Hi! We are Meg & Moose – a couple from the UK traveling the world. In this blog, we will be talking about our experiences at Doi Inthanon National Park. This stunning destination is located in the north of Thailand, not too far from Chiang Mai. Before we get started, let us introduce ourselves.
Moose is from the borders of Scotland – a small area where not many people travel to. Meg grew up in Brighton, in the south of England, and was privileged to go on family holidays in Europe – which she just loved. We met at 17 while working and since have done everything as expected: learnt to drive and got a car, moved out and bought a flat, worked 9-5 jobs, etc.
After this, we realized we wanted to see other cultures outside of our inner bubble. So in 2020 we decided to start saving for a big trip and thought it would be for 2023. But in April, 2022 we said: “why not this year”? We booked a flight to Bangkok for October. Thus far we have visited Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and now Bali, and have loved every part!
The reason we chose Thailand was because people said it was a good gateway into the backpacking life and that Thai people are incredibly kind – which is true! It was also where we hoped to see the diversity between cities and islands. We were in Thailand for 33 days and visited Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, Koh Phi Phi, Chiang Mai, Pai and Chiang Rai.
Our Experience at Doi Inthanon National Park
Our experience at Doi Inthanon began nervously, as we were worried the elephants wouldn’t be cared for properly. Luckily, the elephants roamed freely which was what we were promised. At the start of the day we did bamboo rafting. We didn’t expect to do this as part of our tour but it was a lot of fun! The trekking through the park was outstanding as well. It felt like we were deep in the jungle alongside spectacular scenery and wildlife.
The entire trip was something we will always remember and would recommend to anyone! Apart from the elephants, seeing multiple waterfalls was a highlight for sure. But the main memory that sticks with us now was when we arrived at the camp after a tiring trek. Moments later we had an elephant walk past us within a meter’s distance.
At this point, we realized how lucky we were to have this opportunity. One of the men who worked with the elephants explained to us that he was the 4th generation to do so. He showed us how the mother of a baby elephant trusted him, and only him, with her baby. The gentleman demonstrated that if he were to lay down/get hurt in any way, the mother and baby would stand over him to protect him. He was family to the elephants.
Staying in a Camp at Doi Inthanon National Park
The accommodation we stayed in was part of the tour and turned out to be a camp in the middle of Doi Inthanon. The camp had no electricity, running water or toilet. We were expecting something like this but it was still shocking to us! The beds were a thin mattress on a raised bamboo platform with hanging mosquito nets. The roof was thatched out of leaves.
The tour guide cooked for us over a gas hob and the food was phenomenal. They also had water bottles and beer to purchase for a minimal amount. Us, and the 7 others we did this tour with, booked through a travel agent in Bangkok. Although there were no issues, I would assume it would be easier and less worrying to book through someone more local to the park.
What You Need to Know Before You Go
If you are considering doing an overnight trip in Doi Inthanon we highly recommend taking more layers than you think – it gets extremely cold in the evenings. Also pack sensibly, as you will be carrying all your belongings for a few hours both days (reminder to wear comfortable shoes). Include: water, a portable charger, a torch, hand sanitizer and wipes. If you only want to do a day trip, this would still be an exceptional experience!