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Doi Inthanon

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Location: Chiang Mai Province

Area: 482.4 km²

Tel. 0-5324-8604

Open: 6am- 6pm daily

 

 

Description of Doi Inthanon

Doi Inthanon is the highest mountain in Thailand. It is located in the district of Mae Chaem, Province of Chiang Mai, in the north of the country, inside the national park that bears his name. Doi Inthanon reaches an elevation of 2565 meters (8415 feet). The mountain was known in the past as Doi Luang Ang Ka, which means Great Mountain of Crow Bath, since near the base of the mountain there was a pond where many crows nest. The current name Doi Inthanon was given in honor of King Inthawichayanon, seventh king of Chiang Mai. Doi Inthanon is part of a mountain range that separates Burma from Thailand, known as the Thanon Thong Chai Range. In additional to beautiful forest and great variety of wild life it is famous for several medieval structures in the area.

 

 

 

The mountain is located about 50 km southwest of Chiang Mai in the middle of the national park of the same name. The area is sparsely forested and inhabited by members of the hill tribe, mainly the Hmong and Karen. The hill tribe was persuaded by various projects sponsored by the king ("Royal Projects") to plant vegetables and flowers instead of opium. Some of these farms can be visited by tourists.

A 50 km long road leads to the summit (103 km from Chiang Mai), in the vicinity of which you can visit several impressive waterfalls (for example the Vachiratharn waterfall) and caves with bats. Visitors must buy tickets at a control station at the entrance to the national park.

About 200 meters below the summit, the "glorious Thai army with the help of the Thai people" (text on a memorial plaque) put a memorial to his royal couple: For Bhumibol Adulyadej (1987) and Queen Sirikit (1992) a chedi built in a modern style. Both chedis are decorated on the outside with relief mosaics, on the king's chedi in a reddish brown tone, on the queen's chedi in various violet tones. Inside is a large Buddha statue, which is said to be made of jade. The interior walls are decorated with painted tiles on which the life of the Buddha is depicted.

The temperatures on the summit are significantly lower than in the rest of Thailand, which leads to completely different vegetation. Ivy clings to thick oak trees that are covered with mosses because of the high humidity. In the middle of a forest stands a shrine dedicated to the namesake: Prince Intha Witchayanon, a regent of Chiang Mai, known as the “Seventh Chao Luang” (reg. 1870–1897), recognized early on the importance of this mountain region for the environment. He determined that his remains should be buried here.

The mountain was initially known as Doi Luang ("Royal Mountain"). When the prince died in 1897, his ashes were buried in a small chedi that soon became a destination for pilgrims. In his honor, the mountain has been abbreviated since then: Doi Inthanon. In addition to the shrine, there is a nature trail and military radar systems.

 

 

 

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