The Arch of Love at Doi Pha Tang, Chiang Rai
Thinking about the top famous venues to watch the sea of fog in Chiang Rai province, definitely, the famous Doi Pha Tang is one of the lists that anyone would not deny for its fantastic beauty. And for some people even though it’s not the first time to visit the location, also lots of trending sea of fog venues rise up. Yet, the striking panoramic view and the heaven-like sea of fog at Doi Pha Tang still impress on their mind and ain’t enough to visit this beautiful place in every wintertime. While one who has never touched the charm of this place would like to proof by themselves. So, how delightful of Doi Pha Tang, let’s find the answer together with this article.
About the Place
Doi Pha Tang is another famous tourist attraction in Chiang Rai province where the place is in Po sub-district, Wiang Kaen district, Chiang Rai. The mount is approximate 1,800 meters high above the sea level as part of Luang Prabang Range which is the boundary between Thailand and Laos and about 30 km distant from Phu Chi Fa. Doi Pha Tang is renowned as one the most significant spot to watch the sunrise and sunset that welcomes lots of tourists both Thai and international. The location is the home of the ethnic minorities – Chin Haw, Hmong, and Yao who mainly live the life by agriculture in winter plants cultivation such as Chinese plum, peach, Chinese pear, apple, and tea. Also, the travelers visiting at Doi Pha Tang would get a chance to touch the rustic style of life of these hill tribe people which is such a splendid experience. From the location, besides to witness the fantastic scene when the sun greets the livings in the morning and the last light of the day when the sundown. Doi Pha Tang also provides the picturesque scene of the Mekong riverside area and the remarkable peak ‘Phu Chi Fa,’ as well. Along the way up to the top of the mountain, there are many vendor stalls and parking to service the visitors.
Furthermore, the trip to Doi Pha Tang would not be accomplished without check-in at this place which is “Pha Bong”. So-called the gate from Siam to Laos, Pha Bong is a massive gorge that is big enough for the man to get through. This striking creek is at the front of the cliff featuring the magnificent landscape of Laos and the curvy Mekong River that the tourist can spot precisely right at the gap. Especially during December – January when the Wild Himalayan Cherry and mountain-ebony are abloom making the place is more fantastic to visit and immerse yourself in its beautiful atmosphere. Pha Bong is the residence of various tribal families including Chin Haw, Hmong, and Yao, specifically Chin Haw that was part of the KMT’s soldier the 93rd Division that evacuated to reside at Doi Pha Tang.
Moreover, with the pleasant cold climate, it is the location of the temperate plants, for example, peach, Chinese Plum, apple, Chinese pear, and tea that provides a large amount of the productivity during the winter peak season of tourism. Consequently, proper income distribution within the area of Doi Pha Tang. And the tourists can take the tour at the place conveniently since the venue offers the tourist facilities including the numbers of accommodation, camping site, and restaurants, plus Doi Pha Tang welcomes to the tourists for all year round, too.
The Must-not-miss Attractions in Doi Pha Tang
1. The Scenic Point of Pha Bong, the Gate of Siam
Acceptingly, the highlight spot of Doi Pha Tang, Pha Bong is a massive cliff with a gap in the center of the rock similar to the heart-shaped gate. With this extraordinary character, it even added in the Tourism Authority of Thailand campaign to promote the tourism as “the Arch of Love” followed to the local belief. According to the story noted that this remarkable gorge is filled with the pure love power that any couple who hand in hand and walk through the gap resulting to their love would be as strong as the mountain.
2. Chinese Pavilion – Phra Phuttha Mangalanuphab Larbsuksanti – Yunnan Rock Garden
Next to Pha Bong up to the hill in about 15 meters is a venue to enshrine the critical Buddha image “Phra Phuttha Mangalanuphab Larbsuksanti and the Chinese Pavilion that the latter is the memorial statue of General Li, one of the commanders of Chinese Nationalist Party’s military in the past. Also, about 30 meters lower from this spot you will meet the exotic and fascinating landscape of Yunnan Rock Garden that are the numerous mountain-like rocks look similar to the mountains in China. The varied forms of the stones creating the magnificent landscape as another appealing spot that the tourist should not skip.
3. Chong Pha Kad Viewpoint (The Mountain Pass Viewpoint)
It is a scenic point close to the “Gate of Siam” Pha Bong. Chong Pha Kad is a mountain pass that allows the tourist to witness the fantastic panorama of both sides of Mekong River – Thai and Laotian, distinctly.
4. The Sea of Mist at The Hill 102
From Chong Pha Kad Viewpoint, if you keep walking up to the hill in about 300 meters is another exciting attraction called “The Hill 102”. The hillock nestled in Doi Pha Tang as the critical spot to watch the sea of fog, the sunset, and the sunrise beautifully. The venue is trendy for the tourists who come to visit Doi Pha Tang features the panoramic natural scenery covered with the mist.
5. The Sea of Mist at The Hill 103
Another significant hill on Doi Pha Tang that about 500 meters to the southeast from The Hill 102. At the Hill, 103 is an enormous rock as an iconic symbol of the place. Also, the hill is a great scenic point to witness the sea of mist that claimed that it is the most beautiful one than others within Doi Pha Tang with the 360 degrees view. Plus, the blossom of the Wild Himalayan Cherry in the winter in the parking area making this location even more fabulous.
6. Taste the Delicious food at Doi Pha Tang
Arriving at Doi Pha Tang, any visitors should not miss tasting the delicious local food here which is Yunnan Stewed Pork Ham and Steamed Bun. There are many shops serve this traditional special menu, and one of the famous restaurants is “Ban Din Restaurant” that located a bit further from the road to go up to Doi Pha Tang. Definitely, the recommended dish is Stewed Pork Ham with Steamed Bun – the slow cooked pork ham with the aromatic smell from the mixed Chinese herbs and spices. Also, other tasty food to fill your tummy including Fried Shitake, a delicious Shitake mushroom pop fried with dried chili and garlic, and Chinese Herbal Black Chicken Soup, for instance.
Doi Pha Tang opens for the visitors between 6.00am – 6.00pm every day.
Tracing along the path of HM King Rama IX at Pha Tang Royal Project Development Center
Besides the remarkable location to spot the sea of fog, Doi Pha Tang is even more exciting as it is home of Pha Tang Royal Project Development Center initiative of HM late King Bhumiphol or King Rama IX. The crucial abundant land serves as the research and demonstration center regarding the highland agriculture especially the temperate plants farming. Various winter vegetables and fruits are grown at this project, for example, pea, red cabbage, broccoli, radicchio, and more. Also, it is an excellent sample to show how to preserve the soil, and water property, as well as the agricultural farming, followed to the late King philosophy “the Sufficiency Economy” that is a precious and sustainable heritage the most beloved king left for his subjects. The tourist who comes to visit the Royal Project at Doi Pha Tang will be able to learn about the work of the project, plus there are many items of the productivity of Pha Tang Royal Development Center for the visitors to shop, whether the winter vegetables fresh from the farm or the handicrafts.
Therefore, Pha Tang Royal Development Center is considered as the agricultural attraction that the tourist can wander around to see the temperate vegetable farming. In particular, during the winter season around February, the tourist also spectates the exotic culture and rustic lifestyle of Hmong tribe and Yunnan people, as well. The Royal Development Center at Doi Pha Tang provides and demonstrate to any interesting ones regarding how to cultivate the winter vegetable and fruit. As well as the animal husbandry – rabbit, goat, black-boned chicken, for example. All of these are accordance with the mission of the center to promote and enhance the occupation toward the native residents which mainly is the ethnic minorities, including the offspring of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s military, Hmong, Yao, Lahu, Akha, Tai Lue, and other native race with more than 600 families.
Pha Tang Royal Development Project opens daily from 8.00am – 4.00pm.
Traveling to Doi Pha Tang
From the town of Chiang Rai, drives on the road Chiang Rai – Wiang Chai – Phaya Mengrai – Ban Ta (the road number 1233, 1173, and 1152) with about 50 km in its distance. The drives on the road number 1020 route Ban Ta – Tha Charoen more 45 km, and then on the road number 1155 (Ban Tha Charoen – Wiang Kaen – Pang Had) about 17 km and continues on Pang Had – Doi Pha Tang route about 15 km until you meet the junction. Then, drives up to the mountain about 1 km, there’s the right fork to enter the development center takes about 500 meters long. The total distance of this direction is 160 km.
There’s the bus service departs from Chiang Rai Bus Station (Old) and passages along Prasopsuk Road about 900 meters. Then, the bus will take the right fork and drives along the road number 1 and then the road number 1233 to reach Wiang Chai. And after passes, Wiang Chai Police Station drives on the road number 1173 until you arrive at Wiang Chiang Rung. And turns right to enter the road number 1326 to Phaya Menrai. Then, the bus will drive on the way number 1152 to Khun Tan intersection and make a left turn to the road number 1020 and continues on this road in about 14 km. Then turn right to enter the road number 1155 to Wing Kaen, and the tourist will get off here.
Then, the tourist shall charter the local pick-up truck service that parks in the area of the trisection to go to Wiang Kaen to get off at the Tourist Center of Doi Pha Tang. In case that anyone would like to indulge in the lovely view of the location, a few more distance of 1 – 2 km of the walk will lead you to the scenic point at Hill 103. The cost of the journey is THB50 for bus and THB300 for pick-up truck service.
Remark: The traveling cost can be changed according to the related factors and economics.