National Parks and Gardens in Chiang Mai

Nature abounds in the lush mountainous surroundings of Chiang Mai, giving rise to many open spaces, parks and natural features that shouldn’t be left unexplored. Heading out of the city into the countryside, you’ll experience the effect that the warm savannah climate has on the landscape. Your senses will open the sights, sounds and smells of nature in all its glory.


Chiang Mai Parks & Gardens - akyra Manor Chiang Mai Hotel 


Doi Suthep-Pui National Park

Encompassing more than 260 square kilometres, Doi Suthep-Pui National Park lies about 16km northwest of Chiang Mai. The area is a haven for birds and other wildlife, which thrive in the mild climate and combination of deciduous and evergreen forests.

The twin peaks of Doi Suthep and Doi Pui rise majestically from the lush landscape, and are the focal point of the park. They attract walkers, hikers, and mountain bikers who come to the park to enjoy the many mountain trails, either for sport or for some time out from busy city life.

Must-see attractions in the national park include the Buddhist temple, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Bhubing Palace, a royal residence. Further exploration will lead you to a couple of tribal villages where you can view these local residents at work and play in their natural environment.

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Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens

Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens opened in 1992 and is located in the foothills of the Doi Suthep-Pui Mountains north of Chiang Mai. There’s a lot to see in the gardens and you should allow sufficient time to take in as many of the different areas as possible.

Spend time wandering through the flower and fern gardens, trundle along Banana Avenue, or enter one of the eight diverse glass houses. Each of these has a different theme, from orchids to cacti and tropical rainforests.

One of the highlights of the gardens is the Flying Draco Trail, an elevated canopy walkway named after a type of flying lizard found on the Suthep Mountain. This walkway is 400m long and provides a different perspective of the botanical gardens.

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Royal Park Rajapruek

About 20 minutes from Chiang Mai is the Royal Park Rajapruek, a sprawling botanical park of more than 800m². The area is broken up into smaller themed gardens, comprising both international and Thai flora.

The Ho Kham Royal Pavilion stands regally in the garden as a centrepiece for all to see. Built in the traditional Lanna-style, the pavilion has a multi-tiered roof and high ceiling, and the interior is decorated with paintings and other works of art.

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Huay Kaew Waterfall

Huay Kaew Waterfall is a natural waterfall, about 10m high and located just outside Chiang Mai. Water flows throughout the year, although the level is at its lowest at the end of the dry season, just before the rainy season kicks in around April.

The lush vegetation around the waterfall attracts picnickers and families with small children who can play in the small rock pools. More energetic visitors can enjoy the hiking trail from the waterfall up to the Wang Bua Ban viewpoint.

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Nong Buak Haad Public Park

This popular park in the corner of the old walled city is a great place to sit and relax, taking in the sights and sounds of authentic Thai life. There are three large ponds in the centre of the park, and the surrounding paths and bridges create a lovely track for walkers.

A children’s playground, basketball courts and a coffee shop are some of the other features of this natural green space which is the only one of its kind within the old city walls.

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Mae Sa Waterfall

The Mae Sa Waterfall is a large waterfall consisting of about eight levels, all at different heights and some more impressive than others. It’s a popular location for both Thai locals and tourists, and one can easily spend a day, exploring the area and picnicking. The walks are well laid out along the river, affording you stunning views of the cascades.

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National Parks and Gardens Map




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