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Chiang Dao

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[[Image:ChiangDao_Mountains.JPG|thumb|240px|Chiang Dao National Park]]
'''Chiang Dao''' (เชียงดาว) is a town in [[Chiang Mai Province]], [[Northern northern Thailand]].
==Understand==
 Chiang Dao lies above the Menam Ping gorge on the green slopes of Doi Chiang Dao mountain. The name means "City of Stars", and derives from its earlier name ''Piang Dao'', or "(at the) level of the stars". True to the name, limestone peaks reaching a height of 2186 2,186 m (7174 7,174 ft) make Chiang Dao an impressive area. The village is a quiet little picturesque area, with a quaint Northern northern Thailand feel.
==Get in==
Chiang Dao is 72 km north of [[Chiang Mai]] on Hwy 107 to [[Fang]] and [[Tha TonThaton (Thailand)]].
===By plane===
===By bus===
The easiest and cheapest way to get in and out of Chiang Dao, is to stay next to, or near , Hwy 107. Anywhere along side the highway, one can wave down a bus or songthaew to either go towards Chiang Mai (40 baht), or Fang (40 baht). Buses run quite often (between 06:00-18:00 every half hour).
There are buses six times daily from [[Chiang Mai]] to [[Tha Ton]], which stop at Chiang Dao along the way. 90 minutes, 40 baht.
==Get around==
Most guesthouses can arrange motorcycles for rent for around 200-300 baht/day. This is is one of the cheapest options as there are very few taxis in the town and they employ a price fixing strategy, be prepared to pay 150 baht per ride from one of these regardless of how much you barter.
Most guesthouses can arrange motorcycles for rent for around 200-300 baht/day. This is is one of the cheapest options as there are very few taxis in the town and they employ a price fixing strategy. Be prepared to pay 150 baht per ride from one of these regardless of how much you barter. Taxis usually stay in town close to the 7-11, better . Better to negotiate with taxi drivers directly, instead of rather than asking the at your guest houses house as they mark up their prices sometime sometimes quite dramatically.
Places, such as Mon and Kurt's Restaurant and GuesthouseGuest house, also rent reliable Bicycles bicycles and Mountain Bikesmountain bikes (100 Baht baht per day/24 hours).
TIPTip: If you are just traveling on the main Highway travelling Hwy 107, the Songtheaws songthaews that just travel on the main highway, there are only 10 Baht baht within the Chiang Dao Area and area all the way to the MuangNgai Muang Ngai turnoff, North north of town.
==See==
* '''Chiang Dao Cave''' (ถ้ำเชียงดาว ''Tham Chiang Dao''), 5 km off the main highway. The best-known attraction here, offering 12 kilometers of stalactite-laden caves — although only five of the caverns are accessible to the public. Chambers are large but lack spectacular decorations. Entry: electricity fee 40 baht. You can tour the lighted part of the cave alone, or hire a guide with a lantern to view the unlit caverns. It will cost you 100 baht per group (goes to the temple?) plus the guide will expect the tip about 100 baht/person. Bringing your own flashlight is recommended.
* '''<see name="Birdwatching''' " alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Malee's Nature Lovers Bungalows, cater to bird watchers and are very helpful with information, with regards to bird watching. </see>
* <see name="Chiang Dao Cave" alt="ถ้ำเชียงดาว ''Tham Chiang Dao'Hot springs''' The original Hot Springs" address="" directions="5 km off the main highway" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="Electricity fee is 40 baht. You can tour the lighted part of the cave alone,consisted of several small concrete basins fed from or hire a guide with a pipelantern to view the unlit caverns. * A few years agoIt will cost you 100 baht per group (goes to the temple?), plus the friendly owner, Ura, guide will expect the tip of Take Restaurant, built two very nice Japanese Gardens, with bamboo gazebos, change roomabout 100 baht/showers and toilets. There is also a small restaurant on site. person">The concrete basinsbest-known attraction here, further up offering 12 km of stalactite-laden caves, although only five of the road, caverns are free accessible to use, while the fee for the Japanese Gardenpublic. Chambers are large, but lack spectacular decorations. Bringing your own flashlight is 100 Bahtrecommended. </see>
* '''San Phakia''' <see name="Hot springs" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="The concrete basins, further up the road, are free to use; fee for the Japanese Garden is 100 baht">The original hot springs consisted of several small concrete basins fed from a spot for overnight camping located on pipe. A few years ago the mountain friendly owner, Ura, of Take Restaurant, built two very nice Japanese gardens, with bamboo gazebos, and a fantastic view over Doi Luang Chiang Dao and the valley below. In January good place to see cherry blossom. Tentschanging room, showers, sleeping mattresses and blankets available for rent (300 baht/tent)toilets. Few bungalows are There is also available. Access via 24 km dirt road; turn-off from main road at Mae Na. Drivable on the a small bike but not restaurant on the heavier bikes with street tyres-site.</see>
* '''Tuesday Morning Market''' Located downtown <see name="San Phakia" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">A spot for overnight camping located on the mountain with a fantastic view over Doi Luang Chiang Daoand the valley below. In January it's a good place to see cherry blossoms. Tents, on Highway 107, offers colorful displayssleeping mattresses, local and Hilltribe goods and many great dealsblankets are available for rent (300 baht/tent). A great way to spend few bungalows are also available. Access via 24 km dirt road. Turn off the main road at Mae Na. Drivable on a Tuesday Morningsmall bike, in Chiang Daobut not on a heavier bikes with street tires.</see>
==Do==
 
[[Image:ChiangDao_Waterfall.JPG|thumb|Waterfall in Chiang Dao National Park]]
The town of Chiang Dao is adjacent to *'''Doi Luang Chiang Dao National Park''' [http://www(ดอยหลวงเชียดางว).dnp.go.th/parkreserve/asp/style1/default.asp?npid=167&lg=At 2], which covers over 1000 sq.km. of 225 m, this is the stunning craggy mountains highest peak in the area. Being fairly high up, it's noticeably cooler (and drier than on the plains third-highest in all of Thailand after Doi Inthanon and Doi Pha Hom Pok) and can get downright cold doable as a two-day trip. It is a limestone mountain in the winterChiang Dao Wildlife Reserve area. The local flora are semitropical, with extensive bamboo forests and Narrow plains on top of the mountain overlook spectacular views that include a number sea of fog on the Chiang Dao side, Doi Sam Phi Nong, the Chiang Dao mountain streams range, and waterfallsthe far end of Doi Inthanon. The area peak is cool and windy. It is popular full of rare highland flowers, birds, and butterflies. Visiting Doi Chiang Dao needs an approval letter from the Director of the Wildlife Reserve Division, Royal Forest Department. It must arranged at least 2 weeks before travelling. Call +66 25 612 947 for more information. :'''trekking'Getting there:''The peak is accessible on foot. At Chiang Dao cave, guides, porters, as in addition and chartered transfers to the starting point of the trail are available. A rented local truck costs around 900 baht and a porter is 300 baht per person. There are no tourist facilities on Chiang Dao mountain views there . Visitors must bring their own sleeping bags, food, and water. If you are many '''Lisu''' a very fit trekker you might be able to climb up and '''Karen''' hill tribe villages scattered down in one day if you start very early. There is a small village with lodging near the start of the northern trail, easily accessible on a motorbike via paved road. :Descending the mountain is possible on the trail near Ban Tham, which is located near Chiang Dao cave. The trail is rather steep. Nevertheless, it could shorten the parkwalking distance upon descending. It is quite difficult to climb up.
* '''Doi Luang <do name="Pha Daeng National Park" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.dnp.go.th/parkreserve/asp/style1/default.asp?npid=167&lg=2" hours="" price="">The town of Chiang Dao''' (ดอยหลวงเชียงดาว) at 2225m is adjacent to the highest peak park, which covers over 1,000 square kilometres of the stunning craggy mountains in the area (. Being fairly high up, it's noticeably cooler and drier than on the plains and can get downright cold in the thirdwinter. The local flora are semi-highest tropical, with extensive bamboo forests and a number of mountain streams and waterfalls. The area is popular for trekking, as in all Thailand) addition to the mountain views, there are many '''Lisu''' and doable as a two-day trip'''Karen''' hill tribe villages scattered throughout the park.</do>
===Trekking operators===* '''Chiang Dao Nest Tours and Trekking''', [http://chiangmaitrekking.chiangdao.com] offers a wide variety of 2-3 day treks in the national park. Small, private groups led by local hill tribe guides, priced at roughly 1000 baht/person/day all-inclusive.
'''Doi Luang Chiang Dao ()''' is a limestone mountain in the Chiang Dao Wildlife Reserve area, Amphoe * <do name="Chiang DaoNest Tours and Trekking" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://chiangmaitrekking.chiangdao. This cone-shaped mountain is 2com" hours="" price="Roughly 1,195 metres from sea level000 baht/person/day, which makes it the third highest mountain in Thailand after Doi Inthanon and Doi Pha Hom Pok. Narrow plains on top of the mountain overlook spectacular views that include all-inclusive">Offers a sea wide variety of fog on 2-3 day treks in the Amphoe Chiang Dao side, Doi Sam Phi Nong, the Chiang Dao mountain range, and the far end of Doi Inthanon. The peak is cool and windynational park. It is full of rare highland flowersSmall, birds, and butterflies. Visiting Doi Chiang Dao needs an approval letter from the Director of Wildlife Reserve Division, Royal Forest Department. It must arranged at least 2 weeks before travelling. Call 0 2561 2947 for more informationprivate groups led by local hill tribe guides.</do>
''Getting there:'' The peak is accessible on foot. At Chiang Dao cave, guides, porters, and chartered transfers to the starting point of the trail are available. Rented local truck costs around 900 baht and, a porter is 300 baht per person. There are no tourist facilities on Chiang Dao Mountain. Visitors must bring their own sleeping bags, food, and water. If you are a very fit trekker you might be able to climb up and down in one day if you start very early and the locals confirm that. There is a small village with the lodging near the start of the northern trail, easily accessible on the motorbike via paved road. Descending the mountain is possible on the trail near Ban Tham, which is located near Chiang Dao cave. The trail is rather steep; nevertheless, it could shorten the walking distance upon descending. It is quite difficult to climb up.==Buy==
* '''Elephant riding'''<buy name="Tuesday Morning Market" alt="" address="" directions="downtown Chiang Dao on Hwy 107" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Colourful displays, local and hill tribe goods and many great deals. A great way to spend a Tuesday morning in Chiang Dao.</buy>
* '''River rafting'''==Eat==
* <eat name="Chiang Dao Nest (Western food) and Chiang Dao Nest 2 (Thai food)" alt=Buy"" address="" directions=Every Tuesday morning "on Hwy 107 at km72, in Chiang Dao, just after the town has Chiang Dao Inn Hotel, turn left towards Chiang Dao Cave and Malee's Resort." phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Delicious, fresh, local ingredients, high quality. Worth a big stop even if you'''market''' with many hilltribe people coming down re not staying at the nest. Beautiful setting in the mountains to tradeboot.</eat>
*<eat name="DoiMek Café" alt=Eat"" address="450/1, Moo 10, Mueang Ngai" directions="just north of Chiang Dao is an intersection. Turn left. The café is on the left 2 km after the turn." phone="+66 53 375088" url="http://www.doimekcafe.com" hours="07:00-18:00" price="40-150 baht" lat="" long="">Serves local, organically shade-grown Arabica coffee beans freshly roasted every week. It is set in traditional Thai-inspired architecture. There is free Wi-Fi, a camping area, and clean bathrooms for backpackers or visitors who are preparing to go up Doi Ang Kang. The café also serves simple food, with locally-sourced ingredients.</eat>
* '''Take Cafe''', Japanese restaurant, Run by a Japanese gentleman and his wife on the road between Chiang dow village and the cave very reasonably prices, jovial host and enjoyable budget Japanese food<eat name="Haniba Coffee" alt="" address="" directions="opposite PTT gas station" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Nice coffee shop. Cheesecakes!</eat>
* '''<eat name="Malee's Nature Resort'''. Close " alt="" address="" directions="close to Chiang Dao Cave" phone="+66 81 9618387" email="" fax="" url="http://www.maleenature. com" hours="" price="Accommodation: 250-2,000 baht">Reasonably priced selection of local Thai and some western Western foods, makes a . A great breakfast with fresh home made bread and jams. Cosy garden with great views.Also offers sturdy, well-maintained bungalows with private bathrooms. Cheapest rooms (250 baht) have shared bathroom and a fan. Family and honeymoon suites are also available. The location offers a pool in a cosy garden with views of the surrounding mountains. Free Wi-Fi. There are detailed maps of the area on display and there is a bird sightings log.</eat>
* <eat name="Mon and Kurt'''Chiang Dao Nest (western food) s Restaurant and Guesthouse" alt="" address="Chiang Dao Nest 2 (Thai food)''' Take highway 107 North from Chiang Mai towards Fang (Chang Puak Gate " directions="across the street from the old city) , At 72km, in Chiang Dao town Inn Hotel" phone="+66 84 1739975" url="http://www.chiangdao.org" hours="10:00-22:00, Tu-Su" price="" lat="N19 22.369" long="E98 57.964"> Mon,just after the Chiang Dao Inn Hotelowner, serves delicious Western, Thai, turn left towards Chiang Dao Cave and Maleevegetarian food, along with her mouth watering cheesecakes. Nightly BBQ's. She also brews a great cup of coffee. You may have to wait for a while for your food and it is recommended that you make reservations on weekends because the place is quite popular with local expats as well as Thais. It is well-worth the wait! Fast, free Wi-Fi, air conditioned inside during hot season. DeliciousLarge selection of imported beers and wines. Every evening, starting at 16:00 and also during the Tuesday Morning Market, Mon sells her delicious khanom Jeen, for 20 baht per bowl. Guest house has clean, freshnew, local ingredientsspacious rooms. Comfortable beds with clean, high qualitysheets and towels. Air Conditioned, 500 baht, fan room, 400 baht. Worth a Conveniently located at the first class (Bangkok) bus stop even if you're not staying at . Free, hi-speed Wi-Fi in all the rooms and in the nestrestaurant. Beautiful setting in mountain views from rooms and nice garden sitting area, outside the mountains to bootair conditioned restaurant downstairs. Bar offers a good selection of wine and imported beers, along with shooters and highballs. They use quality alcohol. (Next to MaleeJose Quervo Especial Tequila, Jack Daniel's, Jaegermeister, Russian vodka, etc.)They are conveniently located downtown, have a happy hour, between 12:00-14:00 and 17:00-19:00 (big bottles of Chang, Chang Export, and Leo for only 50 baht).</eat>
* '''Haniba Coffee'''. Nice coffee shop opposite PTT gas station. Cheesecakes.*<eat name="Mon and Kurt's Restaurant and GuesthouseTake Cafe" alt="" address="Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai Province, Northern Thailand" directions="across the street from the Chiang Dao Inn Hotel" phone="084-173-9975" urlemail="http://www.chiangdao.org" hoursfax="10am-10pm Tuesday-Sunday" priceurl="moderate" lathours="N19 22.369" longprice="E98 57.964">Mon,the owner, serves delicious European, WesternJapanese restaurant, Thai and Vegetarian food, along with her mouth watering cheesecakes. Nightly BBQ's! She also brews a great cup of coffee. You may have to wait for run by a while for your food Japanese gentleman and it is recommended to make reservations his wife on weekends, because the place is quite popular with local Expats as well as Thai Customersroad between Chiang Dao village and the cave. It is well worth the wait! FastVery reasonable prices, free Wi-Fijovial host, air conditioned insideand enjoyable, during hot seasoninexpensive Japanese food. Large selection of imported beers and wines. Foodsave Cert. Prices</eat> (Every Evening, starting at 4pm and also, during the Tuesday Morning Market, Mon sells her delicious Khanom Jeen, for 20 Baht per bowl (65cents)
==Drink==
'''Mon and Kurt's''' offers a good selection of wine and imported beers, along with "Shooters" and "Highballs". They use quality alcohol. (Jose Quervo Especial Tequila, Jack Daniel's, Jaegermeister, Russian Vodka, etc.) They are conveniently located downtown, have a Happy Hour, between Noon-2pm and 5-7pm (Big bottles of Beer Chang, Chang Export and Leo for only 50 Baht) and serve alcohol until 9:30pm (close at 10pm).'''Chiang Dao Nest''' also has a great selection of Spirits Restaurants and a nice quiet atmosphere, but there guest houses are also a few Thai Karaoke Bars the places to drink in and around Chiang Dao, for those who . There are a little more adventerousalso several karaoke bars scattered throughout the town.
==Sleep==
* <sleep name="Chiang Dao now offers quite Hut" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="+66 87 2081269" email="[email protected]" fax="" url="http://www.chiangdaohut.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="380 baht (low-season)-580 baht (high)">A small, new, cosy, guest house run by a few guesthouses young friendly Thai couple who have had many years of hotel experience in Chiang Mai and resortsspeak reasonable English. There are 2 fairly large, some located right near simple but clean wooden bungalows (one double, one twin) each with fan, attached bathroom and hot shower. They have a small cafe at the Chiang Dao - Fang Highwayfront which is a great place to relax with a latte, fruit shake, others near the bypass or near the cave and mountain temple. There's no luxury accommodation thoughsome Western or Thai food like pizza, spaghetti, pad Thai, since the Baan Krating resort closed in 2007etc.</sleep>
* '''Chiang Dao Nest''', ''+66''-60171985 [http://nest.chiangdao.com] run by English/Thai couple Stuart and Wicha is a self-proclaimed mini-resort where the mass goes with views of the mountains around and Thai/Western food. 11 bamboo bungalows with fan, attached bathroom, hot water, from 495 baht/night.Some Thai/Western couples claim to have been harrassed (Thai wives accused of being 'bar girls') by the rather officious Wicha, she can also be very unreasonable with guests when things don't go so well.* '''Nature Home''', is a nice and quiet place, offers nice rooms with private bathrooms for 400 baht/night. The owners are a local couple who speak no English but are very friendly. If you are lucky, you might get some kind of breakfast for free in the morning.* '''Malee's Nature Lovers Bungalows''', ''+66''-819618387 [http://www.maleenature.com] is a nice and quiet place set up in 1995 offers sturdy, well-maintained bungalows with private bathrooms. Cheapest rooms (200 baht) have shared bathroom and a fan. Family and honeymoon suites are also available. The location offers a pool in a cosy garden with views of the surrounding mountains. Free WiFi in the entire resort. There are detailed maps of the area on display and there is a bird sightings log.* '''Chiang Dao Hut''',''+66''-872081269 [email protected] [http://www.chiangdaohut.com Chiang Dao Hut] is a small, new, cosy, guest house run by a young friendly Thai couple who have had many years of hotel experience in Chiang Mai and speak reasonable English. There are 2 fairly large, simple but clean wooden bungalows (one double, one twin) each with fan, attached bathroom and hot shower. Prices from 380B (low season) to 580B (high). They have a small cafe at the front which is a great place to relax with a latte, fruit shake or some Western or Thai food like pizza, spaghetti, pad thai etc.*<sleep name="Mon and Kurt's Restaurant and GuesthouseNature Home" alt="" address="Right Across the Street from the Chiang Dao Inn" directions="Downtown Chiang Dao" phone="084-173-9975" urlemail="http://www.chiangdao.org" checkinfax="before 9pm" checkouturl="12 Noon" pricecheckin="400-500 Baht" latcheckout="N19 22.369 " longprice="E98 57.964400 baht">CleanA nice, newquiet place, spacious offering nice rooms. Comfortable beds with clean, quality sheets and towelsprivate bath. Air Conditioned 500 Baht, Fan room 400 BahtThe owners are a local couple who speak no English but are very friendly. Conveniently located at the First Class (Bangkok) Bus stop. FreeIf you are lucky, Hi-Speed Wi-Fi you might get some kind of free breakfast in all the rooms and in the restaurant. Beautiful Mountain views from Rooms and nice garden sitting area, outside the air conditioned restaurant downstairsmorning.</sleep>b
==Get out==
orange Buses Orange buses (every hour, 40 Bahtbaht)and orange Songtheaws songthaews (every 30 minutes, 40 Bahtbaht),pass through Chiang Dao, on Highway Hwy 107. You can wave them down anywhere and they will stop for you, if not full already. * [[Bangkok]]
* [[Chiang Mai]]
 
* [[Doi Ang Khong]]
* [[Fang]]
* [[Bangkok]] *VIP (32 Seat Sleeperseat sleeper), First Classfirst class, Air Conditioned Busair conditioned bus, leaves at 618:30pm 30 (664 Bahtbaht), in Front front of Mon and Kurt's Restaurant/Guest House, for Bangkok. Arrives approx. 5am at approximately 05:00 in Bangkok.  Regular 52 seat sleeper bus leaves from in front of Mon and Kurt's Restaurant (reserve tickets across the street, at local mini-mart) as follows:
Regular 52 Seat Sleeper bus leaves as follows, in Front of Mon and Kurt's Restaurant (Reserve tickets across the street, at local mini-mart):*Leaves Chiang Dao 808:30am30, arrives in Bangkok 8pm20:00. 569 Bahtbaht.*Leaves Chiang Dao 19:30pm 30, arrives in Bangkok 7am07:00. 569 Bahtbaht.
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