Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat, aka the Flying Pagoda of Thailand, is a unique day trip destination from Chiang Mai, it's not yet very popular as it's not quite accessible to regular tourists. Here's the brief we've gathered from Katie and Ben's trip there.
- Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat is about 2.5hr car ride East of Chiang Mai. You can rent a car to drive there or go with a scooter. As far as we know there is no bus going there from Chiang Mai.
- Once you park your motorbike or car, you can get your tickets (200 baht for foreigners and 20 baht for local) at the ticket booth.
- Then you have to go up the mountain with a Songthaew (the red open taxi), which costs 60 baht round trip. Note that you're not allowed to drive to the top yourself. The Songthaew will only leave when it's filled, so you may need to wait a while.
- After a steep and bumpy ride, you will arrive at a set of metal stairs, then you will start a 800m upward hike, which could take 15 - 30 minutes.
- For going back, just walk down the stairs and wait for the Songthaew to fill up and drive you down to the parking lot.
- Highway 11 - The South Route: fastest but no scenes on the way.
- Highway 4063 to Highway 1252 - The North Route: This route is a mountain pass so it has many turns and some of the roads can be rough. It will bring you by Tabsadet Waterfall and many small hill villages. This is the route Google Maps will tell you to go.
- *The BEST Route* road connecting Ban Pang Kong (Highway 3005) - Ban Mae Kampong - Chae Son National Park: Along this mountain road (which doesn't have a highway number), you'll come across incredible viewpoints, drive through traditional Thai villages and have the chance to stop off at waterfalls and hot springs. (Tip: Download the app Maps Me, as this route is difficult to find on Google Maps.)
- Ticket sales: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.,
- Visitors are allowed to stay at the top until 6 p.m. to watch the sun start to set. On popular Thai holidays, the hours are extended by 30 minutes in the morning and the evening.