Northern Thailand is well-known for it's beautiful National Parks, glorious scenery and wonderful wild-life!
There are numerous National Parks through-out Thailand, but the National Parks easily accessible from Doi Nok Strawberry Resort are;
Khun Khan National Park
Ob Khan National Park
Khun Khan National Park - อุทยานแห่งชาติ ขุน ข่าน
Entrance to Khun Khan National Park is on the same road as Doi Nok Strawberry Resort, route 1349, approx 10km, a short 15 minute drive away.
Khun Khan National Park covers an area of 240 square kilometres or 150,000 rai, geographical features consists of high mountains (500-1,708 metres above sea level).
Doi Pung-kia is the highest mountain plateau (1,708 metres above sea level), within this National Park and is the source of River Mae-khan and River Mae-Chaem which flow into the River Ping.
There is a 'hot well' with basic 'shower' facilities in the park grounds. A short walking trail of approx 2km, toilets and a play area for children is also available. There is a small entrance fee as with all National Parks in Thailand. You can walk around yourselves, explore by scooter or hire a 'guide' for the price of a modest tip.
Ob Khan National Park - อบ อุทยานแห่งชาติ ข่าน
Less than an hour's drive away is Ob Khan National Park, a large National park, covering approx 574 square kilometers or 341,875 rai. The Park is relatively easy to find; you know you are arriving at the park when the tarmac road gives way to a dirt track! Entrance is free, but there is a place at the little hut, just before the carpark, where you are asked to sign your name.
There are several areas to sit on the rocks and rest whilst you take in the beautiful scenery and the surrounding nature, read your book, have a swim or maybe enjoy a picnic. It is far less crowded than the other more commercialised, touristy places. You will find forest, plants, butterflies, birds and wildlife amongst forest, river, rocks and even some sandy areas. There is also a nature trail for you to follow if you wish.
The geographical features of the National Park mostly consist of high mountains with “Yod Khun Tien” being the highest mountaintop of the National Park, at an altitude of 1,550 metres. The National Park has beautiful natural tourist attractions and a wide variety of plants and wild animals which include gorals, Muliacus Muntjak, bears, fishing cats, mouse deer, masked palm civets, wild rabbits, wild boars, monkeys, slow loris, mongooses, porcupines, squirrels and tree shrews.
Other National Parks in the area are;
Doi Suthep-Pui National Park - อุทยานแห่งชาติดอยสุเทพ-ปุย
Doi Suthep Mountain was formerly known as Doi Oi Chang. Its present name comes from a hermit who pefected his meditation on this mountain a thousand year ago. In 1981, the mountain forest, along with 13 other forests nearby, were linked together in order to establish a national park, becoming Thailand's 24th national park. A year later, more areas were encompassed into the park’s boundary. Doi Suthep-Pui National Park stretches over 261 square Kilometers.
As part of upper Phi Pan Nam Range, the park features rugged mountains. Its significant peaks include Dot Suthep, Doi Buak Ha and the highest one, Ooi Pui, at 1,685 metres above sea level.
Parts of Doi Suthep have become quite commercialised, especially around the Wat. However, other areas of the park do still offer something a little less touristy.
Doi Inthanon National Park - อุทยานแห่งชาติดอยอินทนนท์
The most popular of Chiang Mai's National Parks is Doi Inthanon National Park which covers an area of 482 square kilometres. Thailand's highest peak is within this National Park, Doi Inthanon, which stands at 2,565 metres above sea level. Temperatures at the summit in winter have been known to drop to around zero, and even in summer it remains relatively cool on the peak.
Doi Inthanon is home to more than 300 species of birds, and while animal numbers have dwindled owing to hunting, there are still to be found snakes, gibbons, deer, wild board and Red jungle fowl.
The park has nature trails that criss-cross the hills and valleys, and are very popular with bird watchers.
The park is an approx 130km / 80m drive from Doi Nok Strawberry Resort.
Chiang Dao National Park - อุทยานแห่งชาติผาแดง
Pha Daeng National Park, formerly known as Chiang Dao National Parkwas established in November 2000, the park covers 1,123 square km of the Doi Chiang Dao and Pha Daeng mountain areas of the Daen Lao Range, north of the Thanon Thong Chai Range, near the border with Burma. The tallest summit, Doi Chiang Dao, is 2,175 m high, another tall peak is Doi Puk Phakka at 1,794 meters.
The southern side of the mountain is believed to be one of the most accessible spots in the world to see the giant nuthatch and Hume's pheasant.
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 2,186 m (7,174 ft) make Chiang Dao an impressive area.
Chiang Dao is another great way to spend a day out and about exploring. We went to Chiang Dao for the day, visiting a number of places. Whilst we found that the usual tourist places such as the caves were probably not something we would suggest we did enjoy visiting the Chedi there which was beautiful. We climbed the 510 steps to the top, it was a relatively easy 'climb with lots of thing to see on the way up! We also found a local guide who took us on a trek into the jungle which took about 3 hours on a circular route which took us through the jungle and across a number of river crossings to a waterfall at the half way point. The trek was of medium difficulty and you definately need a sturdy stick! However, it was very enjoyable and we saw lots of things during the trek, including some beautiful rare wild orchids, coffee and tea plants (planted by local hill tribes) and a local orphanage and school.
We enjoyed our day out and were ready for a hot shower and a good nights sleep, we were glad to get back to the comforts and modern facilities of Doi Nok Strawberry Resort though to relax and unwind in a bit of luxury!
The Park is home to wildlife such as Common Muntiacus Muntjak, wild boars, red jungle fowls, porcupines, Asiatic wild dogs, foxes, pangolins, moles, squirrels, wild rabbits, flying squirrels, bats, masked palm civets, mongooses, monkeys, gibbons, tigers, goral and Great Hornbill.