Chae Son National park is just over the provincial border from Chiang Mai in Lampang province. It is a relatively small park covering an area of 592 square kilometers situated in Muang Bahn and Jae Hom Districts in the north east of Lampang. In 1988 Chae Son became Thailand’s 58th National Park.
The park is set in a very mountainous region with picturesque valleys in between. The area has fantastic trekking/hiking opportunities which give adventurous visitors the chance to explore an area in Thailand that is still unknown to tourists.
Chae Son Hot Springs
One of the main attractions are the hot springs which are located within the parks headquarters. There is a large rocky area with many small pools of water, heat escapes from deep underground and heats the pools. The pools here can reach 80-100 degrees centigrade so they are far too hot for bathing Instead the pools are used for cooking eggs, as the water is at a constant temperature the cooked eggs are absolutely delicious and well worth the visit alone. Eggs can be purchased from nearby stalls.
Hot springs at Chae Son National Park
Cooking eggs in the hot springs
There are also bath houses with large pools and private huts for bathing in the mineral water for relaxation and healing purposes. A river runs alongside the bath houses which is great for cooling off in, on some sections the hot water from the springs flows into the river so you can take a relaxing hot and cold bath directly in the river.
Camping at Chae Son National Park
There is a large clean camping area at Chae Son with plenty of space for pitching a tent and onsite toilet and washrooms. The whole area is very well maintained and a great place to spend a night or two camping. As with most Thai national parks, tents and camping equipment are available to hire from the main lodge/park reception for little cost.
Exploring Chae Son National Park
The parks main attractions are its caves, waterfalls, trekking/hiking routes, and famous natural hot springs. For the less active, there is a marked nature trail within the grounds leading to the very scenic Chae Son waterfall and then on to another 4 levels above.
Chae Son waterfall is easily reached from the parks headquarters
For the more adventurous there are great trekking/hiking opportunities in Chae Son National Park, treks can be done all year round but are much easier during the dry season from November to February. Treks can be taken with the parks rangers, but are best organised before turning up to the park. Thailand Adventure Guide will be offering trekking experiences in the park for the 2017 dry season.
How to get to Chae Son National Park
Chae Son National Park is located in the north of Lampang province. The main road 1035 cuts straight through the province, Chae Son is located on this road and you will see sign posts for the park when you are within a 50 km radius.
The best way to go from Chiang Mai and certainly the most scenic is to take the 118 highway to Phayao for about 30 km then turn right onto the 1252, then head over into Lampang and you will pick up signs for the park. Journey times from Chiang Mai shouldn’t take more than 1 hour 30 mins.
Photo Guide – Chae Son National Park
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