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Chiang Mai Thailand - All About Chiangmai Thailand


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Monday, 07 July 2008 14:45



"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 Thailand.

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 practises.

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.




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