Situated within Chiang Dao National Park, the 6-mile-long (10-kilometer-long) Chiang Dao Caves system penetrating Thailand’s third-highest peak ranks among the most spectacular in the country. Impressive stalagmites and stalactites grow from the ceilings and floors of the five interconnected caves, along with other limestone and crystal formations.
The first two of the Chiang Dao Caves are well-lit and easy to explore on your own. If you’d like to head deeper into the mountain, you’ll want the assistance of a guide familiar with the cave system. Guided day trips from Chiang Mai often combine the Chiang Dao Caves with a visit to climb and swim at the unusual Sticky Waterfall. Many multi-day tours through Northern Thailand include a guided tour of the cave as well. Things to Know Before You Go
- The Chiang Dao Caves are a must-visit for families and adventure travelers.
- Don’t forget to bring a flashlight or headlamp, especially if you plan to explore farther than the two lighted sections.
- Wear sturdy shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces.
How to Get There
Chiang Do is located 45 minutes north of Chiang Mai on Highway 107. Once you reach the small town of Chiang Dao, look for signs that will direct you toward Doi Chiang Dao; the entrance to the caves is about 3 miles off the main highway.When to Get There
The Chiang Dao Caves are open to visitors daily throughout the year. Since the caves tend to be cooler than the outside, they make for a nice escape from the afternoon heat (or a rainy day option).Buddhism and the Chiang Dao Caves
As you explore the caves, keep an eye out for the hundreds of Buddha statues and votive items lining the walls. These images offer evidence that the caves have long been used as shrines and meditation sites for Buddhist practitioners.