Phu Chi Fa – Chiang Rai’s Best Kept Secret
August 31, 2018
Blue Temple - Wat Rong Suea Ten - Chiang Rai
Blue Temple – Wat Rong Suea Ten – Chiang Rai
September 13, 2018

Doi Ang Khang in Fang district (Chiang Mai), is a rugged and mountainous frontier which forms part of the Thailand Burma border. Largely unknown to foreign tourists but hugely popular with Thai tourists, sitting at one of the most remote corners of Northern Thailand you’ll get the feeling you’re at the edge of the world.

This cluster of peaks and valleys is also home to colourful hill tribe groups such as the Palong, Lahu, Lisu and Hmong who settled here hundreds of years ago. These hill tribe settlements offer a rare glimpse into traditional ways of hill tribe life. Many of the villagers here still wear traditional costumes, and live in traditional bamboo stilt houses. Most of them are farmers, cultivating crops for themselves or working for the nearby Royal Agricultural project (more below)

Doi Ang Khang Mountain Range

Doi Ang Khang Mountain Range


There’s also a Thai military base situated on a mountain ridge at the edge of the Thailand/Burma border. It’s open to visitors, with a look-out point from where you can see no-mans-land and the Burmese flag waving from the Burmese military point on the other side.

Doi Angkhang Royal Project

The main attraction here is the Royal Agricultural Station. A project started by the royal family in 1969, to wean the hill tribes off growing opium to more productive crops (such as strawberries and cabbage).  It’s presence also served to appease tensions in the border area, between the Kuomintang and Shan Army.
The grounds are vast, with paved trails and signs, where you can walk around it’s beautifully manicured gardens. They have rose gardens, bonsai gardens, fruit orchards, and a whole host of other exotic and colourful botany on display. Then there are the green houses where the serious cultivation stuff goes on, growing organic crops normally found in colder climes such as strawberries, rhubarbs and persimmons.

The Royal Agricultural Station Angkhang: Ban Khum; T: (053) 450 107-9; F: (053) 450 106; ; open daily 09:00-17:00.

Ban Khop Dong Village

Is a small traditional Black Lahu village, where families still live in traditional stilt bamboo houses. They work on the surrounding farmland cultivating crops such as rice and corn. Some of the villagers (mostly the elders) still wear traditional dress. They also make colorful handwoven bracelets out of straw reeds and can be seen selling them to visitors – an important source of supplemental income for them.

Ban Khop Dong Village in Doi Ang Khang

Ban Khop Dong Village in Doi Ang Khang


Ban Nor Lae Village

A Palong (Palaung) village, where many of the female villagers can be seen wearing bright red sarongs of their traditional costume. The Palong tribe are the most recent hill tribe group to settle in northern Thailand. Migrating from Burma to escape ethnic conflict or in search of a better life, over the last 50 years or so. The traditional Palong dress is characterised by the large black or silver belts they worn around their waists to protect them from bad spirits.

Palong Hill Tribe Doi Ang Khang

Palong Hill Tribe Doi Ang Khang


Doi Ang khang Accommodation

The small town of Doi Ang Khang, nestled in the mountains near to the Doi Angkhang Royal Project is a hamlet of small shops, guesthouses and restaurants that mainly caters for visitors to the area.  It’s bustling with Thai tourists during the peak season months (November -February) and then very quiet throughout the rest of the year. Most of the accommodation available here is local 2 star guesthouses. Which means a simple room with Thai style bedding (on the hard side). Our favourite guesthouse to stay in is Baan Suan Doi Angkhang, located on well-kept grounds, they have clean simple ensuite rooms and good service. Unfortunately there’s no website for this and they don’t have English speaking staff.

Baan Suan Resort Doi Angkhang

Baan Suan Resort Doi Angkhang

Then there’s Doi Angkhang Nature resort – the most upscale accommodation in the area, at around 3 star quality. Apart from this, there’s not much in between.
If you plan to visit during peak season, be sure to book accommodation in advance as most places become booked up. Not many of the local guesthouses here have a website or English speaking staff, so booking as a foreigner can be challenging. Doi Angkhang Nature resort however can be booked online at

Doi Angkhang Weather

At around 1,928m above sea level, the weather up in Doi Ang khang mountain is considerably cooler than the rest of sub-tropical Thailand. During winter months (November – February) the daytime temperatures hover around 28 celcius, and at night can drop to below 10 celcius. The cooler climate and crisp  mountain air, make Doi Ang khang a popular retreat for Thai tourists who flock from Bangkok and the south.

Chiang Mai to Doi Ang khang

Doi Ang khang is located approximately 170km from Chiang Mai, and it takes approximately 3 hours drive (non stop) to reach there. So it’s best done as an overnight trip from Chiang Mai. This way, you’ll get to experience the full beauty of this mighty mountain range. From the foothills of Doi Angkhang mountain to the top, its a steep and windy drive up. So it’s best travelled to with an experienced local driver, who’s familiar with the road and driving conditions. The views on the way though are wonderful, you’ll see the jagged peaks of the mountain top, peaking above a sea of fog

Doi Ang khang Tour

If you’re looking for a tour of Doi Angkhang or wish to hire a car and driver to take you there, contact us for more details

Doi Ang khang Map


  • Due to the lower temperatures in Doi Ang Khang, bring warm clothing. If you visit during the peak winter months, there’ll be vendors selling hats and scarves for tourists.

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