Chiang Dao Travel Guide

Named after the mountain close by, Chiang Dao is a quiet traditional town in northern Thailand that has a small but growing tourism scene centered around the wealth of local natural resources.

The town itself provides a good look at rural northern Thai life, with its Tuesday hill tribe market and laid back vibe. Almost every visitor comes to Chiang Dao to bask in the natural beauty of the area, which is anchored by the stunning peak that dominates the area.

Hardy types can trek to the very peak of Chiang Dao for stunning panoramic views or head the other direction into Chiang Dao Cave and its 12kms of subterranean magic. There are five different caves open to the public.

Other popular outdoor activities include exploring Chiang Dao National Park by trail or on the back of an elephant. There’s also river rafting and excellent bird watching in the region, and after a hard day in the hills, local hot springs will soak away the aches.

Getting There & Away

From Chiang Mai, it’s about two hours north by road to Chiang Dao. Local buses run up there daily from Chiang Mai’s main bus terminal or you can rent a car for more flexibility. Chiang Mai is well serviced by air, train and bus from every corner of Thailand.

Things to Do

Chiang Dao Attractions

Chiang Dao Cave

The town’s most popular attraction is a massive cavern complex with five caves open to the public.

Chiang Dao mountain

Make the arduous trek straight up to the peak of the town’s iconic mountain.

Chiang Dao National Park

A decent trail network allows for easy walks into the old-growth forest where birdsong fills the air.

Tuesday hill tribe market

Every tuesday people from the local hill tribes come to town to sell their wares.