Evade the city at Siri Lanna National Park
Located in a valley, Chiang Mai is surrounded by mountains. That makes it fairly easy to escape the heat and pollution of the so-called `Rose of the North`. It takes you about a one hour’s drive north of the city to reach the tranquil natural environment of Siri Lanna National Park.
Enjoy the cool breeze on a floating houseboat
In particular, we are talking about the Mae Ngat Dam, where you can enjoy the cool breeze of the surrounding lake and mountains on a floating houseboat. The lake is 15 kilometers long and has a width of 1 kilometer. Upon arrival at the entrance, a long-tail boat will bring you to your temporary residency.
Houseboats are offering overnight stays
The hydro-electric dam itself was built in the mid-eighties and brought a relocation of the villages in the valley near the Mae Ngat river. A certain amount of houseboats were allowed to get anchored in the lake as fish farms. But soon enough those farms turned into overnight stays for visitors.
A complete range of floating bungalows to choose from
At the moment there are about 20 houseboats that you can rent. Some offer basic accommodation only, while others are more comfortable, and even a few aim to serve you in a more luxurious way. Whatever range you choose, all of the floating bungalows will cater for food and drinks.
Eakachai Houseboat focuses on the mid-range of stays. Rooms come with double or twin beds, fan and private bathrooms with western toilets. Their food menu is extensive, mainly Thai though they do serve some Western dishes also. The quality is outstanding.
2 main pastime objectives: relaxing and chill-out
It is quite amazing that you can feel so far away from the hectic city life at a place that is so closely located to Chiang Mai. Once settled, you can spend the day just relaxing, reading, swimming and sunbathing. As there is no stable connection, you won’t be disturbed by any phone calls. Or with the absence of TV or appointments to keep, nothing will refrain you from a complete chill-out. For those who would like to catch some fish, the houseboat staff can provide you with fishing equipment.
As the sun can be rather severe in the daytime, make sure you protect yourself accordingly. At night, the temperature drops down significantly, it can become quite chilly, so bring a vest or pullover. But above all, forget about your daily worries, and enjoy the peace and harmony of the natural environment. You will not regret it.
How to reach the Mae Ngat Dam
Locate the Nawarat Bridge over the Ping river in Chiang Mai, cross that bridge to leave town and continue straight on Charoen Muang Road until you reach the Inner Ring Road, Route 11, where you need to turn left. On Route 1001 turn right and drive approximately 50 km. You will notice signs to the Mae Ngat Dam in English. Follow these signs, you will need to turn left on Route 1323. At a T-intersection, follow the Mae Ngat Dam sign again and turn right. From here on follow the Siri Lanna National Park signs, that will guide you to the park entrance. The entrance fee for the Sri Lanna National Park is at the time of writing 100 baht per person and 20 baht per vehicle.
The pick-up point for the long-tail boats can be reached after a short ride on a dirt road. The costs per group and per boat is 600 baht, that is for a round trip so drop-off to and pick-up from the houseboat of your choice. This boat ride, single way, takes approximately 15 minutes.
Tanon Ban Paow
Ampur Mae Taeng
Chiang Mai 50150