The highest mountain of Thailand has been famous in the whole country since the years 1960s. In that time, poppy fields were widespread here and there in the mountains of Northern Thailand, and hill tribe villagers were working constrained by opium smugglers.
King Bhumibol (Rama IX) put an end to this situation and initiated drastic reforms in the whole North. It was the beginning of the ‘Royal Projects’. These ‘triangular’ projects were highly profitable to the whole region and to the little ethnic communities who were literally slaves of the drug barons and addicted to opium. Nowadays, Doi Inthanon is a huge and superb national park featuring the highest mountain of Thailand. One can see lush green valleys, terrace paddy fields, mountains, forests sheltering wild orchids and several ethnic communities living prosperous, free and happy in their natural environment.
The Doi Inthanon Royal Project is located in Khun Klang village, Huay Luang subdistrict, Chom Thong district, Chiang Mai province. To get there, tourists can follow the similar route to Doi Inthanon until you reach KM 31 on Highway No. 1009. Then make a right turn to enter a 1-kilometer-long gravel road which leads you to the Doi Inthanon Royal Project. Due to the road condition, it is important to have a highly experienced driver and make sure that your car is in a good condition.
The Doi Inthanon Royal Project has been initiated in February 2009 under the royal command of His Majesty the King Bhumipol (Rama IX) to educate hill tribe people in terms of farming and land allocation. They have been encouraged to cultivate cash crops instead of opium, which is illegal, making their living condition improve significantly. In addition, Supports regarding agricultural careers has been given to Karen and Hmong tribal people in the community. Main agricultural products of this Royal Project are several kinds of cold-climate vegetables and fruits.
The Doi Inthanon Royal Project is one of the charming attractions in Chiang Mai. Tourists can visit temperate-climate plants and flower garden at Ban Khun Klang, highland trout fishery, plant breeding and multiplication labs, rice terraces, coffee plantation, strawberry orchard at Ban Mae Klang Luang, etc. Moreover, there are natural observation and trekking trails, for example Doi Hua Sua route, and Ban Mae Klang Luang – Pha Dok Siew waterfall route. Tourists can admire the beauty of Siri Phum waterfall, Wachiratarn waterfall, as well as flower beds at the entrance of the Doi Inthanon Royal Project.
The Doi Inthanon Royal Project provides a small number of accommodations and facilities, including residence houses. However, visitors may choose to home stay at one of the four options, namely Ban Ang Ka Noi, Ban Pha Hmon, Ban Mae Klang Luang, and Ban Khun Klang.