National Parks in the North

Aob Luang National Park

The Mae Chan river was originally called the "Salak hin". The river created a big but narrow canyon, which is called Ob Luang. Strong river current transformed rocks and cliffs into canyons and strangely shaped rock formations. The water force it's way past rocks and boulders and thus creating a magnificent sight.

From 1966 to 1991 the park was administered as a forest part. After more surveys by the Royal Forestry Department it was gazetted, in 1991, as the 68th national park of Thailand. The area consists of a wide variety of natural attractions such as waterfalls, caves, hot springs; and historical sites. At present the total park area is 553 square kilometers and is located in Chomthong, Hod and Mae Chaem districts of Chiang Mai province.

Topography and climate
The extensive north-south running mountain range of the park is the same range which contains Doi Inthanon (the highest mountain of Thailand). The park receives monsoon climate.

Highlights and tourist attractions
  • Ob Luang gorge or canyon: It is a steep sided canyon with high cliffs. The height of the canyon walls measured from the bridge to the average waterlevel is about 32 meters. The narrowest point of the canyon is not more than 2 meters wide while the whole canyon is about 300 meters in length.
  • Mae Bau Kham waterfall: It originates from the Mae Bua Kham stream and is located 2 km south of Ob Luang Canyon. The water thunders down 50 meters over the rockwall.
  • Mae Chon waterfall: The fall originates from Mae Chon stream. It is a 80 meters wide fall with a fascinating sight. The cliffs and rocks of the fall, composed of granite and grey-white colored metamorphic rock, make it a popular spot for picnic goers.
  • Mae Teeya waterfall: It originates from the Mae Teeya stream. It takes an 8 km (from the nearest highway) walk to this beautiful, 80 meters high waterfall.
  • Prehistorical community area: It is located near Ob Luang Canyon. Since 1984 Archeology division of Fine Art Department with France cooperation have been doing a research on Chronology and Evolution of Prehistoric Cultures of Northern Central Thailand and their Anthropological Characteristics.
  • Doi Pha Chang: It resembles a lying elephant. Doi Pha Chang viewpoint gives you a view of Mae Bua Kham waterfall below. On the cilff there are rock painting representing an elephant (Chang) in different colors.
  • Paintings of hunting parties and agricultural activities: These paintings indicate that in the area of Ob Luang, people have lived since the stone age. Carbon test shows that the findings are about 7,500 - 8,500 years old.
  • Thep Phanom hot spring: The water in the earthcrust is heated by the thermal energy of the earth, and is released at the surface. The average temperature of the water is 99ºC.
  • Tong cave: It is found in Doi Pha Liab granite and limestone mountain. The Mae Pae stream acts as a dividing line between these two long tunnels. It is said that these tunnels are leading to Doi Chiang Dao mountain in the north of Chiang Mai province. The tunnel entrance is small but entering it is possible.
How to get there
Traveling from Chiang Mai, take the road number 108 to the town of Hod. At Hod take the Hod - Mae Sariang road. After 17 km you will reach the park's headquarters. Total distance from Chiang Mai is 105 km.

Accmmodations and facilities
Ob Luang national park has a camping area with some tents available for rent.
The park offers two bungalow rooms at the headquarters area, and one at the ranger station (4) - Thep Phanom Hot Spring which is about 14 km from the headquarters.

Contact address
Ob Luang National Park
Tambol Hang Dong, Hod district,
Chiang Mai Province 50240
Phone: 081 602 1290, 053-315 302

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