Chiang Dao Nature

Chiang Dao is well known in Thailand for its cave. The cave system is very long and deep (said to be the largest and deepest of Thailand).

But often it is overlooked that Chiang Dao is home of Thailand's third highest mountain (2200 m asl). The limestone mountain is surrounded by pristine montane evergreen forest, a forest type that is not so common anymore in Thailand.

Also other habitats are present. There are deciduous forests, mature bamboo, open & half-open woodlands, grasslands and alpine vegetation. All ranging from 500 to 2200 m. Perhaps the only vegetation type that is missing is real lowland forest. Arguably it is Thailands best trekking area.

Consequently, there is a rich fauna and flora. There are lots of species of orchids (some endemic, especially at the higher parts of the forest) and an abundance of butterflies. But probably it is best known for its birds. Around 300 species have been discovered. Some of them are quite rare.
As in most areas in Thailand nature suffered from human pressure. Only 20 years ago there where still tigers living in the area.

As a reaction to the rapid loss of nature, a Wildlife Sanctuary was established. This has undoubtedly reduced hunting and logging, but surely not enough. An example: around the villages of the hill tribes, who inhabit the sanctuary, there are virtually no birds.
I met hunters in the WS even at 150 m from a checkpoint! They hunt with their long front-loaded rifles on anything that is useful for them.

Rumours are spreading that some of the tribes have to leave the Sanctuary. Particular those who arrived after its establishment.

Let's also look at the bright side. One morning I saw a group of Thai tourists watching at a adult Bengal Monitor (Varanus bengalensis) who was sitting next to the stairs at the monastery. Apparently they bought it on Chiang Dao market and released it here.
So there are people, who are aware of the vanishing nature.

While exploring the region I stayed at Malee's Nature Lover Bungalows. It is a beautiful place in the middle of the nature. I made a seperate page that gives you more information.

Hopefully you will enjoy Chiang Dao's nature.

Orange-striped Newt (Tylototriton shanjing)

Orange-striped Newt (Tylototriton shanjing)

In Thailand lives only one species of salamander, which is called the Orange-striped Newt (Tylototriton shanjing (=T. verru-cosus)). It is a species that prefers cool woodlands in the vicinity of slow-moving water. Therefore it is only found on the highest mountains of Thailand, such as Doi Chiang Dao.    More..

Chiang Dao Nature

Chiang Dao Nature

 

 

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