Doi Suthep-Pui National Park protects a swath of verdant forest and mountain ranges in Northern Thailand near Chiang Mai. Named after a hermit who lived in the forest before it became a national park, Doi Suthep-Pui is perhaps most famous for the temple at the summit of Doi Suthep Peak (known for its stunning views of Chiang Mai).
While most visitors come to Doi Suthep-Pui National Park to see the temple, it’s also a place of great natural beauty, where numerous nature trails wind through the forest and past several waterfalls. The park is home to some 300 bird species and another 2,000 species of flowering plants and ferns, making it a great destination for wildlife viewing. Numerous tours include a visit to the famous temple, paired with a range of other activities inside the park—biking, hill tribe visits, waterfall hikes, meditation classes, or tours of Phu Ping Palace. Things to Know Before You Go
- Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is a must-visit for active travelers and first-time visitors.
- Visit the park with a guide to learn more about its cultural and ecological significance.
- Bring a sweater or light jacket, as the mountain is often several degrees cooler than Chiang Mai City.
- Don’t forget to bring sun protection, insect repellent, and plenty of water.
How to Get There
Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is located 10 miles (16 kilometers) northwest of Chiang Mai. If you’re not visiting as part of an organized tour with round-trip transportation, it’s easy to get there by hiring a tuk-tuk or taxi.When to Get There
The best time to visit Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is on a clear, dry day when the views of the surrounding countryside are unobstructed (this is most likely to happen during the dry season from mid-November to mid-February). Expect daily rainfall during the months of August and September.
Hiking the Monk’s Trail
Doi Suthep-Pui National Park has no shortage of hiking trails, but the Monk’s Trail ranks among the most famous. This trail leads from Chiang Mai University to Wat Phra Doi Suthep Temple. It gets its name from the monks that still use the trail to get to and from the temple, and the path is marked by distinctive saffron-colored ribbons tied to the trees.