitude away from the nightlife of Chiang Mai is another welcome aspect travellers enjoy.
Doi Suthep-Pui is one of the most accessible parks in Chiang Mai and it has a lot of options like cycling, hiking and trekking. The climate there can be a bit cold at night in December. Nearly 2,000 species of flora and 300 species of animals and birds are to be discovered. So,grab your camera and binoculars and enjoy the treat!
Campsites in Doi Suthep-Pui are the perfect bases for enjoying nature and sightseeing trips to Doi Pui Hmong Hilltribe Village, Phuping Palace and Doi Suthep temple. The park’s two campsites are at Doi Pui and Monthathan Waterfall. They are not far from each other, but Monthathan Camp also has a waterfall and a few bungalows as well. Tent and bedding hire is available at both places (about 250 THB).
Mae Ping National Park is an immense verdant area encompassing Chiang Mai, Lamphun and Tak provinces. There are a lot of features inside this park such as caves, waterfalls, grassland, river routes and viewpoints.
Popular attractions in the park are: Kaeng Koh, a serene lake with floating raft houses; Yang Wee Cave, a limestone cave composed of stalactites and stalagmites; Thung Kik, a grassy area in the east of the park is home to deers, rabbits and jungle fowl. The park is famous for Koh Luang Waterfalls, where water cascades down 7 tiers of limestone rock.
Located 20km away from the national park centre, the undisturbed Koh Luang Waterfalls stuns nature lovers with its serene greenish-blue water and myriads of fish. In summer (mid-February to May) the water is turquoise, but when it’s colder (November to February) it turns cerulean. During the rainy season, though, it’s cloudy green and visitors may not be allowed to take a dip for safety reasons.
This vast park has a number of attractive small camping areas, with some around the lake. At night, park rangers will come and light a fire for you. There are also kayaks and floating houses for rent, and you can enjoy dinner at the floating restaurant.
Located in Doi Inthanon National Park, also known as “the Roof of Thailand”, Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail is a pleasant hike, which snakes for nearly 3km, passing a string of viewpoints and a pretty waterfall. At the end of this short hike are the most stunning panoramic views of Thailand -a must-see for visitors to the region.
Led by a Hmong guide, you will enjoy a rainforest full of moss and ferns. This hike is famous for its red rhododendrons, various species of birds, and an allencompassing natural environment in its purest form. This highly-rated trail takes about 2-3 hours to finish and is suitable for beginner level hikers. However, it is not recommended for people who cannot climb stairs because some parts require uphill hiking.
Doi Inthanon National Park is located is only 2 hours from Chiang Mai. It is a popular destination for international mist hunters and sunrise chasers. Its main campsite is located less than half a kilometre from the rangers’ headquarters. Pitches and rent-a-tent services are available while the campsite comes with the added bonus of hot showers. There are also restaurants near the camping site. Don’t miss waking up early and see sunrise at the 2,565-metre summit.
Note: always pack an extra jumper to go to Doi Inthanon. It is Thailand’s highest mountain and it can get really cold up on the top.
Khun Tan is one of the North’s less busy national parks. It is an easy option for visitors who do not have their own transportation as it can be reached by train from Chiang Mai (take the earlymorning Chiang Mai-Bangkok train and arrive at the park after
1 hour 20 minutes).
Doi Khun Tan’s park has the longest rail tunnel within Thailand. It is home to a lot of species of wildflowers, e.g. orchids and gingers, and is very diverse botanically. The differences in elevation account for the growth of pine trees, oaks and bamboos. Fauna
includes porcupines, wild boar, weasel, Siamese hares and many more species.
Accommodation within Khun Tan National Park is located near the 1,300-meter-plus summit. Chalets for two, six and nine persons (1,300 THB, 1,500THB and 2,700 THB) are well maintained. If you come with your own tent there’s a charge of 30 THB. Large
tents can be rented for 150 THB a night.
Note: From Khun Tan’s train station to the start of the hiking trail, you will have to walk an extra 2 kilometres. Always inform the rangers before trekking and try to visit with a group.