Doi Angkhang Nature Resort
'A Beautiful Mountain Retreat'

The Doi Angkhang Nature Resort is a beautiful mountain retreat for all nature lovers to visit.  Located within the Ban Fang district, this popular attraction which also incorporates a research station is only 160 kilometres from Chiang Mai city within northern Thailand.

Forming a natural border between Thailand and Myanmar, the Angkhang mountains rise to an elevation of around 1,400 metres above sea level thus providing breathtaking views of Burma from it's summit. This is a very mountainous area that includes steep valleys that are vegetated predominantly with pine forests and open grasslands.

One of the reasons the Doi Angkhang Nature Resort is so popular for nature lovers is the daytime temperatures are quite cool by Thailand standards (approximately 27 degrees during summer and winter), although night time temperatures have been known to drop below freezing.  Hence, if you plan on staying overnight make sure you pack some warm clothing. 

ACTIVITIES AT DOI ANGKHANG

Walking, mule riding, hiking, birdwatching, and mountain bike riding are all popular activities that are done within this nature resort.  But cyclists beware, while the views on offer within the Angkhrang mountains are fantastic, the sealed roads and dirt tracks can be quite steep and challenging so if you are after a leisurely ride, you may be disappointed. 

However, there are also three hill tribe villages located within the Angkhrang mountains and many tourists enjoy visiting these villages and sampling some of their unique culture.  They include the Nor Lae village, the Khob Dong village and the Ban Luang village.  Many of these people migrated from China during WW2.

One of the popular walking trails is the 2 kilometre Nature Study Trek that incorporates several small waterfalls and beautiful Rhododendron shrubs. There are a number of beautiful flower gardens (including an amazing rose garden and bonsai garden) to view and accommodation is also available in the form of bungalows for those people who wish to stay here overnight.  This area also provides one of the best birdwatching vantage points in the Chiang Mai region, and is home to at least 250 bird species including the Mountain Bamboo Partridge, Common Buzzard, Maroon Woodpecker, Blue-winged Minia, and Crested Finchbill.

ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

The Angkhang Nature Resort accommodation is managed by the Amari Hotels and Resorts group and there are at least 72 guestrooms along with a restaurant, a large conference hall and a lobby bar. Services including Thai massage and internet are also available for guests and  at least 50% of the staff employed here are said to be from the local hill tribes.  

However, also located within the Doi Angkhang Nature Resort and established back in 1969 under the direction of King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the Royal Angkhang Research Station. This research station was set up as a botanical research facility and has become a site for the planting and monitoring of a variety of plants, shrubs, trees, flowers and vegetables.  The tea plantation in particular is a popular site for tourists to visit.

A primary focus of this project was to assist the ethnic minority hill tribes (that reside in villages near this facility) to produce cash crops to supplement their income, thus providing them with an alternative to growing illegal crops such as opium.

THE RESULTS

The research station employs a number of organic methods to grow fruit such as strawberries, peaches, pears, apples, raspberries and plumbs, and vegetables including asparagus and beans, all with great success.  There is also a restaurant located at the research station called the Angkhang Club which serves a good selection of tasty Thai cuisine along with dishes produced by the hill tribes which include braised pork with a fried Chinese bun and curry noodles.

GETTING THERE

As there is no public transport to this destination the best way to travel  to the Doi Angkhang Nature Resort is by either taking a bus tour or hiring a driver within Chiang Mai city.  The journey takes around 2-3 hours.

The best way to travel to Chiang Mai province is by plane, bus, or train. A number of domestic airlines including Nok Air and Thai Airways have daily flights to Chiang Mai's International Airport departing from Bangkok. Flight time is approximately 1 hour.

Air-conditioned buses depart daily from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (at Mo Chit on Kamphaengphet 2 Road) and the journey takes approximately 11 hours.

Trains to Chiang Mai depart from Bangkok's Hualamphong Station daily with the journey taking approximately 12 hours.

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