Nature can create many unexpected wonderful things. Pha Chor is an area of cliffs 30 metres high, sometimes nicknamed the Grand Canyon. It was formed millions of years ago when the Ping River ran through the area and over time changed course and created a hill. Subsequent erosion created soil pillars and cliffs of interesting shapes. Pha Chor is located one and a half hours nice drive from Chiang Mai to Mae Wang National Park, followed by a few kilometres off road. The actual site of Pha Chor isn’t huge, but it is unique and something you don’t see every day. The walk to the site leads down a stretch of steps through narrow corridors of tall trees and sandy rocks. It is scenic and quiet, suitable for most people but perhaps not recommended for elderly people. This natural trail of 900 meters offers a variety of ecological and geological features with signs written in English. From the starting point you will have a beautiful view over Chiang Mai’s valley, including Lamphun, Sanpatong and Doi Inthanon.

Recently, a delegation of government officials visited Pha Chor to discuss the details required to support an application for the canyon to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After visiting the canyon you can drive just a few kilometres further to Guy Sun Ten, which has a similar natural rock sculptures. While smaller than Pha Chor, it still offers lovely scenery and different formations of pebbles and rocks that can be viewed from a lower height. Or you can relax at one of Mae Wang National park’s many waterfalls: Khun Puay, Pra Duk Daeng, Phong Noy or Phong
Samid. You can also watch the sunset from the dam located right next to the park’s entry.

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