Doi Suthep-Pui National Park in Chiang Mai

Nestled in the lush landscapes of Northern Thailand, Doi Suthep-Pui National Park stands as a beacon of natural beauty and cultural heritage in Chiang Mai. Covering an area of over 260 square kilometres, this national park is not just a haven for nature enthusiasts but also a pivotal landmark steeped in history and tradition. Home to the majestic Doi Suthep and Doi Pui mountains, the park offers diverse flora and fauna alongside significant cultural sites like the revered Doi Suthep Temple.

Join us on a journey into the multifaceted attractions of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. We'll explore the rich tapestry of its landscape, from the serene Doi Suthep Mountain to the sacred precincts of the Doi Suthep Temple and the enchanting Doi Suthep Waterfall. Additionally, we address frequently asked questions about the park, providing valuable insights for those planning to visit.


Doi Suthep Pui National Park - akyra Manor Chiang Mai Hotel


Doi Suthep-Pui National Park

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, established in 1981, is a natural retreat and symbol of Chiang Mai's rich history. Named after its two prominent mountains, Doi Suthep and Doi Pui, the park is intertwined with the region's cultural fabric. Historically, it has been a site of spiritual significance, with various legends surrounding the founding of the Doi Suthep Temple in the 14th century. The park's landscape, a blend of lush valleys and rugged mountain terrain, has witnessed centuries of cultural evolution, making it a significant educational and spiritual site for locals and visitors.


Flora and Fauna

The biodiversity within Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is as diverse as it is unique. The park is home to various habitats, from tropical evergreen forests to mixed deciduous forests, each supporting a different array of life. Rare species such as the Asiatic Black Bear and the Chinese Goral find refuge here, alongside over 300 species of birds. The park's flora is equally rich, with a variety of orchids, ferns, and towering trees, creating a vibrant tapestry of green that changes with altitude and season.


Conservation Efforts

Conservation initiatives within Doi Suthep-Pui National Park are crucial in preserving its unique ecosystem. Efforts are focused on protecting endangered species and maintaining natural habitats. The park management collaborates with local communities and organisations to implement conservation projects, including reforestation, wildlife monitoring, and environmental education programs. These endeavours safeguard the park's biodiversity and promote sustainable interaction between humans and the natural environment.


Visitor Information

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park welcomes visitors year-round, with the best time to visit being from November to February when the weather is cooler and more comfortable for exploration. The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset, and while there is an entry fee, the cost is modest and contributes to the maintenance and conservation of the park. Visitor centres, restrooms, and picnic areas are available, making the park accessible for day trips and longer excursions. Visitors are encouraged to check for seasonal changes in park hours or entry fees before planning their visit.



Doi Suthep Mountain

Doi Suthep Mountain, a prominent feature of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, rises to 1,676 meters above sea level. Located just a short drive from the city of Chiang Mai, this mountain is a natural landmark and an important cultural symbol. Its terrain is characterised by rugged hills and lush valleys, offering a diverse landscape. The mountain's higher altitudes are cooler and often shrouded in mist, creating a mystical atmosphere that enhances its natural beauty.


Hiking Trails and Adventure Activities

Doi Suthep Mountain offers a variety of hiking trails suitable for different skill levels. The most popular route is the trail leading to the summit, where the Doi Suthep Temple is located. This trail, while moderately challenging, is well-maintained and offers a rich experience with its scenic views and occasional encounters with local wildlife. For more adventurous trekkers, the Mon Tha Than Waterfall route provides a more rugged path. Safety is paramount, so hikers are advised to wear appropriate gear, stay hydrated, and be mindful of weather conditions. Guided tours are available for those who prefer an informed, structured hiking experience.


Scenic Views and Photography

Doi Suthep Mountain is a paradise for photographers and nature lovers. The viewpoint near the temple offers breathtaking panoramic views of Chiang Mai and the surrounding countryside. Early mornings are particularly magical, with the chance to capture the sunrise over the mist-covered hills. The temple itself, with its intricate architecture and golden spire, provides a stunning subject against the backdrop of the mountain. Throughout the hike, various spots offer opportunities to photograph the rich flora and occasional wildlife sightings, making Doi Suthep Mountain a must-visit destination for those seeking to capture the essence of Northern Thailand's natural beauty.



Doi Suthep Temple

Doi Suthep Temple, officially known as Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, is a significant religious site and a symbol of Chiang Mai's cultural identity. The temple's origins trace back to the 14th century and are shrouded in legend, involving a white elephant and a sacred relic of the Buddha. Its architecture is a stunning example of classical Northern Thai style, featuring intricately carved stupas, vibrant murals, and a golden pagoda with a revered relic. This temple is a pilgrimage site for Buddhists and a testament to the spiritual heritage of Thailand, drawing visitors from around the world to witness its beauty and tranquillity.


Religious Practices and Festivals

Doi Suthep Temple plays a central role in the religious life of the local community. It is a site for daily Buddhist rituals, meditation practices, and teachings. The temple is lively during important Buddhist festivals, such as Visakha Bucha Day, marking the Buddha's birth, enlightenment, and passing away. During these festivals, the temple is adorned with lanterns and flags, and pilgrims participate in ceremonial walks up the mountain, candlelit processions, and merit-making activities. These events offer a deep insight into the spiritual practices and traditions of Northern Thailand.


Visiting Guidelines

Visitors to Doi Suthep Temple must adhere to specific guidelines to respect the site's religious significance. The dress code is an important consideration; visitors should wear modest clothing that covers shoulders and knees. Removing shoes before entering temple buildings is a must. Behaviour within the temple grounds should be respectful and quiet, emphasising not disturbing worshippers and monks. Photography is allowed but should be done discreetly and without interrupting religious activities. Following these guidelines ensures a respectful and enriching visit for tourists and devotees.



Doi Suthep Waterfall

The Doi Suthep Waterfall, a serene cascade located within the lush confines of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, is a natural spectacle that embodies the tranquil beauty of the region. Nestled amidst dense forest, the waterfall creates a refreshing oasis, especially during the hot months. The sound of water tumbling over rocks adds to the peaceful ambience, making it an ideal spot for relaxation and reflection. The area around the waterfall is rich in biodiversity, allowing visitors to observe various plant species and occasional wildlife sightings, contributing to a genuinely immersive nature experience.


Accessibility and Best Times to Visit

The Doi Suthep Waterfall is easily accessible from Chiang Mai, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists. The best time to visit the waterfall is during the rainy season, from July to October, when the water flow peaks, creating a more dramatic and picturesque scene. However, visitors should be mindful of slippery paths during this time. Outside the rainy season, the waterfall is more serene, perfect for picnics and leisurely walks. Clear signs and well-maintained paths leading to the waterfall ensure a safe and enjoyable journey for all visitors.


Activities and Amenities

Around Doi Suthep Waterfall, visitors can engage in various recreational activities. Nature walks and bird watching are popular, as the surrounding forest teems with birdlife and exotic plants. For the more adventurous, there are opportunities for hiking and exploring the nearby trails. Picnic spots are available for relaxing and enjoying the natural setting. Basic amenities such as restrooms and food stalls are provided near the waterfall, catering to visitors' needs. It's a perfect spot for families, nature enthusiasts, or anyone looking to escape the bustle of the city and immerse themselves in the tranquillity of nature.



Hidden Gems of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park

While renowned for its major attractions, Doi Suthep-Pui National Park has several lesser-known yet equally captivating sites. These hidden gems offer a more secluded and intimate experience of the park's natural beauty.


  • Mae Sa Waterfall:
    Tucked away in the park is Mae Sa Waterfall, a series of 10 cascades flowing through a lush forested area. This spot is ideal for those seeking tranquillity away from the more frequented areas.
  • Ang Kaew Reservoir:
    A serene lake offering picturesque views and a peaceful setting for a leisurely walk or a quiet afternoon. It's an excellent spot for bird-watching and enjoying the park's natural ambience.
  • Pha Ngerb Cliff:
    This cliff is a hidden vantage point perfect for sunrise or sunset. It's less crowded, allowing for a more personal connection with nature.
  • Huay Kaew Arboretum:
    This botanical garden at the park's base provides a tranquil escape with its collection of native plants and flowers. It's a place where visitors can learn about the region's flora.
  • Bhubing Palace Gardens:
    While the palace is a known destination, its gardens are often overlooked. These beautifully maintained gardens feature exotic plants and flowers, making it a delightful spot for nature enthusiasts.
  • Yod Doi Pui Village:
    This Hmong village offers a glimpse into the lives of the local hill tribe community. Visitors can explore the village, learn about their culture, and purchase traditional handicrafts.
  • Km 12 Viewpoint:
    Located along the main road, this lesser-known viewpoint provides stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, especially during the early morning mist.
  • Suthep-Pui Peak Trail:
    For avid hikers, this trail leading to the peak of Doi Pui is less travelled but offers an adventurous trek through dense forests and the chance to experience the park's wilderness up close.
  • Chang Khian Coffee Plantation:
    A small, quaint coffee plantation where visitors can learn about coffee production and enjoy a fresh cup of locally grown coffee amidst the natural surroundings.
  • Doi Pui Campsite:
    For those who wish to experience the park overnight, this campsite offers a unique opportunity to stargaze and wake up to the sounds of nature.



What are the park's operating hours?

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset.

Is there an entrance fee?

A modest entrance fee for visitors contributes to park maintenance and conservation efforts.

Are there guided tours available?

Guided tours are available and can offer a more in-depth understanding of the park's natural and cultural significance.

Can I visit the park during the rainy season?

The park is open year-round. However, visitors should be prepared for wet conditions and slippery trails during the rainy season.

Is the park suitable for children?

The park is family-friendly, with many areas accessible for children. However, some hiking trails may be challenging for younger visitors.


Tips for First-Time Visitors


  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear for hiking and exploring, considering the park's natural terrain and weather conditions.
  • Stay hydrated and bring snacks, especially if you plan to hike or stay in the park for an extended period.
  • Respect wildlife and plant life by not disturbing or removing them from their natural environment.
  • Plan your visit according to your interests and abilities, whether it's for hiking, visiting cultural sites, or simply enjoying the scenery.
  • Check the weather forecast before your visit, as weather conditions can change rapidly in the mountains.


Responsible Tourism


  1. Follow the 'Leave No Trace' principles by properly disposing of waste and minimising environmental impact.
  2. Support local communities by purchasing local products and respecting local customs and traditions.
  3. Use water and other resources sparingly, recognising that they are precious commodities in natural areas.
  4. Participate in conservation efforts, such as tree planting or educational programs, if opportunities arise.
  5. Educate yourself about the park's ecosystem and cultural heritage, which can enhance your appreciation and help you become a more responsible visitor.


Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, a 30-minute drive from Akyra Manor Chiang Mai, is more than just a natural retreat; it's a living tapestry of cultural and ecological wonders. With its rich history, diverse ecosystems, and spiritual significance, this park stands as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of nature and culture. From the majestic Doi Suthep Mountain to the serene Doi Suthep Temple and the cascading beauty of the Doi Suthep Waterfall, the park offers many experiences for every kind of traveller.

As you plan your journey from akyra Manor Chiang Mai to this exquisite national park, remember that each step you take is a step towards understanding the delicate balance of our ecosystem and the rich tapestry of Thai culture. We encourage you to embrace the adventure, respect the natural surroundings, and immerse yourself in the enchanting experiences of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park.


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