"Doi" is the northern word for "mountain" and Doi
Inthanon is the highest mountain in Thailand. Originally named Doi Anka it
was renamed in favor of Chao Inta Wichanont who was the father of King Kaew
Nawarat and Princess Dara Rasamee. The namechange took place in 1939 after
the Princess had her father's remains interred on the mountain.
Gawila Military Barracks: Named for Prince Gawila who
was the general who reclaimed Chiangmai from the occupying Burmese armies.
Prince Gawila was appointed by King Rama I to be Pra Chao Chiangmai, ruler
of Chiangmai, in 1796. Six years later, in 1802, the Prince was further
elevated to be virtually the King of Chiangmai (but giving allegiance to
Bangkok). The Gawila dynasty ruled for 143 years and, today, their
descendants take the name surname "Na Chiangmai" ("at Chiang Mai") e.g. Jao
Kohkaew Na Chiangmai.
The higest mountain in the
country, Doi Inthanon
is 2,565 meters above sea level. It is actually part of the Himalayas, the
mountain range that stretches from Nepal and Bhuttan to Burma and Northern
It was originally known as
Doi Luang, "big mount" in Thai. At the foot is Doi Inthanon National Park
which is known for its biological diversity and complex ecological system
that teems with wildlife. Even at the summit, the
forest canopy is thick. It
is here where the waters of the Ping River and its tributaries emanate from.
The park has scenic
waterfalls, steep cliffs, different rock formations as well as stalactite
sand stalagmites, particularly in the Bori Chinda cave. Another tourist
attraction is the Doi Inthanon Royal Project that was started in 1979 to
help hill tribes
cultivate cash crops other than opium and to teach them modern agricultural
There are two route that
lead to the mountain, the first is the Natural Study Trek route at Kiu Mae (
km 42). This short trail winds through the pristine forest for about 2.5 km.
Rhododendrons commonly found in the Himalayas also grow abundantly here and
are in full bloom from December to February. This nature trail is closed for
reforestation from June to October.
To get there, take a truck
from Phra That Chom Thong or Mae Klang Waterfall. It goes up to the Doi
Inthanon National Park office and neighboring villages. The fare is between
baht 20 - 30.
This site was last updated:
25 January 2007