Doi Inthanon Weather and Attractions
What's the Weather Like on Doi Inthanon Today?
If you are planning a trip to the National Park region it is wise to check what the Doi Inthanon weather forecast is.
Below you can also see what the weather forecast is like further down the mountain at Suan Sook Homestay. It is often an interesting comparison.
Scroll down below the forecasts for more information about Doi Inthanon weather, waterfalls, walkways and more.
What’s the weather like at Suan Sook Homestay?
What’s the weather like in Chiang Mai?
Doi Inthanon Attractions and Things To Do
Suan Sook Homestay is located at the foot of Doi Inthanon (aka Doi Luang) is the tallest mountain in Thailand. The mountain rises 2565 meters above sea level and Doi Inthanon weather is cooler than most of Thailand. It is located in the Chiang Mai Province in the northern part of the country. Doi Luang translates to ‘the huge mountain’ in the northern Thai dialect.
You can reach the base of the mountain in a little over one hour’s drive from Chiang Mai. Even at the lower altitudes, you will notice the Doi Inthanon weather is different.
From the lower slopes, it is still a good hour or more drive, depending on how confident you are on the tight, steep road. As you climb you will notice the temperature dropping, no matter what the season.
Doi Inthanon Weather Seasons
The coldest months in Thailand and certainly on the mountain are November through until the end of February. These are also the driest months. In this winter season the average temperature is 6 °C (43 °F) in January and temperatures can sometimes drop below 0 °C (32 °F).
Doi Inthanon Snow?
Sometimes we’ve heard rumors of Doi Inthanon snow, but never met anyone who has experienced snow on the mountain. Sometimes Doi Inthanon weather can have hail and sleet. Snow needs more than below-freezing temperatures, including low-altitude clouds and other climate factors not found in Thailand. Hail begins as a frozen raindrop or ice crystal. Strong updrafts of warm air and downdrafts of cool air, which are common weather patterns on Doi Inthanon, move the frozen particle through different levels of the storm cloud. The hailstone encounters more moisture as it moves and layers stick to its surface. Eventually, the hailstone becomes too heavy for the updrafts to support it and it falls to the ground.
The month of March transitions into the hot, dry season where the Doi Inthanon weather temperatures rise noticeably. During this time of year when the weather everywhere is so hot, many of the trees will lose their leaves. The forest becomes brown and dry and fires can often be seen burning on the slopes at night.
The rainy season starts normally near the end of May and eases off during October, but this can vary from year to year. November is typically the start of the dry season. As the rains come to the mountain slopes the color comes back to the forest. It is surprising how quickly it all turns green and lush again.
Weather on or near to Doi Inthanon is noticeably different than in Chiang Mai. Even during the short time we have been here we have enjoyed the differences, mostly.
Almost every day we experience a breeze. Sometimes very gentle and hardly noticeable, but enough to stir the air. Other times it is stronger and cooler and most pleasant. During May we experienced some short but fierce gails. We were releaved the roof stayed on our house. Twice longan trees in our neighbor’s property were destroyed by the strong winds. The trucks of these twenty year old trees were snapped in two.
Whatever season you choose to visit the majestic mountain I am sure you will enjoy it and appreciate the Doi Inthanon weather. Just come prepared.
Doi Inthanon Tourist Attractions
The main attractions of Doi Inthanon National Park, easily reached from Suan Sook Homestay:
- The summit
- walking trails
- The royal stupas
- The Royal Project gardens
While on the mountain you may also want to tour some of the awesome waterfalls.
Between the end of October and the beginning of May, the weather is very dry with no rain or very little. The waterfalls are more spectacular during the rest of the year.
The Wachirathan Waterfall.
Wachiratan Waterfall is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the Park and very popular. You may have to jostle a little to get space for the best angles to take photos. Remember to always smile and be polite. There’s often a lot of spray coming off the falls so be careful with your phone and camera.
Mae Klang Waterfall.
The first waterfall on the main road into the national park. This waterfall is much smaller and less popular than the Wachirathan falls. It was surrounded by beautiful trees and it looks pretty with the sun cascading on the flowing water. When the weather is good and the location of the sun is right, this is a very beautiful location.
Mae Pan Waterfall
The Mae Pan waterfall is around 100 meters high and the highest single tier falls in Doi Inthanon National Park. It is situated at the end of 2 km dirt road from Mae Chaem Road. Due to its remote location it is not visited by many tourists so is ideal if you like to get away from the crowds. The trail to the waterfall can be very slippery, but worth the effort to get there. Apart from the waterfall there is a shorter loop trail that can be hiked in less than 2 hours. This is best when the weather is good and it is not raining.
There is a campsite in Mae Pan area, but there are no tents available for rent also no restaurants nearby.
Mae Ya Waterfall.
A waterfall cascades over several tiers a drop of about 250 meters. The main tier that you will see once you get there is a 40 to 50 meters high. This nearly 100 meters wide tier has quite an impressive view.
At times the Mae Ya waterfall, which is right at the base of the mountain, will be closed. When the weather is bad and there’s been a lot of rain, because of it’s at a lower altitude and in a deep valley, flash floods can occur.
The best time to visit the falls is during the rainy season between May to November.
Kiew Mae Pan Nature Trail
This trail starts from the carpark a few hundred meters up from the twin chedis. The trail is 2.5km and you must be accompanied by a Hmong hill tribe guide. It costs 200 THB to hire a guide, there are always a few of them waiting at the trailhead on the main road.
The hike is moderate to walk, clear and well maintained. Part of the trail is along a mountain ridge with a beautiful view over the west when the Doi Inthanon weather is clear.
This trail is closed from June 1st until November 1st annually.
The Royal Chedis:
As you drive up Doi Inthanon, it is easy to spot the dual giant stupas. These remarkable pieces of architecture were constructed to observe the anniversaries of the royal family. The stupas offer remarkable views of the surrounding landscape and are a vantage point for photographic moments. Nature and landscape photographers especially, enjoy this panoramic view.
Rainy season weather patterns on Doi Inthanon can produce stunning cloud formations which can make for great sunset photographs.
The Summit and Ang Ka Luang Nature Trail:
There isn’t a whole lot to see at the summit. You will find some interesting wooded trails that take you to a shrine that holds the ashes of King Inthanon. It’s just a short walk from the parking lot to the sign.
The best thing to do at the summit is to cross the road and take the path down to the Ang Ka Luang Nature Trail.
This is a boardwalk nature trail through the tropical jungle. The way down is quite steep and you will forget about the journey back up soon enough. The forest is dense and lush all year round no matter what the weather or season. We highly recommended this trail. Take your time and take plenty of photographs.
The Royal Agricultural Station Inthanon
This project was initiated by King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1979. It’objective was to solve the problems of deforestation, poverty and opium production. The local hill tribes were taught to cultivate cash crops instead of growing opium. Providing them with training in modern agricultural techniques as well as with all the necessary tools and equipment.
Today the agricultural station is home to:
- temperate-climate plants
- beautiful flower gardens
- a highland trout fishery
- plant breeding and multiplication labs
- rice terraces
- coffee plantations
- a strawberry farm
All of which are open to the public who are encouraged to come and learn about the station’s important and life-changing work.
It is a wonderful place to take photos with an incredible variety of flowering plants and food cultivation. It is also the best place to stop for lunch on the mountain.
If you are in Doi Inthanon National Park and the weather turns, the Royal Project is a good place to head. Here you can seek shelter and enjoy the greenhouse gardens or take a break for lunch or a coffee.
Popular With Local and International Visitors
Doi Inthanon is popular with both local and international tourists. Many of them choose to visit the peak of the mountain every New Year. If you choose to visit the region at this time, keep in mind it will be busy at peak of the tourist season. This is when Doi Inthanon weather is the coolest, so make sure to bring enough warm clothing.
Doi Inthanon National Park is best reached by car or tour, as the road up to the mountain is very hilly and windy. From Suan Sook Homestay we are able to arrange a tour service up the mountain.
Many younger people will rent scooters in Chiang Mai and ride the road up the mountain. I have often seen them weighed down with packs on their backs. This cannot be much fun and would be extremely tiring. A tired rider is not always a safe rider and can easily get into difficulties. Doi Inthanon weather can at times produce very strong winds which could be challenging even for experienced riders.
Doi Inthanon is also extremely popular with riders of bigger bikes. Sometimes traveling alone or in groups, the ride is always rewarding on a larger bike as they are built to handle the steep roads better than scooters.
However, you choose to travel Doi Inthanon you must consider stopping at least one night at Suan Sook Homestay. Come and check in on your way up the mountain. If you are riding or driving you can leave your luggage here and lighten your load. We can even have a delicious meal and a cold beer or two ready for you when you return if you let us know in the morning.
If you are riding in the Doi Inthanon please consider booking a room to stay with us at Suan Sook Homestay.