Discover the Hmong Tribal Village and Sight the Siamese Sakura at “Doi Pui”
One of the famous tourist spots in Chiang Mai called “Doi Pui,” the 1,658-meter high peak above the sea level which is convenient to reach from the town. Doi Pui is part of the National Park Doi Suthep – Pui in Chiang Mai province which is the 24th National Park of Thailand. The place is high mountains towering stand along the Thanon Thong Chai Range, and also it is an important source of water to nurture the town of Chiang Mai and some part of the other district around the city. Regularly, the climate is cold and moisture from the humidity of the fog that covers the area all through the year with its average temperature between 10-12 degree Celsius.
What Interesting at Doi Pui
The summit of Doi Pui which is about 1,658 meters in its height from the sea level is the highest spot of the National Park Suthep – Pui. The pleasant climate location with the gentle breeze all year round is blanketed with the vast land of pine wood. The place is one of the perfect bird-watching spots with more than 300 species of bird, for example, Silver pheasant, Black-backed Forktail, Blue-winged Siva (Siva cyanouroptera), etc. Moreover, the significant number of birds that relocate to the place during the winter with the rare species specifically robin, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Turdus naumanni (a species of Thrush), Purple Cochoa, for instance.
And near the summit of Doi Pui is the camping ground for the tourist who would like to extend the time to indulge in the nature of this peak. The 250 pax capacity site is away from the Bhubing Palace for about 7 km along the narrow and slope road. So, for whom who may not get used to the way, we recommend you to arrive at the location by 5.00pm for safety and security.
1. The Viewpoint at Doi Pui
The viewpoint over here is extraordinary and allows you to see the city landscape by below. The small area of this viewpoint provides you with the numbers of souvenir and gift shops which are mostly the local and tribal produced goods; tea, coffee, clothes, bags, gifts, agricultural commodities, and more. However, an interesting thing is “Khao Luem Phua” (Forgot the Husband Rice), the black rice grain that grows locally in the highland with high in its nutrient. So, it would be a good idea to get it at the shop here with the friendly price than the packaged one in the supermarket.
2. The Hmong Tribal Village at Doi Pui
This mountaineer village is at Moo 11, Doi Suthep sub-district, Muaeng district, Chiang Mai with the population of 747 (according to the statistic in 2007). Most of them live their lives by trading, and some are farmers. There’s a lot of appealing sightseeing within the community for you to enjoy while you are visiting the site.
The gift shops are located around the area of the village which is both in-house production and supplies from outside. The local museum of Hmong, Flower Garden that the visitor can get the dress in the traditional costume for the photo shooting. Also, the place is surrounded by a friendly and lovely landscape which allows you to see the view of Inthanon Peak, too. The good thing is the place is convenient for the tourist to visit since the location is not far from Chiang Mai town with about an hour’s drive only. Alternatively, you can get on the pick-up truck service from Doi Suthep that is available in all seasons with THB600 – THB900 for the fee per trip.
3. Taking the Tour at Hmong Tribal Village at Doi Pui
The residents, regularly, sell lots of local goods which mostly is the souvenir and edible things. And up to the hill is the garden that whom who would like to stroll around needs to pay for the admission fee of THB20 per person. Apart from that, you would witness the village all furnished with the vibrant temperature flowers together with the cute tribal children in the traditional dress standby to welcome and take the picture with the tourist. And if that is not enough for you to tie-in to the place, the traditional costume is also available for you to rent at the entrance with the price around THB50 per unit included full set of accessories. Plus, the local stylish to help you to get the tribal dress appropriately, as well.
The highlight of this village is a small garden arranged by the dwellers and the Hmong Museum where the place to represents the Hmong’s way of life in the old days regarding how they lived the life included pound rice with a classic style pestle in a mortar and treadmill. Moreover, the appliances used in the past which mostly were made from wood, specifically the shreds of the evidence that they planted the opium with the sample of opium tree and flower that it becomes rare to see for the opium flower lately.
4. Doi Pui Flower Garden (or also called The Waterfall Garden at Doi Pui)
A lovely little garden on Doi Pui with the entrance fee of THB10 per person. The yard is covered with the variety of the winter plants such as Mexican Sunflower, Poinsettia that better known for Thai as “Christmas Tree,” Salvia, Devil’s Trumpet, etc., also a little cascade to nurture this garden.
5. The Museum of Hmong Hill Tribe
The interior of the museum modeled to the residence of the diverse hill-tribe people who reside in Doi Pui with the daily appliances and tools; Hmong, Lahu, Akha, and Lisu. And the backward of the building is a garden that plant some rare species of plant included the opium.
6. Doi Pui Happy Tea
Taste the broad array of delectable herbal tea including Stavia, Gingko, Safflower, Jiao Gu Lan (the miracle grass), and mulberry tea which are all the products from Doi Pui.
7. Cha Ka Dam (The Black Crow Tea House)
Try free for any herbal teas that make over the classic style stove that also can warm you up. And the price is so cheap which is just only THB50 per set.
8. Hmong Doi Pui Coffee
The famous coffee shop of the village that brought and applied the HM King Bhumiphol’s philosophy and the knowledge derived from the royal project to develop the coffee product of Doi Pui. The fine Arabica coffee bean that planted in the area of the National Park Doi Suthep – Pui and carefully selected, cleaned, and stored. Then, it roasted delicately to make the fresh brew coffee with the intense aroma and taste that you would love.
9. Doi Pui Research Station Office
This research station is part of the Royal Project Foundation initiative by HM King Bhumiphol (the Rama IX). The Doi Pui Research Station or so-called locally as “Suan Song Saen” means the two hundred thousand park situates on Sriwichai Road, Suthep sub-district in Muaeng district of Chaing Mai. The land covered approximately 192,000 sqm of space that allocated to be the demonstration farm of which 118,400 sqm in the estimate.
The place is so-called one of the most important chapter of Thai history since it is the location that the belated King Bhumiphol donated his private fund about THB200,000 to support the work in research and development of the highland. Also, the provision of the land for Kasetsart University in order to implement the study of the Royal Project Foundation regarding the demonstration farming and propagation of the winter plants.
10. The Siamese Sakura at Khun Chang Kien
The Siamese Sakura or known formally “Wild Himalaya Cherry Blossom” can be watched any blossom sites. However, the Siamese Sakura Blossom at Khun Chang Kien is second to none in its beauty as one of the most magnificent locations of the Siamese Sakura points in Thailand. The area is nestled inside the Khun Chang Kien Highland Agricultural Research and Training Center.
The small village where the place is home of numerous Wild Himalaya Cherry Tree that when the time has come in the winter, the leaves fall from the tree and only the lovely blooming pink flower spread over the area. However, the blossom is not present in exactly time annually followed to the climate each year. Therefore, you may need some luck to visit the place at the right time. Anyway, you can check in prior to the research center office.
The road to go to Khun Chang Kien is on the same path to reach Phra That Doi Suthep, Bhubing Palace, and Hmong Hill-Tribe Village. Ideally, if you set your trip suitably, you would be able to check-in other attractions nearby. Nonetheless, due to the duration and distance of each spot, it may be difficult to make a one-day trip, though.
Check-in attractions nearby Doi Pui Hmong Village
Well, we shall get back to the Wild Himalaya Cherry Blossom at Khun Chang Kien, won’t we? It is a good plan to start the trip in the early morning. And it is recommended to the tourist to travel by the high-performance vehicle since the road from the Hmong Hill-Tribe Village to Khun Chang Kien is pretty rough and slope, plus some part of the route is unwell and one lane drive. So that, it needs the skillful and conscious driver.
Highlight spot to take the photo
Khun Chang Kien in the morning is pretty much better atmosphere because the sun is opposite to the highlight spot to take the photo. If you come over the place in the afternoon with the light that shines directly to the object that would be difficult to snap the excellent shot. Besides, starting your trip at Khun Chang Kien in the morning offers more time for you to promenade and indulge in the picturesque scene and pleasant atmosphere along the walkway that lines down to the coffee shop that operated by the royal project research center. So, we guarantee that the place is worthwhile for the photo lover, indeed.
The café is innermost of the place which is another attractive spot of Khun Chang Kien as the site features the visitors with the fantastic panorama of Khun Chang Kien. And not far from the coffee shop is the guesthouse, though the building looks quite shabby it offers you a brilliant scenery of the blossomed Wild Himalaya Cherries spread over the ground at the entrance of the project.
For anyone who would like to maximize your experience exclusively here, staying the night at the royal project’s guesthouse would be fabbo. The accommodation at Khun Chang Kien Highland Agricultural Research and Training Center is available for the visitors, however, to make the reservation in prior is a must. For any further queries, please contact the project office at +66 53 944 053. Otherwise, for funkier, you might go with the camping style at the top of Doi Pui which offers you with the splendid panoramic view.
National Park campground
The location of the campground is farther from the Bhubing Palace, and before you reach Khun Chang Kien, it is the National Park campground. This is the fantastic venue which allows you to watch the star upon the sky and also on the ground. Yes, on the ground! Because from the location you can see the glittering spotlight and view of the city of Chiang Mai at nighttime, clearly. To make the reservation for the camping space, please visit the website http://www.dnp.go.th/parkreserve/. For more information, please contact the National Park Doi Suthep – Pui at +66 53 210 244.
The direction to go to the Hmong Hill-Tribe Village and Khun Chang Kien has other exciting tourist attractions that you should not miss if you have enough time for your trip. For example, Mae Sa Waterfall, Monphatarn Waterfall, Tad Mok Waterfall, Huay Kaew Waterfall, Wang Bua Ban, including to Chiang Mai Zoo that locates at the foot of Doi Suthep Mount, as well.
How to Get to Doi Pui
Drives along Huay Kaew Road and passes Chiang Mai University and Chiang Mai Zoo. Then, you keep driving on the same direction to go to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep which passes Khruba Sriwichai Monument, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Bhubing Palace. And about 4 km from the palace is Doi Pui.
By Public Transport:
At the front of Chiang Mai University is the hub of red pick-up truck service to get to Doi Suthep, Bhubing Palace, and Doi Pui. The charge is THB60, 100, and 150, respectively, otherwise, you also can visit all of the places.