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The Thanon Thong Chai Range (Thai: ทิวเขาถนนธงชัย, pronounced [tʰīw kʰǎw tʰānǒn tʰōŋ t͡ɕʰāj], formerly Thanon Range; Burmese Tanen Taunggyi)[1] is a mountain range in northern Thailand. Its tallest peak is Doi Inthanon, the highest point in Thailand. Most of the range is located in Chiang Mai Province, with parts in Mae Hong Son and Lamphun Provinces.

Thanon Thong Chai Range
Thanon Range / Tanen Taunggyi
RTN Embraer ERJ 135LR beneath Wat Doi Suthep.jpg
The east side of the eastern Thanon Thong Chai Range rising above Chiang Mai airport
Highest point
Peak Doi Inthanon
Elevation 2,565 m (8,415 ft)
Coordinates 18°35′16″N 98°29′13″E / 18.58778°N 98.48694°E / 18.58778; 98.48694Coordinates: 18°35′16″N 98°29′13″E / 18.58778°N 98.48694°E / 18.58778; 98.48694
Length 170 km (110 mi) N/S
Width 80 km (50 mi) E/W
Topography of northern Thailand.png
Map of the Thai highlands
Country Thailand
States/Provinces Chiang Mai Province, Mae Hong Son Province and Lamphun Province
Parent range Shan Hills
Age of rock Precambrian
Type of rock Granite and limestone
View of the range in Mae Chaem District

Geologically in the Thanon Thong Chai Range, as in the other southern subranges of the Shan Hills, layers of alluvium are superimposed on hard rock. Precambrian rocks are present in this range, but absent in the ranges further east, such as the Khun Tan Range.[2]



The Thanon Thong Chai Range is the southernmost prolongation of the Shan Hills and it consists of two parallel ranges running southwards from the southwestern limits of the Daen Lao Range between rivers Yuam and Ping. The eastern range is also known as Inthanon Range (ทิวเขาอินทนนท์). Often the Dawna Range further west and south is included as the western part of the Thanon Thong Chai Range. There are also some geographers who include the Thanon Thong Chai as a subrange of the Daen Lao Range.[3]

Doi Inthanon, at 2,565 metres in the Inthanon Range, is one of the ultra prominent peaks of Southeast Asia.[4] Other high peaks of the Thanon Thong Chai Range are 2,340 m high Doi Hua Mot Luang, the second highest peak in Thailand, Doi Pui (1,685 m), and 1,676 m high Doi Suthep.[5]


Certain hill tribe communities live in the range, like the Hmong and the Karen whose tribal villages dot the mountainsides.[6] Some of these communities are regularly visited by organized tourist groups.[7]

Doi Inthanon was formerly known as Doi Ang Ka and was renamed in honor of King Inthawichayanon at the end of the 19th century.


The vegetation is mostly deciduous forest below 1,000 m and evergreen hill forest above this height but there has been heavy deforestation. Since a great proportion of the original forest cover has disappeared, denuded patches of grassland and mixed bushy vegetation are common. Some projects for the restoration of forest cover have been undertaken in ecologically degraded areas.[8]

Animal species in the Thanon Thong Chai Range are threatened by deliberate wildfires that are set seasonally by farmers in different areas across the range. Wild fauna in the range includes Sambar deer, barking deer, serow, leopard, goral and the Tenasserim white-bellied rat, as well as many bird species.[9] A number of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are located in the range.

Protected areasEdit

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit