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Ob Khan National Park

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A trip to picturesque Ob Khan National Park will make it feel like you've left Chiang Mai hours behind you, but it's not far to reach at all, and offers great swimming, picnicking and hiking opportunities.

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The park is fewer than 500 square kilometres it's not one of the province's larger parks, but it has some great scenery. Ob Khan is located in Hang Dong district to the south of the city, and is also conveniently close to Ban Tawai handicraft market. It's easy to make a day excursion out of visiting both.

Heavy rains bring chocolate brown waters to Ob Khan. Photo taken in or around Ob Khan National Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Heavy rains bring chocolate brown waters to Ob Khan. Photo: Mark Ord

Heading along the Canal Road from the junction with Suthep Road, it’s around 15 kilometres to a well signposted turn on the right, then another 15 kilometres through villages and farmland to the park entrance. Most of this, with the exception of the last couple of clicks, is a good, sealed road, so it makes for an excellent destination on a rental bike or car. The final section though, particular in rainy season, can get tricky, so go carefully.

Where the tarmac runs out, you’ll see a small checkpoint but all they’ll do is note your license plate down, and we’ve never seen an entrance fee being charged. The track runs along the scenic Khan River and opens out into a car park with visitor centre and a small cafe with a shady and grassy picnic area along the bank.

Plenty of shady space to relax. Photo taken in or around Ob Khan National Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Plenty of shady space to relax. Photo: Mark Ord

In dry season the waters are clear and shallow and it’s a very popular bathing spot for locals on a hot day. Waters turn a murky brown with sediment during the rainy season but it’s still generally okay for bathing unless currents are strong after a big storm. While it’s popular at weekends with picnicking Thai families, on weekdays the park can be very quiet. The cafe can provision weekenders, but during the week they had little on offer when we visited, so you should stock up in advance, perhaps at Hang Dong or Don ... Travelfish members only (Around 500 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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How to get there
From the Old City, head west from Suan Dok Gate on Suthep Road and make a left onto the Canal Road. Drive south as if you're heading to Hang Dong for about 12 kilometres, and look out for a sign on the right to Ob Khan National Park. From here it’s another 15 kilometres to the park entrance.

Ob Khan National Park
Namphrae district, Hang Dong
T: (086) 181 1068
Admission: Free

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