Khun Khan National Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Khun Khan National Park has a total area about 397 square kilometers, covering the area of Samoeng District and Mae Chaem District. It has mountainous terrain with the height from 500 to 1708 meters above sea level and the highest peak is Doi Pung Kia. It also has a lot of biodiversity with different types of forest including dry dipterous forest, mixed deciduous forest, pine forest and hill evergreen forest. The sources of the region’s major rivers such as the Samoeng River, the Mae Chaem River, the Khan River and the Omlong River are also found in the area of the national park. With its bio diverse forest, the national park has a number of natural tourist attractions, for example, Mae Na Poe Waterfall, Huai Tad Waterfall, Huai Hom Waterfall, Omlong Waterfall, etc. Moreover, in front of the national park’s office are small warm springs with water temperature of approximately 38 degrees Celsius. For those who like caves, do not forget to visit Mae Sap Cave, a two-level cavern with the length of 150 meters. It has clusters of exquisite stalactites and stalagmites and walls decorated with natural patterns that are worth taking photos with. In addition, it is the natural habitat of hundreds of bats. Furthermore, since formerly the cave used to be a small Buddhist temple, a statue of a walking monk is hosted on its upper level. Although the cave is still not widely known, it is actually a very accessible spot and is considered one of the national park’s major tourist attractions explorers should not miss. Additionally, rental torches and portable batteries are available to visitors.
Moreover, along the Mae Rim-Samoeng route are several resorts beautifully decorated with flower gardens, for example, Mae Sa Valley Garden Resort, Kangsadan Resort and Waterfall, Chiang Mai Resort, Erawan Resort, Pong Yaeng Ang Doi Garden Village, Tontong Country Home, etc. They are open to public and some also offer interesting activities. For instance, the Mae Sa Valley Garden Resort offers a traditional parasol making demonstration.
To get to the national park from the city of Chiang Mai, there are two routes to take. For the first one, drive along the Chiang Mai-Mae Rim highway no. 107 and then follow the highway no. 1096 until you reach Samoeng District. For the other, take the Chiangmai-Hang Dong highway no. 108 and then follow the highway no. 1269 as far as Samoeng District. From Samoeng District, take the Samoeng-Ban Wat Chan road. Deciduous forest is found along the route with leaves turning yellow, orange and red from February to March making it such a scenic road.