When the temperature come down, the best place to get cold and fresh weather is mountain.......
This year the weather in the north of Thailand is so good. I saw many people travel to Chiangmai, Chiangrai and Mae Hong Son to stay cold on the mountain. I invited my friend Radar to go Chiangmai to visit mountains which we never been.
We agreed for the period 10-12 January because the temperature still good but it is not too crowded by people like new year period.
We got difference flight on 10th Jan because my house is closer to Donmuang Airport so I fly Nok Air while Radar stay closer to Suvarnabhumi Airport to she took TG.
I took noon flight as I want to spend some hour in Nimman area (my favorite area in Chiangmai). Radar took late night flight as she has to attend party with her friends first.
Nimman never disappointment me and this time I was there around 2 hours before check in at small hotel name “The Impress Boutique Hotel” This hotel is located on the way of our itinerary tomorrow and we will leave city early morning so just safe and clean bed is enough for us. And the price is only THB 470/room/night (no breakfast). And my dinner at the local market with this menu.
We left hotel around 4am and heading north on the way to Mae Hong Son province but our destination is not Mae Hong Son but we are going to the mountain area called “Mae Chaem”. Mueang Chaem was created in 1908 consisting of the tambons Mae Thap, Tha Pha, Chang Khoeng and Mae Suek split off from Chom Thong. In 1917 it was renamed Chang Khoeng, as the district was in the tambon. In 1938 it was reduced to a minor district and was subordinate to Chom Thong District. In 1939 it was renamed Mae Chaem. In 1956 it was upgraded to a full district. In 2009 the northern part of the district was split off to form the new district name Galyani Vadhana. The history from Wikipedia make this district very interesting.
From Chiang mai city we drop by at the local market in Hot district (after 2 hours drive) to have local light breakfast.
I like to try local food in every place I visit as same as Radar.
So, this is our first breakfast for this trip.
After breakfast we continue and the first stop will be the place that we will see first light of today. Bo Kaeo Botanic Research Station (Suan Son Bo Kaew). Located on the Hot-Mae Sariang Road, on km.36 Bo Kaeo Botanic Research Station is a station that plants pine and eucalyptus trees on an area of 2,072 rai. It has a cool and moist climate throughout the year.
It was around 1 hour from Hot market which we dropped for breakfast then we reach to Bo Kaeo. And it was the right time.
We got many nice sunrise shots.
I saw some tents mean some people do camping last night in this area.
And the sun rising behind the hundred of pine trees.
The sky turn to be orange and yellow.
Radar who love taking photo too some nice shots for me.
And for her as well.
We spent around 30 minutes at this stop and then continue up on the mountain. The road is good but it up and down on the mountains. No one tell how many curves we pass but I can say hundreds.
But the view along the road is so nice.
Finally, we reached to the destination that we want. It is a small school call “Baan Tung Kae School”. It is a school for children on the mountain (hilltribe).
We have mission today build the playground, join the children day activities and donate things to the children here.
See their innocent smiles.
None of them speak Thai but they understand and we communicate by body language.
We bring snacks, stationaries, toys, dolls, milk and many things for them.
The happy faces when they got a gift from us make us feel full.
In return they prepare local lunch for us. It is only sticky rice with fried pork but when we sitting in the middle of children here it become very yummy food.
We enjoy playing with children till the time come.
We say good bye to the children and left them with very good memory and we all agreed that we will come to do this activity again next year.
We come down to the camp which we will stay tonight. Doi Inthanon Camp which is located in side the Doi Inthanon National Park.
They have big houses which we can stay all together up to 16 persons. And provide big yard for tents. I and Radar stay in the house because we did not bring tent.
National Park officer suggest us visit the highest waterfall in Chiangmai name Mae Pan waterfall which is more than 100 meters high.
The narrow trail to the waterfall quite dangerous so I do not recommend for old people or children. And during rainy season this area will be close for safety reason.
We were enjoyed walking till we reached to the waterfall. And it is one of the most beautiful water-fall in Thailand which I ever visit.
We spent around 20 minutes at the waterfall and the walked back to the car.
We heading 2 kms up to the best view point to see sunset. The place called “Ban Pa Bong Piang” where people doing rice-field.
There are small cottages which turn to be homestay during the planting season. But now after harvest season so we can not see greenfield anymore but no matter because we only want to see beautiful sunset.
And it is very beautiful moment.
I got many nice shots.
Till the sun gone down then we left the rice-field and heading back to the camp.
After refresh, everyone ready for camp fire. We cook simple menu but delicious and enjoy talking around the camp fire with 10 degree.
And go to bed, we still have one more day on the mountain.
We woke up at 4am as we want to see sun rising on the top of Doi Inthanon. The distance from the camp to the view point is around 1 hour.
We reached to the point on time.
There are many people line up on the mountain waiting for the good moment.
We were waiting there around 30 minutes with 3 degree temperature.
Finally, the big orange sun coming up from skyline.
So beautiful. The sky turned to be orange and blue.
We took many shots; I saw some people taking video to see every second when the sun rising up.
We spend around 15 minutes to get good shots. And the move forward to the check in point to start the 3 kms trekking in to Kiw Mae Pan Nature Trail.
The local guide was waiting for us. I suggest you who want to do trekking get the guide. It is for safety as the national park is very large and if you get lost it is difficult to come back. Moreover, local guide can explain you about trees, flowers and history.
Along the trail we saw many big trees, small flowers, small waterfalls.
We walk up and down the hills until we reached to the view point which is the highlight of this trails.
Stunning view from the top of the mountain.
It is very nice scene look like painting of the hundreds mountains with difference shade.
After view point walked along the trail on the top of the mountain along with beautiful flower which blooming only winter season.
The red flower on the green leaf trees look so beautiful.
We walked around 1 kms down the hill and enjoy the view.
Then again we will walk in to the forest with another 1200 meters long up and down the hills.
Totally we walked around 3 kms. It was very nice trekking I had done.
And I like this one very much.
We reached back to the beginning and temperature become 17 degrees now (outside the forest).
We drove down and drop by to visit another view point call “Pha Tung” where we can see Sakura Trees and many types of pine tree.
I got some nice shots while Radar got some souvenir from pine tree.
We left the view point and go down to the City.
On the way we drop by at the restaurant inside the National park for lunch.
Thai simple food but taste is very good.
I like fish and mushroom so it is main menu.
And some more.
Finished lunch we head down to the city. And when we reached to city around 2pm we still have time because our flight is 7pm.
Driver suggest us drop by at the nice café call “Chom”. We stop there to get some shots and a glass of ice cappuccino.
They cafe decoration with nice garden which I think it look like Doi Inthanon National Park.
There are lots of tourist come for dining, coffee but main purpose I think for snap shots.
Radar want to show me a place call “Baan Kang Wat”. An art community which she visit last time when she came to Chiangmai.
I like this place from the first step in.
And I got a honey lemon drink with new blue hat.
We walked around the community but as we have to be at airport around 4.30pm so we did not cover all shops yet. I promised myself that I will come again next time.
We reached to airport right on time. We book difference airline so we say good bye to each other.
I got on board and left Chiangmai with a very good memory. And I already planed for next time visit. I love Chiangmai even I visit many times but still love to come. And this time I got very good quote from trekking.
"Liston to Nature's voice: Be still, be quiet, close your eyes and listen to the sounds of the forest. Listen to the sounds of the falling leaves, the restless wind, the swaying baraches, the trickling stream, sweet chirping of birds, humming of insects' delicate wings. Note the variey, subtlefy and complexity of the forest symphony. Immerse, absorb and enjoy"