Chiang Dao, Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Dao, located in the Chiang Dao District of Chiang Mai, Thailand, is a hidden gem known for its stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Spending 8 days here will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings, explore the magnificent caves, hike through lush jungles, and indulge in delicious local cuisine.
Activities for Chiang Dao
Exploration, Nature, Sightseeing
Day 1 - Exploring Chiang Dao Cave
Start your adventure by exploring the famous Chiang Dao Cave. This massive limestone cave system offers a mesmerizing experience with its stunning stalactite formations and ancient Buddhist shrines. Spend the day wandering through the well-lit chambers and marveling at the natural wonders. Don't forget to bring a flashlight and wear comfortable shoes!
Indulge in a delicious dinner at a local restaurant, savoring dishes like Khao Yam or Sai Oua. Experience the tranquility of Chiang Dao by taking an evening stroll under the starlit sky or enjoying a relaxing massage at a nearby spa.
Day 2 - Hiking to Doi Luang Chiang Dao
Embark on an exhilarating hike to Doi Luang Chiang Dao, the third-highest peak in Thailand. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and lush forests as you make your way up. It's recommended to hire a local guide for this challenging yet rewarding trek.
Treat yourself to a sumptuous dinner at a traditional Thai restaurant, savoring dishes like Tom Yum Goong or Pad Thai. Relax and unwind at a local bar or café, enjoying live music performances or engaging in conversations with fellow travelers.
Day 3 - Visiting Wat Tham Pha Plong
Spend the day exploring the serene Wat Tham Pha Plong, a Buddhist temple nestled atop a mountain. Climb the 500 steps leading to the temple and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Take part in a meditation session or simply embrace the peaceful ambiance.
Dine at a traditional Thai restaurant, enjoying dishes like Green Curry or Massaman Curry. Immerse yourself in the local culture by attending a traditional dance or music performance.
Day 4 - Discovering Sticky Waterfall
Embark on an exciting adventure to the Sticky Waterfall, also known as Bua Tong Waterfall. This unique waterfall is famous for its limestone rock formations that allow visitors to climb up the cascades without slipping. Spend the day swimming in the crystal-clear pools and enjoying the refreshing natural beauty.
Indulge in a seafood dinner at a local restaurant, trying dishes like Pla Pao or Tom Yum Talay. Visit a local night market and explore the vibrant stalls selling handicrafts, souvenirs, and delicious street food.
Day 5 - Exploring Elephant Nature Park
Spend the day at the Elephant Nature Park, an ethical elephant sanctuary. Learn about the conservation efforts and interact with rescued elephants in their natural habitat. Participate in activities such as feeding, bathing, and observing these gentle giants from a safe distance.
Try some local street food for dinner, such as Pad Kra Pao or Moo Pad Krapow. Relax and unwind with a traditional Thai massage or attend a cultural performance showcasing traditional dances and music.
Day 6 - Visiting Doi Ang Khang
Embark on a scenic drive to Doi Ang Khang, a picturesque mountainous area known for its beautiful flower gardens and agricultural landscapes. Explore the local markets, visit the Royal Agricultural Station, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding valleys. Don't forget to try some locally grown tea and strawberries.
Dine at a local restaurant, trying dishes like Gaeng Hang Lay or Khao Soi. Experience the tranquility of Doi Ang Khang by stargazing or enjoying a quiet evening walk.
Day 7 - Exploring Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
Spend the day exploring the Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary, home to various species of animals and birds. Take a guided tour through the lush forests, keeping an eye out for gibbons, macaques, and rare bird species. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings and immerse yourself in nature.
Indulge in a traditional Northern Thai dinner at a local restaurant, savoring dishes like Khao Yam or Gaeng Hang Lay. Enjoy a relaxing evening by visiting a local bar or café, trying unique Thai cocktails or herbal teas.
Day 8 - Relaxing at Chiang Dao Hot Springs
Spend your last day in Chiang Dao relaxing at the natural hot springs. Soak in the warm mineral-rich waters and let your worries melt away. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings, take a leisurely stroll through the gardens, and savor the tranquility before bidding farewell to this beautiful destination.
Dine at a local restaurant, savoring dishes like Green Curry or Massaman Curry. End your journey with a relaxing spa session, indulging in a traditional Thai massage or herbal treatment.
How to get to
The most convenient way to reach Chiang Dao is by land from Chiang Mai. You can hire a private car, take a taxi, or use public transportation such as buses or minivans. The journey takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.
If you prefer to travel by air, you can fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai International Airport. From there, you can take a taxi or hire a private car to reach Chiang Dao.
Chiang Dao is a landlocked destination and does not have direct access to the sea.