In need of a winter getaway? Head to Thailand's highest mountain

In need of a winter getaway? Head to Thailand's highest mountain
PHOTO: The Nation

Ho ho ho! Winter has arrived at Thailand's highest mountain, Doi Inthanon. This means you don't have to wait till December to enjoy the cold weather in hilly parts of Chiang Mai.

The temperature at the peak of the mountain plunged to a shiveringly cold 10 degrees Celsius last Saturday morning (Sept 30), reported The Nation.

The unexpected drop in temperature from 13 degrees last Friday morning to 10 degrees the next day has signalled an early winter for the northern province of Chiang Mai, a park official said.

So it might be good idea to pack your woollens for the mountains soon rather than fight with hordes of tourists pouring into Chiang Mai during the year-end school holiday.

Known as "The Roof of Thailand", Doi Inthanon is a popular tourist destination offering stupendous views of a huge national park that extends from the Himalayan mountain range.

Apart from magical views of oceans of clouds and mists in the early morning, the other attractions that have captivated visitors include waterfalls which are more impressive from May to November; nature trails with lush forests abundant with bird species, and royal stupas with enchanting gardens.

At the prime lookout point at Kaew Mae Pan, the temperature fell to 11 degrees last Saturday. This was seen as another sign that winter has arrived, noted Rung Hiranwong, chief of the Doi Inthanon National Park.

TO GET THERE

From the centre of Chiang Mai, take Highway number 107 to Jomtong sub-district, then make a right at a signpost that states 'Doi Inthanon'.

The visitor centre in the park is near the enntrance, less than 1 km from a checkpoint. The park's headquarters is another 22km away at 30.8km mark. The main campsite is located around the HQ where you can rent a tent if you want to rough it out.

There is also chalet-style accommodation. Listed on TripAdvisor are three properties - Doi Inthanon National Park, Inthanon Highland Resort, and Little Home.

Seems like winter is right in your backyard, if you don't want to travel too far.

chenj@sph.com.sg

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