Categories > Guides and Tips

A Guide to Doi Suthep-Pui National Park

A Guide to Doi Suthep-Pui National Park

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, nestled in the lovely mountains of Chiang Mai (guide in Chiang Mai Thailand), a nature-filled adventure awaits! Its high altitudes and fauna-rich nature trails promise plenty of wildlife attractions to add more pizzazz to your Thailand itinerary

So, whether you’re in the mood for some camping (camping bangkok), birdwatching, or a spiritual retreat, there’s everything here for everyone. Read our guide and take a closer look at what could be a high-octane adventure at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park!

Things to Know

Time Zone: Indochina Time (UTC/GMT+7)

Currency: Thai Baht
(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: Thai (Central Thai)

Calling Code: (+66), (076)

Location: Sriwichai Alley, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Nearest Airport: Chiang Mai International Airport (19.2 km)

Operating Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Daily)

Contact Number: +66 53 210 244

Admission Fee: 100 baht (Adults) and 50 baht (Children)


Best Time to Visit Doi Suthep-Pui National Park

The best time to visit Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is in December to January for the ideal weather. These dry months enjoy a cooler temperature while also receiving less rainfall overall which makes them perfect for exploring the park and camping.

This way, you’ll have a pleasant time visiting the park’s temples, nature trails, and villages all day.

The only time we recommend going here during the rainy season is if you specifically want to observe its numerous waterfalls in their best conditions.

How to Get to Doi Suthep-Pui National Park

Plane: Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is near downtown Chiang Mai so it’s easy to reach from the airport. That makes traveling here from any part of Thailand and other countries a breeze.

That means flying to Chiang Mai International Airport is your best option if your starting location is Bangkok, Phuket, or Krabi. After landing, you can ride an airport taxi to the national park’s entrance.

Private Tour: Private tours arranged by travel agencies like GetYourGuide and Viator are great options if it’s your first time in Chiang Mai. These tours are available from Chiang Mai so you first have to book your flight there.

Once you arrive, the pick-up service from your guided tour can pick you up from the airport and take you to the park straightaway. With a guided tour, you also don’t have to worry about anything since your tour guide will help you the entire time.

Bus: Traveling by bus is a cheaper option if your starting point is a nearby province like Chiang Rai. This 4-hour journey from Chiang Rai will only cost you between 400 and 600 baht.

The nearest bus terminal to Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 1 which is only 16 kilometers away. After arriving here, you can board a taxi, tuk-tuk, or a red Songthaew to the park’s entrance.

Rental Car/Motorbike: In Chiang Mai, you can rent a car or motorbike if you want more freedom to explore the park and its numerous attractions. 

A motorbike is preferable since it’s easier to traverse the mountain roads within the park’s borders.Plus, they’re more convenient to park when you’re visiting the temples and villages in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. 

You can rent a vehicle in Chiang Mai International Airport with an International Driving Permit and driver’s license.

What to See and Do in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park

Admire the relics and structures at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Media credit: smallworld_tak

When visiting Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, you can’t miss the chance to see Wat Phra That Doi Suthep’s stunning relics and structures. Its 306-step Naga stairway alone makes it worth checking out, which is why it’s the temple’s most photographed structure.

At the end of the stairs, there are numerous golden shrines, bells, monuments, and Buddha images to see. You’ll also find stalls selling fruits, snacks, and souvenirs.

It’s a holy place, so expect to see various locals and pilgrims praying and paying respects to the relics within the temple grounds. For those who can’t climb the tall stairway, there are cable cars to the temple’s summit that cost 20 baht. 

Visit Doi Pui’s Hmong village

Media credit: studioopnieuwleuk

This village within the park’s borders is a great place to meet the local Hmong hill tribe in Chiang Mai. It’s now a popular tourist attraction, so there are various shops, food places, and stalls selling local produce, Hmong handicrafts, and souvenirs.

If you’re interested in their history, you can learn a lot from the village’s local museum. It also has a decent display of tools and instruments used by the Hmong people since ancient times.

Behind the museum, there are well-tended flower beds. That makes it the perfect spot to capture beautiful Instagram photos during your visit.

Check out the stunning cherry blossoms at Khun Chang Khian

Media credit: nuwatphoto

Khun Chang Khian is a well-known Hmong village within Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. It’s famous for its stunning cherry blossoms which earned it its “Sakura of Thailand” nickname.

From December to January, pink flowers will bloom from the “Nang Phaya Sua Krong” trees scattered all over the village. You’ll find other places inside the park with cherry blossoms, but this village is closest to the downtown area which is a massive plus.

Moreover, it’s accessible via the same public vehicles that go to Doi Pui’s Hmong village or Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.

See the colorful flower beds at Bhubing Palace’s royal garden

Bhubing Palace, also known as Phra Tamnak Phu Phing, is definitely a must-visit for flower lovers. Its royal garden is well-tended, so expect to see numerous flower beds with colorful blossoms that make the place look magical.

That makes it perfect for birdwatching and butterfly-watching activities. Aside from the garden, the elegant structures and guesthouses within the palace grounds are worth checking out.

Though it’s open to the public for most of the year, it’s off-limits from January to March because the royal family stays here for their visit to the northern provinces.

Go for a hike at the Monk’s Trail

Media credit: jbracas

Monk’s Trail, also known as Pilgrim’s Path, is one of the more famous nature trails within Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. Its trail is mostly shaded, so it’s forgiving to amateur hikers and it only gets slightly harder in the second half of the journey.

You can’t get lost here because there are monk robes serving as trail markers along the way. This trail leads to the tranquil Wat Pha Lat and ends at the more popular Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.

There won’t be monk robes once you pass Wat Pha Lat, but this second half of the hike is more straightforward even though it’s steeper. Overall, it provides a good enough challenge and the sights along the way make it definitely worth hiking.

Stop by Wat Pha Lat’s ancient temple

Media credit: theerawutmongkol

This underrated temple is perfect for park visitors who can appreciate its peaceful and charming atmosphere. There are numerous Naga statues, Buddha images, and prayer halls inside the temple which is why it attracts local crowds and pilgrims.

It’s an active temple, so expect to see monks and prayer ceremonies during your visit. That also means you have to be respectful and dress appropriately when visiting the temple grounds.

There are stalls by the entrance that sell coconut ice cream. That makes it the ideal resting spot for hikers climbing the Monk’s Trail.

Enjoy the beautiful cascade in Montha Than Waterfall

Media credit: mike.cnx

An excursion to Montha Than Waterfall is perfect if you’re trying to avoid more crowded attractions within Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. The trail to this waterfall is easy to follow since there are numerous sign boards along the way.

It has 3-step cascades, so expect to see vigorous streams, especially during the rainy seasons. Though you can’t take a dip here, it’s perfect for picnicking and bird watching activities.

Watch the gentle stream at Huay Kaew Waterfall

Media credit: sangslots_s

Though less impressive than its peers, Huay Kaew Waterfall is a relaxing spot that’s a must-visit during your hikes in the park. Its gentle stream is soothing to the ears, so it’s great while you’re resting your weary bones.

If you want to see it at its best, you have to visit during the rainy season. During this time, the vigorous cascade in this 10-meter waterfall becomes a breathtaking sight.

Just be ready for a more challenging hike since the trails within Doi Suthep-Pui National Park are more challenging during the monsoon season.

Feast your eyes on the 8-step cascades of Mae Sa Waterfall

Media credit: ron_ronnadej_4196

If you love waterfalls, you’ll love them even more once you see Mae Sa Waterfall. Its impressive 8-step cascades are over 100 meters apart, so expect to see a variety of streams during your visit.

Mae Sa Waterfall has a swimming pond that’s perfect if you want to take a quick plunge. If you love how water feels flowing down your head, the waterfall’s biggest cascade won’t disappoint!

Meanwhile, the gentler cascades at the waterfall’s upper levels are best for animal spotting since it’s where monitor lizards, macaques, or wild boars will typically go for a drink.

Spot the numerous bird species within Do Suthep-Pui National Park

Media credit: chiangmaibirdguide

Do Suthep-Pui National Park is great for birdwatching because it’s home to over 350 bird species!

Near the waterfalls, you’ll find species like the white-crowned laughingthrush, blue-bearded bee eater, blue-throated barbet, red-whiskered bulbul, and more. 

Meanwhile, babblers and minivets are more common sightings on the trees within the park’s temples. More interesting bird species like the crested serpent eagle, black eagle, and brown boobook are more likely to show up at the park’s nature trails. 

If you’re lucky, you may even see the globally endangered white-rumped falcon in the park’s lower slopes.

Set up camp at the breathtaking summit of Doi Pui

Media credit: camper.phil

Spending the night at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is possible through camping, and it is arguably one of the best on-site activities.

Plus, you don’t need to bring your own gear since tents and sleeping bags are available at the campsite and the park’s visitor center.

Our team’s avid campers say the hillside view at the summit of Doi Pui Camping Area is breathtaking.It’s lovely during foggy mornings and even more stunning during sunset. 

At night, the lights from the nearby village become a spectacular sight along with the sky’s shining stars. 

FAQs about Doi Suthep-Pui National Park

Related topics