Waterfall at Doi Phu Nang

Motorbiking to Doi Phu Nang National Park

The motorbike tour of Northern Thailand continues, motorbiking to Doi Phu Nang National Park from Nan. This 164km leg took 5 hours along a combination of highway on flat terrain and winding roads through rolling hills before eventually reaching Doi Phu Nang National Park which straddles Phayao and Lampang. Did you miss something? Catch up with Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 here.

Day 4: Doi Phu Kha National Park – Doi Phu Nang National Park

Map of Day 4 - Motorbiking in Phayao

After a comfortable night in Doi Phu Kha and a decent cooked breakfast consisting of sausages, bacon, noodles and toast we were soon on our way to the next stop off on the journey, Doi Phu Nang and despite quite a sore backside from 3 days of motorbiking, spirits were high from the great riding the previous day. We considered a couple of different national parks for this leg but Doi Phu Nang seemed nice from the photos we saw online and it left a shorter leg for day 5 so we opted for this location and before long we had descended from the mountains of Nan and were speeding South along the 101 highway.

I always find highways monotonous and this was no exception, where possible during the tour we tried to keep off them but options seemed limited for this leg and so the first 150km or so was featureless and dull. Things got more interesting as we turned off onto the 1091 and heading West into the rolling hills between Nan and Phayao, the same range we crossed on Day 3, just further South. The traffic was more or less non-existent which made things more interesting, and the twists and turns made the latter stages enjoyable. The hills were more undulating rather than dramatic so scenic vistas were a bit on the thin side. Motorbiking in Phayao definitely has potential for more exploring as from the little time we spent riding through the province, we had a great time.

Doi Phu Nang

We reached the National park in a few hours and as was the theme on the trip, the visitor area was empty. It was refreshing visiting such seldom visited National Parks as over the years I have become used to camping shoulder to shoulder with other visitors, a quick look on the official National Park website shows there were 17,033 visitors in 2013, compare that to 828,655 for Khao Yai! The park officials were very kind and helpful from our arrival and clearly excited to see foreigners and before we could even set up the camp they were taking group photos of us and the staff. The area was immaculate too with nice facilities, it was just a shame the campsite was right next to the car park in a small valley. Since it was getting quite late there wasn’t much time to wander around but we had a wander and saw some wild peafowl (peacocks) of which the park is famous for. Unfortunately they also caged a few which wasn’t nice to see but at least the cages were of a reasonable size. We also caught a glimpse of the waterfall near the park entrance which is good for swimming.

Doi Phu Nang Waterfall

The staff at Doi Phu Nang provided all BBQ facilities so luckily we didn’t need to buy anything other than food (lucky since there were no shops nearby). After a decent dinner we had an early night ready for the next day.

Top Tip: Make sure you stock up on food well in advance as there are few shops near the National Park, take a pair of swimmers as there is a nice waterfall nearby for a refreshing dip. There are other campsites other than the one at the parking area, ask the staff if you can change as the alternatives are nicer.