Fang is a fairly laid back town in the far north of Thailand and is 150kms up Highway 107 from Chiang Mai. Although Fang is unremarkable in itself, it has a decent enough collection of accommodation and eateries to make it a convenient base for excursions to Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park, Doi Ang Khang, hill tribe villages, unspoilt natural attractions and even for taking the tour boat from Tha Ton to Chiang Rai.
Essential Fang experiences are visits to royal agricultural projects, hiking up the second highest mountain in the country, a landmark temple and taking a bath in therapeutic hot springs. The What’s up Guide to Fang gives the lowdown on recommended sightseeing and activity locations, where to stay and how to get here. Those who enjoy the great outdoors will love camping at the highest campground in the nation.
Last Updated: December 2018
WHAT TO DO
The town of Fang in itself does not offer a great deal to do and is more a stopover point, or base, for exploring the surrounding locality. Great Fang Experiences are taking a bath in rejuvenating hot springs, visiting hill tribe villages, camping, hiking or bird watching in Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park, tours of orchards and other agricultural facilities, and making the trip to Doi Ang Khang. Fang is 30 minutes by road from Tha Ton and is an alternate option for a stopover when taking Mae Kok river cruises to Chiang Rai. [Read more about Tha Ton and Chiang Rai]
Camping is permitted in Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park. There are a few designated zones to pitch tents in. One is near the park headquarters, another is at the Nam Roo ponds and a final one is Kiew Lom. National Park officials say Kiew Lom is the highest camping location in Thailand. Trekkers and tour groups use this campsite when planning pre-dawn hikes to the summit of the 2,285-meter-high Doi Pha Hom Pok. The park also has a limited number of bungalows for guests to stay in. [Read more about Camping in Chiang Mai]
Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park: #224, M. 6, T. Pong Nam Ron, A. Fang, Chiang Mai 50110 | Tel: +66 53 453 517 | Website
Hinoki Land is a park themed on the Japan of yesteryear and allows youngsters, and the young at heart, to make believe they are geisha girls or samurai fighters. The park features a lake, a torii tunnel comprising a long series of red arches, and Japanese style pavilions. Visitors are able to rent kimonos, silk fans, samurai clothing and imitation swords before taking selfies sure to remain treasured mementoes. Hinoki Land has its own coffee shop and a retail centre, Hokki Tower, at which unique Japanese souvenirs such as kimonos, aromatic soaps and beauty creams are sold. Hinoki Land is 30kms south of Fang and beside Highway 107 from Chiang Mai.
Hinoki Land: Si Dong Yen, Chai Prakan District, Chiang Mai 50320 | Open: 09:00-17:00 (Daily) | Entrance Fee: 130 B | Tel: +66 53 457 774 to 5 | Website | Map
WHAT TO SEE
Noted for a varied range of activities and peerless experiences, the chance of visiting Doi Ang Khang should not be missed out on when in Fang or for that matter Chiang Mai. The village of Doi Ang Khang is just over 30kms from Fang and nestles in a mountain valley beside the famous Royal Agricultural Station Ang Khang. Hill tribe villages, traditional markets, beautiful tea plantations spread over steep hillsides and glimpses of forbidden parts of Myanmar are among the delights of Ang Khang. [Read more about Doi Ang Khang]
The hot springs at Fang are just inside Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park and adjacent to the facility’s headquarters. Several springs shoot water 30-plus metres into the air. The spring water is channelled into a pond for footbaths as well as bathing cabins. Bathers have the option of private cabins or group bathing in male or female baths. The high sulphur level in the water is said to be rejuvenating. The hot springs are 10kms from central Fang. [Read more about Hot Springs in Chiang Mai]
Doi Pha Hom Pok is spread across the Phi Pan Nam Mountains. In addition to hot springs, this national park attracts with birds, butterflies, wild flowers, forests, hiking and camping. Bird species which may be spotted here include chestnut thrushes, peacocks and purple cochoa while common birdwings are one of the genres of butterfly. Tat Mok and Huai Hian are two of several waterfalls in the park. Nam Roo is on the edge of the park and has ponds for swimming. Stalls by the side of the ponds sell barbecued chicken and sausages, somtam papaya salad, various snacks and cold drinks. [Read more about National Parks in Northern Thailand]
Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park: #224, M. 6, T. Pong Nam Ron, A. Fang, Chiang Mai 50110 | Tel: +66 53 453 517 | Website | Map
Coming from Fang, the turning for Wat Tham Tap Tao on Highway 107 is just short of 20kms past the one for Doi Ang Khang. The temple is a historic draw believed to date from the late 16th century and is built around a focal limestone cave. The cave itself plus statues of Buddha, ornate pavilions, a pond, groves of shade trees and an aura of solitude are reasons to make a detour when travelling on the 107.
Tham Tap Tao Temple: – T. Sri Dong Yen, A. Fang, Chiang Mai 50110
WHERE TO STAY
Sleeping Tree Hotel
The Sleeping Tree is in the centre of Fang town and within walking range of the market and restaurants. The hotel is modern and offers well-appointed and spacious rooms with all conveniences. Guests will find they have cable TVs, WiFi, air-conditioning, refrigerators, facilities to make hot drinks and private bathrooms with showers, bathtubs and hairdryers. A lift and a meeting room are key onsite amenities…more info & booking
Phumanee Lahu Home
The popular Phumanee Lahu Home is conveniently located for town and features stylish rooms decorated with Lanna artefacts and materials. Air-conditioners, TVs and refrigerators are standard in each room while the superior ones come with balconies. Family rooms have beds for up to four guests. The property has a garden plus a restaurant in which a buffet breakfast is served in the mornings…more info & booking
At the south end of Fang Town near the bus station, the Khunyuw is a budget friendly hotel noted for hospitable staff and cleanliness. Double and triple rooms boast air-conditioners, cable TVs, refrigerators, writing desks and WiFi access. Breakfast is available at the hotel’s onsite café…more info & booking
Vieng Kaew Resort
The Vieng Kaew Resort is on the outer edges of town and is a peaceful spot surrounded by nicely tended gardens and plant-houses. Bungalows at the Vieng Kaew Resort come with the added extras of hardwood furniture, verandas, beds with super-comfort mattresses, satellite TVs, refrigerators, WiFi and air-conditioning…more info & booking
Fang Villa Hotel
An economical and clean property, Fang Villa is located down a soi on the south side of town. The reception here opens 24/7 and there is covered parking for cars. Rooms come with conveniences including air-conditioning, en suite bathrooms, WiFi, fridges and TVs. Deluxe rooms feature verandas…more info & booking
Fhukfang offers rural accommodation 10kms from central Fang and close to the Phi Pan Nam mountains surrounding Doi Ang Khang. Rooms are bright and airy and come with timber décor, comfortable beds, TVs and refrigerators. Bathrooms are shared…more info & booking
HOW TO GET TO FANG
Fang is 150kms north of Chiang Mai. Highway 107 is a direct road between the two. Fan cooled public buses and air-conditioned passenger vans depart from Chang Phuak Bus Station at regular intervals during the day. The vans are a little quicker, but journey times tend to average three hours. Songthaews are another option from Chiang Mai and drivers can usually be persuaded to make daytrips to Fang if the price is right.
Chang Phuak Bus Station (Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 1): #108/27, Chang Phuak Rd., T. Sri Phum, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50200 | Open: 04:00-21:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 211 586, +66 53 223 900 | Map
Car and Motorcycle Rental
The drive to Fang is an easy one and, as it is one road, difficult to get lost on. The road twists and turns as it passes the fringes of Sri Lanna National Park after passing Chiang Dao. There are no car or motorcycle rental agencies in Fang so people planning on using the town as a base to explore are probably better off hiring in Chiang Mai. 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.