The Tour Of Chiang Dao
The main target about creating TGR1 was to find a route from Chiang Mai to the highest mountain range of Thailand, Chiang Dao. Standing out against the sky, on the 1st time we discovered this mountain where rock and jungle meet and blend, we were fascinated. With several summits at 2,000 meters high and a profusion of lesser peaks and ridges, this mountain barely known from tourists is definitely the most beautiful one in Thailand.
This trip will lead us in the highest mountains of Thailand on the last part of TGR1 all around Chiang Dao summit. We will hike across and behind the massif in remote areas. On old trails very few local people know, we will cross the only three hill-tribe villages of the National Park. It’s a perfect trip to discover Chiang Dao from another side and when the Conservation area is closed during 7 months a year.
Characteristics of the Trip
6,550 THBAll-inclusive price
When we enter the National Park of Chiang Dao, we can already observe the spectacular mountain range that overlooks us 1000m higher. We are pleased to be just at the foothills of high cliffs and various peaks and feel the unique atmosphere of this mountain range. The beginning of the route is steep and technical until we reach a pass, the only way to go across the massif.
The trail now flows on a plateau through rocks and tropical forest in a majestic alpine décor. While turning on the right to follow the trail, behind us in the distance stands the summit of Chiang Dao. We continue to walk in the wild forest surrounded by various peaks. Soon the atmosphere changes and after a typical tropical rain forest, we enter a dry forest more open. We will stop for a break in a wonderful place in the middle of pine trees.
The last part of the day is going down into the jungle before we reach the Hmong village of San Pakhia. Long time ago, the village was located just at the foothills of Chiang Dao summit. Hmong people grew poppy crops at the top of the different summits. With the development of the Royal project, they moved and started growing substitute crops. The village is now at a lower level with a unique view on the mountain range. We will sleep there for the overnight.
In the morning of the 2nd day, after a long way down on a dirt road, we must tackle with a steep path in the forest. This is the most difficult part of the route. For some unknown reasons, local people have traced their path straight up in the mountains. It’s shorter but requires strong and muscular legs.
Finally we reach a long ridge with a beautiful view on the mountains. At the beginning of the ridge, on the South side, we can observe the Hmong village we left in the morning; we will be surprised to see how far we have hiked. At the end of the ridge, the North side offers a wonderful panorama: the Sleeping Lady Mountain stands in the distance on the left; the Chiang Dao mountain range offers its best side on the right.
The last part of the route goes down back to the valley. The descent is long, technical and steep. It goes through forest and jungle. After reaching a 1st Lisu village we will hike up again to reach the 2nd village, Na Lao Mai. We will stop there at the foothills of Chiang Dao massif before driving back to Chiang Mai.
Ban San Pakhia is one of the few village located in the National Park of Chiang Dao. They settled here long time before this area was a Park and they were higher in the mountains. They now live from farming and mainly grow orange trees in the area. TMT has a good and long relationship with the inhabitants. Pakhia was the 1st village where we implemented the ‘Sport for Kids’ project by building a football pitch. We will sleep in a family whose house has a great vie on the mountains.