Photo: Big skies, great scenes.

Arunothai

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If you head north out of Chiang Dao on Highway 1322 until Thailand runs out, you’ll hit the Burmese frontier and the remote, border village of Arunothai.





It’s around fifty kilometres along a great road and a large part of the fun, if you’ve got your own transport, is the wonderful drive or ride to get here. The town itself though, just three-kilometres shy of Burma (Myanmar), is an interesting little spot in its own right.

Hit the road. Photo taken in or around Arunothai, Chiang Dao, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Hit the road. Photo: Mark Ord

Leaving Chiang Dao on Highway 107 (the Fang road) you’ll see a fork in the road at around the seven-kilometre mark, indicating Wiang Haeng and Arunothai to the left. This makes its way up the Ping Valley—the same Ping that flows through Chiang Mai—and so the route is largely flat, with lush farmland stretching out on either side, bordered by forest-covered mountains. You’ll see mighty Doi Luang to the south and catch glimpses of the rugged peaks of Ang Khang to the east.

A further ten kilometres sees you arrive in the small village of Mae Ja, where a right turn heads off to Phrao and a left climbs steeply towards Wiang Haeng. Continue north. Halfway between Mae Ja and Arunothai you’ll find signposts for Pha Daeng National Park on your left. The visitor centre, park headquarters, hot springs and an attractive waterfall are just off the main road and definitely well ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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How to get there
Songthaews leave every 20 minutes from the central crossroads costing you 50 baht for the ride to Chiang Dao. There are less frequent ones heading to Fang for the same price.

If you have your own transport then there are three options for arriving in, or departing from, Arunothai. Firstly the highway back to Chiang Dao as described earlier and secondly a sealed road winding fourteen kilometres up the mountains to the east to Sinchai village. From here you have the choice of continuing up the mountain to Ang Khang or taking a twelve-kilometre dip down to Chai Prakarn on the main Chiang Dao to Fang highway.

Finally, a third road splits off from the 1178 at Lin Luang village, six and a half kilometres south of Arunothai, which takes you over the mountains via Muang Na to Route 1322 between Piang Luang and Wiang Haeng. This is now sealed, weighs in at around sixty kilometres total distance and provides spectacular scenery but the ascent out of Muang Na is long and steep.

Arunothai
Around 50km from Chiang Dao

Location map for Arunothai

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