Chiang Dao is a little village about 70 km north of Chiang Mai, just about the perfect distance for a short break from Chiang Mai! It’s located at the foot of Doi Chiang Dao, and I’ve heard it talked about as lush, green hideaway that’s ideal for relaxing. It’s so close to us we figured it could become a place to take visitors, so best we try it out then!
We went with my aunt and uncle and also took the dog, making this our first trip in Thailand with the woofer and our first time to Chiang Dao. We travelled by taxi which took about one and half hours and cost 1600 baht. This obviously cost much more than the public bus would have, however I’m pretty sure dogs are not allowed on them, hence the taxi! To get to Chiang Dao, you can take a public bus from Chiang Mai to Thaton leaving from Chang Phuak bus station for 40 baht. Orange songthaews also run from Chang Phuak too for 40 baht.
The main attractions are touted as a cave and Wat Tham Pha Plong which is a temple set into the mountainside. I’ve also heard there is a festival in February, Shambhala in your heart, however as we had planned our trip before we knew the dates we could not join in! I’ll write more about what to do in Chiang Dao later one….
Chiang Dao is located on highway 107, which is the road which heads North out of the centre of the north side of Chiang Mai old city. Just drive north and 90 minutes later you will see a sign pointing right to Chaing Dao village. The main village is a dusty little road lined with a few guesthouses, shops and restaurants. There’s a range of accommodation available, and we went for simple, natural bamboo huts, not the main village but instead on the road that leads to the cave. For recommendations take a peek at travelfish.
We stayed at Chiang Dao huts who have a about 12 nice bamboo huts scattered through their gardens. We opted for standard huts which have a double bed and shared bathroom. Inside our cosy hut there was just about enough room for our bag and the dog bed! The shared toilets and showers were clean and well kept, the whole place feels like you’re staying in your Thai grandmas’ garden, with hammocks and quirky wooden seating sprinkled through the grounds. They also have huts with private bathrooms as well as two bedrooms, but these were booked out! They have a facebook page and website, however for the best details on room types or booking, they direct you to Agoda.
Breakfast wasn’t included in our rate, however Chiang Dao Huts was located on a road with about 5 other guesthouses who all offer a breakfast menu (see the little map above). This way you can choose where you want to eat which suited us fine! The Wifi provided had good signal and was fast, their reception can organise taxis, songthaews and tours on request. We paid about 1500 baht for 2 huts for 2 nights. Posher huts are available, however having had a wander into other guest houses we were pleased with our choice. Lots of character and foresty cuteness and a bargain to boot! You can see the garden and mountain view below. I’ve gone on a bit in this post and really must stop, so there will be more about eating out and what to do in Chiang Dao next time!