Doi Inthanon and Wachirathan Falls

On our third day in Chiang Mail in July, we took a trip to Doi Inthanon, the tallest mountain in Thailand, in the Doi Inthanon National Park about two hours drive south-west of Chiang Mai. It used to be known as Doi Luang (Big Mountain) but was renamed when King Inthawichayanon requested that his remains be buried near its summit. The shortening of his name suggests to me that even Thais think their names are sometimes too long! Two enormous chedi (stupas) were built for the king and his queen, and they are surrounded by several beautifully kept gardens that are proudly maintained by the Thai Air Force; we saw several military-uniformed gardeners tending while we were there.

At the peak was a marker proclaiming the mountain’s 2565 metres above sea level, as well as a small shrine in a refreshingly cool copse that reminded me how much comfort we lose when we remove all the trees from our environment. On the other hand, it was teeming with insects that constantly threatened to bite.

Doi Inthanon has several memorable waterfalls: we stopped at Wachirathan on the way up and Mae Klang on the way down. Wachirathan was extremely windy on the day we visited, so you can contrast the wild spray and general messiness in my photos with this beautifully sunny and serene scene.

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