We spent the weekend riding on a motorbike in Doi Suthep – Pui National Park. It was busy – “During national holidays and weekends in the peak season traffic can gridlock and be made to flow one-way in alternate directions.” The road – Highway 1004 to Doi Suthep – Pui National Park (closed to general traffic between 20.30 and 05.00) is wide modern and bendy up to Wat Doi Suthep and then Bhuping Palace. Beyond the palace the road narrows and its condition recedes. Progress was much slower on those lanes and we were stuck in traffic jams. However it is not so bad if you are on a motorbike, it can be fun, really! You just need to remember to fill your tank with petrol, to have a jumper or so and “when on a motorbike face-masks to protect against dust are recommended.
Doi Suthep National Park is free except for Monthathan Mae Sa Waterfall where foreigners must pay 100 baht admission fee (children – 50 baht), while Thais pay 20 baht. I tried to convince an attendant in my broken Thai language that I AM a Thai, but they are not stupid! Well, it’s always worth to try.
We visited as follows:
Khun Chang Kian Highland Agriculture Centre. Entrance free. Here is their website with lots of useful information: http://chiangmaispecialist.com/baan-khun-chang-kian/
Wat Prathat Doi Suthep – Foreigners pay 30 baht, Thais go for free. No I didn’t try to be a Thai woman this time. To enter the inner sanctuary you need cover your body, but nobody really cared. Most of Wat’s visitors were dressed quite impropriately when we were there. A wonderful place. It’s a pity that surroundings are fairly littered. Anyway, it is definitely worth the climb – those 300 or something steps (cable car available for 20 baht)
Bhubing Palace -the royal winter residence where the Royal family stays during seasonal visits to the people in northern part of Thailand. The palace is also the royal guesthouse for prominent State visitors from abroad. The palace may be temporary closed during the royal visit (January-March). Visitors are required to dress appropriately. Tickets for foreigners – 40 baht. Thais – admission free. The place should be on a ‘must see’ list. It is stunning with all those cottages, mansions, water reservoir and roses. Near the water reservoir there’s a place when you can have a meal for 45 baht. A very good price for the royal snack.