Chiang Mai Zoo (สวนสัตว์เชียงใหม่)
is located next to Huai Kaeo Arboretum. It is a well-managed large zoo, which occupies the lower forested slopes of Doi Suthep Mountain. The zoo contains more than 200 types of Asian and African mammals and birds. The most popular star here is panda, the friendship Chinese ambassador. The zoo provides monorail service within the area of 2 kilometres. Additional, the twilight zoo is open 6.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. The newly aquarium on its area 10 rai, which housed the longest underwater automatic tunnel of Asia with 133 metres, and will accommodate both sea and river fish and animal from various areas; such as the upper mountain ranges of Northern Region, Khong River Basin, Amazon River Basin, the plain land of mangrove and from the underwater world.
It is open everyday from 8.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. Admission fee for adult is 100 Baht, and children fee is 20 Baht. Restaurants and a camping site are available. For more details or advance booking contact Tel. 0 5322 1179, 0 5322 2283 www. chiangmaizoo.com
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep (วัดพระธาตุดอยสุเทพ)
is the most important and visible landmark, and overlooks the city from its forested mountain backdrop. This temple is 15 kilometres from town, 3,520 feet above sea level, and dates from 1383. The temple is approached on foot by climbing a steep Naga staircase comprising 290 steps. The less energetic may ascend by railcars. The temple’s pagoda contains holy Buddha relics, and attracts Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world throughout the year. The temple compound offers an exhilarating view of Chiang Mai city and surrounding countryside. or take a cable car up to Doi Suthep, which operates between 5.30 a.m.-8.00 p.m. Tourists without a car can travel by Song Thaeo mini bus from in front of Chiang Mai University (on Huai Kaeo Road side) operating during 5.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m., Contact Tel. 0 5329 5001-2
Doi Suthep-Pui National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติดอยสุเทพ – ปุย)
the superb landscaped national park covers an area of 262 square kilometres of Amphoe Mae Rim, Amphoe Hang Dong, and Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai. The park consists of verdant forests and mountain ranges. Major mountains include Doi Suthep, Doi Buak Ha, and Doi Pui. This is a main source of tributaries and streams in Chiang Mai. Sacred places, religious attractions and historical sites are located in the park complex.
To get there: To the park office, drive from Chiang Mai town for 5 kilometres on the Huai Kaeo-Chiang Mai University-Chiang Mai Zoo route to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep en route to the intersection on the right, the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park road sign will be seen. Contact Tel. 0 5321 0244-6, 0 5329 5117-8
Attractions in the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park
Huai Kaeo Waterfall (น้ำตกห้วยแก้ว)
is located 6 kilometres from Chiang Mai town. The 10-metre cascade provides a delightful ambiance of scenic views and various plants.
Khru Ba Siwichai Monument (อนุสาวรีย์ครูบาศรีวิชัย)
is situated at the foot of Doi Suthep Mountain. The monument honours the devoted Buddhist monk whose followers built the first 10 kilometres road to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in 1935.
Bhubing Palace พระตำหนักภูพิงคราชนิเวศน์
is located on the same road, 4 kilometres beyond Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, on Doi Buak Ha. The royal winter palace was built in 1961. The palace is also the royal guesthouse for prominent State visitors from abroad. The lavishly landscaped gardens and grounds are open to the general public everyday from 8.30 a.m.-3.30 p.m. Tickets are sold until 3.30 p.m. The palace is closed when the Royal Family is in residence, January to early March. Contact Tel. 0 5321 9932, 0 5321 9915 www.bhubingpalace.org
Doi Pui Tribal Village (หมู่บ้านชาวเขาเผ่าม้ง)
is a Hmong tribal village some 3 kilometres on an asphalt road from Bhubing Palace. The village presents the typical lifestyle of the Hmong as well as a scenic view of Doi Inthanon, the highest peak of Thailand. The trip takes only an hour from Chiang Mai town and the village is easily accessible.
Royal Park Ratchapruek (อุทยานหลวงราชพฤกษ์)
After the success of the Royal Flora Ratchaphruek, a world-class horticulture expo to celebrate the auspicious occasions of HM King Bhumibol’s 60th anniversary of his accession to the throne and his 80th birthday in 2006-2007, Thai Cabinet decided to maintain the condition of the park as the newest travel destination of Chiang Mai.
The Royal Park Ratchaphruek sits in Mae Hia sub-district and covers an area of 240,000 square metres, divided into different zones you need to spend the whole day here. Perched at the center is an authentic Lanna architecture of Ho Kham Luang Royal Pavilion where a painting exhibition about the life and works King Bhumibol is displayed inside. Visitors should not miss to visit the Orchid Garden to see rare orchids and International Gardens to hop into different styles of gardens curated by different participating countries, such as South Korea, China, Japan and Bhutan, to represent their cultures. Other zones include the World of Insects, Rare Plants and Corporate Zone. Trams are provided and do bring an umbrella as it can be really hot during the day. Opens daily from, 8.00 a.m.-6.00 p.m. Tickets for adults are 100 Baht and 50 Baht for children.
Contact Tel. 0 5311 4110-5, www.royalparkrajapruek.org
Chiang Mai Night Safari (เชียงใหม่ ไนท์ ซาฟารี)
is located in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Tambon Mae Hia and Tambon Suthep, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai and Tambon Nong Khwai, Amphoe Hang Dong, covering an overall area of approximately 819 rai. This is an abundant night safari. Visitors can see various kinds of animals such as elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions, Asiatic black bears, tigers, hyenas, crocodiles, etc. by open-air tram. There is also a trekking route to see the wild animals surrounded by a beautiful atmosphere on the lake’s bank that is full of various trees.
To get there: It is 10 kilometres from Chiang Mai. Go along Huai Kaeo Road, turn left into Highway No. 121 toward Amphoe Hang Dong for around 10 kilometres, then turn right and continue for 2 kilometres.
Operation hours: day time from Mon.-Fri. between 1.00 p.m.-4.00 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. between 10.00 a.m.-4.00 p.m., night time daily between 6.00 p.m.-11.30 p.m. Tickets for adults are 500 Baht and 300 Baht for children. For information, contact Tel. 0 5399 9050, 0 5399 9000 For accommodation, Contact Tel. 0 5399 9015, 0 5399 9079 www.chiangmainightsafari.com