Doi Saket is a rural district to the northeast of Chiang Mai. It stretches from the outer ringroad and up to the foothills of the Khun Tan Mountains. Doi Saket is still predominantly given over to farmland and fruit orchards and provides glimpses of the Lanna era of yesteryear. Nevertheless, Doi Saket is home to an interesting collection of tourism sites and activity centres.
Zipline and hot-air balloon rides, a landmark temple, a royal agricultural project, Thai cooking courses and the delightful Tweechol Botanic Garden are the main attractions of Doi Saket. The What’s Up guide to Doi Saket gives more details about attractions in addition to recommended holiday resort accommodation in the area and transport options to get here.
Last Updated: December 2018
WHAT TO SEE
Huai Hong Khrai is one of five Chiang Mai area royal development projects designed to preserve local environments and teach local residents sustainable farming techniques. Huai Hong Khrai focuses on forest conservation and re-foresting. This development is a peaceful and natural location and opens to the public every day.
Huai Hong Khrai: – #237, M. 4, T. Pa Miang, A. Doi Saket, Chiang Mai 50220 | Open: 08:30-16:30 (Daily) | Entrance Fee: Free | Tel/Fax: +66 53 389 228-9
Tweechol Botanic Garden is right beside Highway 118 and is a facility dedicated to the propagation of a huge collection of flowers, plants and trees. Zones dedicated to the likes of cacti, palms, showy garden plants and aromatic shrubs are artistically laid out. The topiary creations are a testament to the skills of the gardeners. The Lanna Museum, a boating lake for canoes and paddle boats, plus a zoo with denizens ranging from peafowls to camels and ostriches are other key amenities onsite. Tweechol is adjacent to the Horizon Village and Resort.
Tweechol Botanic Garden: #118, T. Choeng Doi, A. Doi Saket, Chiang Mai 50220 | Open: 08:30-17:00 (Daily) | Entrance Fees: Adult 86 B, Child 43 B | Tel: +66 53 292 381-5 | Fax: +66 53 868 894
Wat Phra That Doi Saket originally dates from the 12th century and is a great destination for people with an interest in religious imagery and an eye for beautiful artefacts. Buddha statues, wall murals, a high chedi and the sweeping roofs of the main hall are the creative draws here.
Wat Phra That Doi Saket: #304, M. 3, T. Choeng Doi, A. Doi Saket, Chiang Mai 50220 | Open: 08:00-17:00 (Daily) | Entrance Fee: Free | Tel: +66 53 495 065
Chiang Mai Celadon in Doi Saket is a premium shopping outlet at which Chiang Mai’s renowned glazed pottery items are sold. Hand painted articles such as vases, bowls, teapots, decorative plates, jars, gift sets and candle holders make wonderful souvenirs and gifts for loved ones. Many of the celadon art objects have been designed and created by artists in residence such as Tuanjai Sangwan. All products sold come with Green Label certification from the Thai Environmental Quality Promotion Department.
Chiang Mai Celadon: #135/4, M. 6, Doi Saket – Bosang Rd., T. Papong, A. Doi Saket, Chiang Mai 50220 | Open: 08:00-17:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 484 693 | Fax: +66 53 484 692 | Website | Facebook | Email
The suspension bridge at Mae Kuang Reservoir is a recent addition to the attractions of Doi Saket. While not on the scale of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Mae Kuang is high and offers marvellous views over this unspoilt area of Northern Thailand. The reservoir is a popular stopover on motorcycle tours and for fishing.
Mae Kuang Suspension Bridge: – T. Luang Nua, A. Doi Saket, Chiang Mai 50220 | Open: 08:00-17:00 (Daily) | Entrance Fee: Free
WHAT TO DO
Balloon Adventure Thailand is accredited by the national Civil Aviation Authority. The company has a launch site near the same complex as the Horizon Resort and Tweechol Botanic Garden. The views of Doi Saket and distant mountains are panoramic from the baskets of the balloons. A signature sunrise balloon flight package gives 50 minutes of flight time and is fully inclusive of round-trip transfers from Chiang Mai hotels, pre-flight drinks, breakfast at the Horizon, champagne and flight certificates. In the same area, Chiang Mai Sky Adventure also operates hot-air balloon rides.
Balloon Adventure Thailand: #200, Horizon Village & Resort, T. Cheng Doi, A. Doi Saket, Chiang Mai 50220 | Open: 05:30-10:00 (Daily) | Price: 8,800 B/Person/Flight | Tel: +66 96 868 4176 , +66 84 611 4128 | Website | Facebook | E-mail
In addition to balloon rides, Chiang Mai Sky Adventure offers the thrill of microlight aircraft flights. Taster flights with Sky Adventure pilots take passengers high in the sky above green rice paddy, Mae Kuang reservoir and over towards the Khun Tan Mountains. All inclusive microlight flight packages for two come with drinks and transportation from central Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai Sky Adventure: #190, M. 3, T. Nong Yhang, A. Sansai, Chiang Mai 50210 | Open: 05:30-10:00 (Daily) | Price: N/A | Tel: +66 53 255 588 | Website
There are two exciting zipline adventure centres in Doi Saket. Dragon Flight’s exhilarating facility is set in a true rainforest environment and features 55 platforms, a flagship 750-metre zipline run, 26 shorter ziplines, sky bridges, abseils and ladders. Package prices come with transport, meals and drinks, T-shirts and insurance. Jungle Flight has fewer platforms but a longer zipline of one kilometre. Jungle Flight tours are all inclusive too.
Dragon Flight: Package: 1,700 B (55 platforms), Tel/Fax: +66 53 208 666, Website, E-mail | Jungle Flight: Packages: Eco (40 platforms) 2,100 B; Extreme (34 platforms) 2,300 B, Tel/Fax: +66 53 208 666, Website | E-mail
Mae Kuang Reservoir is noted for its huge snakehead fish in addition to the likes of jungle perch and rohu. Snakeheads as heavy as 12 kilograms are not unknown although the average is usually around the 2.5kg mark. Dreamlake-Fishing offers half-day trips to Mae Kuang and these include transport, boat hire, rods and a guide.
Mae Kuang Reservoir: – T. Luang Nua, A. Doi Saket, Chiang Mai 50220 | Open: 08:00-17:00 (Daily) | Entrance Fee: Free
Da’s Organic Farm Hut is a Thai cookery school in Doi Saket. The emphasis at Da’s is on creating organic Thai meals using authentic recipes. Attendees learn how to create four-course meals with favourites such as minced chicken with basil leaves, pad Thai noodles, geng keow wan gai (green curry with chicken) tom yam kung (spicy prawn soup) and mango with sticky rice among the choices. Da’s courses include transport, a fresh market pit-stop, soft drinks and a free cookbook.
Da’s Organic Farm Hut: #5/1, M. 2, Baan San Ton Muang Nua, A. Doi Saket, Chiang Mai 50220 | Open: 08:00-19:00 (Daily) | Price: ½ Day Class 800 B | Tel: +66 53 206 136 | Website | Facebook
WHERE TO STAY
Horizon Village and Resort
The Horizon Resort is in close proximity to Tweechol Botanic Garden and the premises of Balloon Adventure. The resort offers 209 upmarket rooms and suites with in-room amenities which include air-conditioners, WiFi and TVs. Three restaurants, a swimming pool, a Thai massage centre and a gym are the principal onsite facilities…more info & booking
Soulmates is set amid spacious and well manicured gardens against a backdrop of rice paddy and majestic mountains. A relaxed ambience and elegant rooms featuring traditional décor have made Soulmates a top choice for discerning travellers. A large swimming pool, bicycle hire and WiFi are provided. All rooms come with refrigerators, air-conditioning and media players…more info & booking
Tao Garden Health Spa & Resort
Qigong Master Mantak Chia oversees the Tao Garden. In addition to being a health and wellness centre, the Tao Garden offers a range of air-conditioned rooms designed to suit all budgets. Guests are offered access to the Pakua wellness centre, a mini-cinema, a salt-water swimming pool, steam rooms, cycle rental and tour reservations services…more info & booking
Rice and Zen Boutique Resort
Rice and Zen was a welcome addition to Doi Saket’s accommodation choices when it opened in 2016. The villas here are stylish and feature all mod-cons from rain showers to mini-bars and WiFi. The gardens at Rice and Zen are a real asset and come with bonuses such as fish ponds and waterfalls. Maya’s Kitchen, a swimming pool and yoga sessions round off the draws of this homely boutique resort…more info & booking
Jasmine Hills Villas & Spa
Jasmine Hills occupies a peaceful spot within easy range of most Doi Saket tourism points. The bungalows and apartments boast historic Lanna décor with all amenities. Long-stay accommodation units come with kitchenettes and separate bedrooms. Guests checking in will find they have a lakeside pavilion, fishing, cycling, boating, a swimming pool, a spa, yoga tuition and an onsite restaurant…more info & booking
The west edge of Doi Saket District is less than 10kms from central Chiang Mai. It then covers another 25kms in the direction of the Khun Tan Mountains. Highway 118 is the main road from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai and runs right through the middle of Doi Saket. Buses from Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Station stop on the 118. Other options are to take a tuk-tuk or a songthaew shared taxi from Warorot Market. Rent a car is another choice for those who want to get there with the minimum of fuss. Rentalcars.com is a preferred partner for What’s Up and is a global car hire provider offering competitive daily rental rates in Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Station: #165, Soi 5, T. Wat Ket, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50000 | Open: 04:00-22:30 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 246 501, +66 53 241 449