Top 10 top secret attractions around Chiang Mai


Senior member
Jan 11, 2011
Chiang Mai, Thailand
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Rider's looking for some ride ideas around Chiang Mai should love this.

This was a presentation given at the Expats Club in Chiang Mai last weekend by Andrew Bond & he's now written it up. He's given permission to share from his website.

Below, is all of them plotted on one map

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So here we go (i've plotted them on a map to give an idea of where they are):

Wat Prathat Doi Kham and Suan Ka fe/ Ban Suan Coffee

Around the back of Night Safari/ Royal Flora Gardens, huge Buddha & great coffee shop

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Dara Rasmi Museum and temple

In Mae Rim, west of R 107, just inside the R 1096/ Samoeng Loop Rd, was once a home to one of a companion to one of the ancient Kings of Siam.

Also in the same area:

Wat Phra Phuttabat Si Loi

Said to have footprints from Lord Buddha himself!

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Sukantara Resort and Mon Cham

3,000 - 9,000 Bht a night - supposed to be an excellent place for lunch, with waterfalls by your table. In the Mon Chan strawberry area, which has become immensely popular with the Thai's.

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Mok Fa Waterfall (R 1095) to Mae Rim easy trail

Beautiful, easy, trail back towards Chiang Mai (in brown on the map below):

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Tweechol gardens

A super secret one On R 118 on the way to Doi Saket
The botanical garden was begun with the dream of its being a place to study the old way of life of the Lanna people, Lanna culture. One of its most interesting features is Centre point which has four domes displaying orchids, wild orchids, bromeliads, fern , anthurium, philodendron, cacti and succulents. The manmade water fall and tropical plants rely on a humid ecosystem. There are many other areas of the botanic garden to enjoy, from the palm garden with over 107 varieties of palm trees from around the world to the topiaries, expertly crafted into countless animal shapes such as dinosaurs, rhinosaurs, giraffe, camels, king kong, birds. The numerous lakes gives the visitors a felling of space, with even pedal boats provided to explore further.
Moreover, this botanic garden even has its own petting zoo as well as rice paddy fields, organic farm, a riding arena and camping facilities. When guests have enjoyed all this, there is even a museum or collection house to visit on the site. The museum, let us call the private collection house, is separated into five different rooms ; Princess Dara Rassameee room with photographs of the Lanna Princess who married to the King Rama v and some beautiful silverware and lacquerware, the second room Chai Harn room collect of the military medals and ranking badges from Lanna history, a room paying tribute to H.M. King Bhumibol the Great, which also has ancient swords and spears on show, the third room is the Buddha room display items collected from ancient temples and the forth room is built on the granary and features displays showing the wealth of the earth and natures, the final one or the fifth room is Srisakdi room, Ms.Srisakdi is the elder sister of Mr.Tweesackdi, displays old bowls and her utensils from many places in Asia.

TWEECHOL BOTANIC GARDEN AND RESORT Chiang Mai Tropical plants, orchids, palm trees, flowering bushes, zoo, organic farm, museum, hotel


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Huai Hong Krai conservation centre

Huay Hong Krai is a huge piece of forest land set aside by the government at the request of His Majesty the King. The area is used as a watershed station which provides water all-year round to Doi Saket Dam, one of the largest dams in the area, as well as hundreds of farms in the surrounding areas. The area consists of mostly deciduous trees with some pine interspersed. The center also runs a few experimental farms and breeding stations for fish, cattle and wildlife, all for the benefit of the local communities dotted throughout the area, most of which rely on agriculture as their sole form of income.

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Dara Rasmi Museum and temple

In Mae Rim, west of R 107, just inside the R 1096/ Samoeng Loop Rd, was once a home to one of a companion to one of the ancient Kings of Siam.

Also in the same area:

Wat Phra Phuttabat Si Loi

Said to have footprints from Lord Buddha himself!

View attachment 30154

Wat Dara Rasmi is certainly worthwhile to have a look at - my trip report on this temple is here:

Still have to go to the Dara Rasmi museum which is just on the other side of the irrigation canal if I am not mistaken and is called the Dara Phirom Palace - see also Daraphirom Palace Museum Chiang Mai.
Wiang Tha Kan

South of Hang Dong, a mini Sukothai that's been kept secret

From The Bangkok Post:

Wiang Tha Kan is an ancient city dating back to around the 10th century, before the rise of King Mengrai. During excavations of this site, sandstone and earthen Buddha images including earthen amulets, brown jars with bones and Chinese porcelain from the Yuan Dynasty (1280-1368) were found in the area of Tha Kan village. The best preserved of the ruins are the pagoda and the foundations of the viharn, constructed from bricks and laterite.


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Wiang Tha Kan | Bangkok Post: Wiang Tha Kan
Wat Luang Mae Win

At the top of the "death valley trail", the easy way to it is from Samoeng and head south on easy graded dirt


That's it - Some really interesting stuff to go explore there for sure, especially if you like taking photo's.
Lets hope some of the folks at the coffee morning take the initiative to get out more. The list as many here know, has merely scratched the surface.

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