Lying Down in a Pleasant Weather and Counting the Star at Baan Rabiang Dao, Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai Province (500Baht Accommodation with a Worthwhile Spectacular View)

Baan Rabiang Dao is considered as one of my dream destinations that I would like to visit once in a life time. Many people might have moderately heard about the nice tranquil scenery here. According to those information and beautiful pictures that have been shared on the internet, it makes people imagine a beautiful picture of a pleasant simple accommodation that is suitable to spend a slow life and watch the spectacular scenery that most people would dream of.

I have a chance to visit “Baan Rabiang Dao" during the time that the winter season is about to begin, thus, I feel overwhelmed with the pleasant cooling weather during the winter time. Before a journey starts, I need to admit that I have only a little information about this trip. What I have imagined in my mind and the roughly plan in my head is the picture of a far distance place that must difficult to travel to and that I must need to spend a lot of traveling time, however, it is worth to try traveling to!! (Yet, when I come back, I think the journey there is a lot easier than I have imagined earlier in my mind)

With the time limitation, hence, this time I would spend only just one night at “Baan Rabiang Dao". Although I would like to stay longer, but anyway one night is still quite alright for me. What I have expected to experience from this trip are to feel the winter breezes, admire beautiful mountains and fog scenery and during the night time I could lie down in the cooling weather and count the star above. Well, not to waste anymore time, let's pack, carry on the bag and follow me to go visiting “Baan Rabiang Dao" together!!

“Baan Rabiang Dao" is located at Chiang Dao district, Chiang Mai province. It is a small simple wooden homestay accommodation with a balcony to watch the beautiful scenery of Doi Luang which could overlook from the homestay. Here, the highlight is a large balcony at the common area that could clearly watch the panorama sight of the mountains view.

Getting to “Baan Rabiang Dao" – it is approximately 100 kilometres away from Chiang Mai downtown area which is not too far at all and the journey could be divided into 2 parts which are:

Part one: From Chiang Mai downtown – Chiang Dao district approximately 72 kilometers and

Part two: Chiang Dao district – Baan Rabiang Dao approximately 20 kilometers

The first part of the journey is rather convenient (For those who don't have a private car) as there would be a bus service running straight to Chiang Dao district. Furthermore, there is also bus that run pass Chiang Dao district and you could take this bus to Chiang Dao as well. Transportation fee for both methods are rather reasonable.

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DAY 1 : 11.40 AM

(I would cut across to the part when a journey begins) – We start our journey at Chang Phueak Transport Station in Chiang Mai downtown. You could take the bus line Chiang Mai-Chiang Dao (Or the bus line that passes Chiang Dao such as Chiang Mai-Thaton) which costs 40 baht (72km distance) and the bus will leave the station every hours. I catch the 11.40am bus which it seems to be a bit late set off time. The bus condition is kind of a slow bus. Although, it has an indicated seat number ticket but when getting on the bus, everyone would take a seat as they like.

The bus heads straightly to Chiang Dao district and it would pick up the passenger along the way which makes the journey seems rather cramped, however, it also gives a different feeling of the journey too. When the time that the bus is going to reach at Chiang Dao district, the road will be a bit winding and you could feel the cold weather around. Well, the bus totally takes about 2 hours to Chiang Dao district and I get off the bus at Lotus, Chiang Dao branch.

DAY 1 : 01.30 PM

As it is my first time traveling here, thus, once I get off the bus, i feel a bit loss of direction. I take the Lotus Chiang Dao as the landmark and there would be 7-11 convenient store located just nearby which would be a great food source area for me before continue travelling to Baan Rabiang Dao. Besides, if you guys start to feel hungry like me, you could also stop by to have some food at Chiang Dao district before as there would be a famous delicious Stewed Pork Leg on Rice to try and it tastes really delicious, trust me.

During around 02.00pm, after I finish my Stewed Pork Leg on Rice dish, then I continue my journey again. From Chiang Dao, I walk to wait for a minibus line Chiang Dao – Mueang Khong which costs 50 baht for the bus fee. Well, just for sure, you also could ask local people where exactly is the bus stop (There are only 1-2 bus rounds per day and the departure time is uncertainty. Moreover, as you would have to continue the journey around 20 kilometres further to reach at Baan Rabiang Dao, thus, I would suggest you guys should arrive at Chiang Dao district during the morning time as there would be some local people at Chiang Dao come to buy things from the town that time and you might thumb up a ride to the destination) Definitely, as I arrive here in the afternoon, therefore, there are no minibus service anymore. Nevertheless, there are still other optional travelling methods such as

  • If there is no minibus service, you also could hire a minibus to go up, the price would be around 500-600baht (as per negotiated)
  • You could hire a motorcycle taxi service, however, the price would be rather expensive. Anyway, I think it is suited for a mountain route condition like this. Well, if you have lot of people in the group, you should better hire a minibus.
  • For all backpacker, hitchhiking might be a right answer for you guys to go up to Baan Rabiang Dao.
  • Actually, hitchhiking is considerably an easy way as well, as there would be many cars that pass by and they would stop and ask the traveller where they will go.
  • If you could not find any vehicle to give you a ride around the alley, you could take a minibus to the forest office checkpoint and there will be an officer wiling to help you find a ride. (need to pay entrance fee at 20baht)

As you may know, which way will I choose? Obviously, I choose to do the hitchhiking of course. After I ask local people for more information, I then carry my bag and leave the cuisine. I walk for a bit further to the front of the alley and there would be a sign which is written “To Chiang Dao Cave", I will thumb a ride here to travel to Baan Rabiang Dao. However, luckily, after I take turn and get into the alley, and even before I start looking for a ride, there is a pickup car parks at the front of the alley. The driver suddenly lowers a car window and asks us where are we going? As they realise that we will travel on the same way as them, thus, they offer to take us to for est office checkpoint. Although the distance i s not far at all but it is very kind of them which gives me a good impression. As I sit at the back of pickup car, I face a cool weather outside that my face feel a little bit numb. It takes us a while to reach at the front of forest office checkpoint, I jump off from a car and thanks them for their k indness of giving us a ride here. Well, before heading inside, we need to pay for a national park fee which costs 20 baht per person and register a name to enter the park.

And at this point, it will be considerably easy for hitchhiking as the officer would helping us find a car. They will ask a car that passes by whether they will pass Baan Rabiang Dao or not and if the answer is yes, they will ask the driver whether it is okay to give us a ride.

Well, we ask the first car that passes by and they agree to give us a ride right away. It is a pickup car that will take us travel through a steep and winding road. However, the atmosphere and the weather is pretty pleasant. The more we go further deep to the mountain, the more the area covered with the fog that we could hardly see the scenery. The forest along both sides of the road is all covered with the thick fog. Anyway, we also could feel a purity of the nature that we are going to enjoy it from now on.

DAY 1 : 03.15 PM

I sit back and indulge myself in a surrounding breathtaking atmosphere for a while. Suddenly, the car stops on a sideway, I feel perplexed and confused that why the driver stops a car? As at that time there are thick fog floating all around, thus, I could not see that now we have already arrived at the entrance (the front of the alley) of Baan Rabiang Dao. At that moment, the driver lowers a window and tells us that we now reach at Baan Rabiang Dao. Not to waste any more time, I am not hesitating to jump off a car right away along with saying thank you for their kindness for taking us here. And now it is around 03.00pm. already.

From the main road, we need to walk into the alley approximately 200 meters to reach Baan Rabiang Dao. The visibility at this moment is not good as we could not see anything apart from an opaque white fog that flocks around us.

Even Doi Luang Chiang Dao that stands eminent at this area is also covered with a thick opaque fog and it is now completely disappear. We could only feel the cold weather and the humidity that flows along the wind and touch our bodies.

We manage to check-in at our accommodation and keep our baggages. Check-in time would be at 01.00 pm and check-out time is at 11.00am (Please keep your noise down from 10.00pm onward). The common area is the area for information and food service.

For the accommodation cost - at Baan Rabiang Dao, the price will include accommodation plus 2 meals for dinner and breakfast which costs at 500 baht per person.

The accommodation type of “Baan Rabiang Dao" would be a plain hut from small size to big size. The hut could accommodate many people and they would offer bed set, mattress, blanket and mosquito net inside. Nevertheless, during the cold weather like this, I still could not find even one mosquito. Moreover, there is a shared bathroom for service as well (The water is flowing very well all the time).

In front the area of every hut will have balcony stretches out for watching a beautiful view. As you could see in the picture, that big balcony is common balcony where guests could come to sit back, have some foods and drinks while watching the spectacular view ahead.

The important part that guest should know is that there is no electricity here during the night time. You only could use the electricity during the day time at the charging electricity service in the common area.

Moreover, there is no telephone signal and internet meaning this would allow everyone to truly fully relax with the nature. (If you need to make a call or have any important matters, you could walk up a little bit at the entrance area as there will be a weak signal which fair enough to make a call.)

In case of you could not reserve the accommodation at Baan Robing Dao, there would be alternative choices for you to choose from as there would be other 2 homestays located just nearby and the scenery there are nice as well.

Baan Rabiang Dao : 089-998-0712 , 089-903-0083

Baan View Doi Luang: 089-559-8272

Baan Sai Mok: 090-760-8819

DAY 1 : 04.30 PM

The atmosphere during the evening time feels like we are covered by the white thick fog. When the sun could not shine through, the night time seems to craw up faster than usual.

It is just only 04.00-05.00pm right now, but the atmosphere is getting darker and darker and the weather is getting colder and colder as well that I need to grab a blanket from the room to cover myself at a small pavilion in the common balcony area. Sipping some hot tea or drinking a bottle of beer among the atmosphere like this would definitely give a pleasant chilling emotion.

For a little while, and now it is time for our dinner. I have heard someone said that the cold weather would make the food much delicious and I think it is true somehow. As just only I have seen the food that they gradually serve up, the smell of the food make me feel hungry and would like to taste it. Guest could choose whether where they would like to eat; the common area or have them serve the food to their accommodation.

The dinner here offers a same set menu of 4 kinds of food served in Khan Toke (Northern Thai pedestal tray) in everyday which includes:

1. Stir-Fried Mixed Vegetables - Fresh vegetables stir-fried at the right way that we could feel the crispy and fresh of vegetables. It has a great taste and they serve it hot.

2. Omelette - a superb dish! Nice smell and hot omelette eat with rice in the atmosphere like this, it's awesome!

3. Tofu Soup - Sip a hot soup in a cold weather like this, Great!

4. Vegetables+Chilli Paste (Nam Phrik) - it is a highlight menu that you should try. Although the chilli paste seems dry, but if eat it with rice and vegetables, the taste is unbelievably great. (Many people buy it back home)

If you are not full, you also could refill the food in every menu. That's awesome!, I won't miss this opportunity of course!! We eat for a little while and the atmosphere is getting much darker! We have received lamp, candle and lighter for lighting a light. They start distribute things from the common area where guests are having dinner as the visibility is getting bad and could barely see anything now.

Moreover, since there is no electricity service during the night time, thus, guest also need to spare them to use for giving a light in their room tonight.

As I have try all the menu, I would say that every menu tastes delicious. I don't know, it may be because the tiredness from the journey or a cold weather or maybe I'm just really hungry that makes me feel like this, I think what so ever! Anyway, eating out in the pure nature atmosphere like this once also could give us a good feeling that could not explain into a word!

Apart from all of this, there are also other menus for guest to choose from depending on a material in each day.

  • Cup Noodles - Seem like it is a favourite food here as it goes well with a cold atmosphere like this. Sip a hot soup of Cup Noodles which costs at 25 baht.
  • For those who love drinking, there is also beer available (Price costs 80-90baht)
  • Do not forget placing any food and snack all around!! As the dog will take it instead. It is a true story that I have experienced by myself with a disappearance of the food that I forget to grab it.

DAY 1 : 07.00 PM

It is just only 07.00pm now, but everything around me seems completely dark and silent as I could here only a talking sound now. At this moment, what we could do is sleep. A cold weather and tiredness make us feel like wanting to cover ourselves in a warm blanket.

I think it might be because of a cold weather, hence, the mosquito matter that we kind of worry in the first place is solved. At last, we do not need to use mosquito net at all as there is no mosquito comes bother us.

It seems like tonight the stars in the sky won't show up anymore as it is pretty cloudy. I look up to the sky and everywhere is completely dark that I could easily make a decision to go to bed early tonight.

  • The weather during the night time is considerably cold, however, the blanket that they offer is pretty thin which could not help that much. Therefore, I suggest you should prepare sweater and long trousers to wear at night.
  • The lighter is pretty important, so don't forget to bring it along with you.
  • It is pretty silent at night that you could hear a snore sound from the neighbouring hut.
  • The night when the sky opens, you could watch the spectacular stars scenery and you could even lie down at the balcony to admire the stars above.
  • Do not afraid of waking up late as there will be some cocks that are scramble at crowing since 03.00am.

At 03.00am, I wake up by the sound of those cocks that are crowing together at the same time. The crowing sound is rather loud that I have to get up. One part of my mind would like to continue sleeping, but another part would like to poke out to the balcony to watch the scenery outside to see whether there is a star shows up or not? I feel unlucky somehow that I could not see any star showing up in the sky. Yet, because of the pleasant scenery outside, thus, I decide to grab a mat to pave at the small balcony in front of a room's door to lay back, overlook to the sky above and then murmur to myself “It is pretty cloudy tonight", I could only complain in my mind and just lie down there listen to the silent sound alternates with a crowing sound of the cocks.

It's like the wind has heard my mutter sound and help blowing a big cloud in the sky to reveal the stars that obviously shine brightly over the sky in a completely dark night. Even though it is just only a short time and the star shows up just only a little part of the sky, not many stars that I have expected, but for a person that await and see the star like me, I think only this is already worth enough!

DAY 2 : 05.00 AM

Right now, it seems that I can't continue sleeping anymore, as it is already 05.00am in the morning. The sky is almost bright up, therefore, I grab a lamp, light it up and walk to the common balcony. I want to watch a sunrise scenery, have breakfast and sip a coffee among the atmosphere during the morning time. On the way, I try to look in the dark and I could see a large mountain's shadow ahead that makes my heart leaps up. It is a sign telling that I am going to see spectacular mountain scenery of Doi Luang Chiang Dao for sure after I have been disappointed since yesterday as I could not see any nice scenery since I was here. At this moment, I come to reserve a table early in the morning waiting to watch the beautiful scenery.

In a short time, the light of a new day begins to touch the horizon and it is implying that we will surely have a bright weather today.

A shadow of Doi Luang Chiang Dao that I have seen just a bit last night has gradually revealed its nature green colour according to the intense of the light that gradually increases.

The atmosphere during the morning time has a pleasant weather with a fog that flowing along the wind for us to watch time by time. It is a moment that makes me feel truly refresh.

Once the sun shown up, the staff comes to serve tea, coffee or Ovaltine at our table.

They serve it with a breakfast which is a hot Rice Porridge with Minced Pork served in a small pot. And if it is not enough, guests also could refill it as they like. I think this menu suites with this moment and the atmosphere like this.

The atmosphere during the morning time with a pale sunshine overlook from our accommodation.

A fog scenery with a golden sunshine during the morning time.

The common balcony area where many people gather up to watch the sunrise scenery.

Go out to breath e in a fresh air makes me feel pretty refresh.

There is a corner for admiring pleasant scenery while sipping a cup of coffee.

Let's sit back and watch a nice scenery ahead.

Sip a coffee while watching this spectacular scenery. Great!

This is a “popular corner" where everyone who visits here would come to take a photo for keeping as a good memory.

A small pavilion for avoiding the sun light located at the common balcony.

The atmosphere today is pleasant with a clear bright sky.

It is not like yesterday that had a thick fog covered all around.

Tourist comes to visit here for sit back, have some drinks and watch a nice scenery at this balcony.

DAY 2 : 10.00 AM

During the late morning, the sun is getting stronger and hotter, thus, it is time to avoid the sun light to lie back and take a nap for a while in the room. However, there are a lot of people who choose to leave “Baan Rabiang Dao" during this time as during 08.00-09.00am, there will be a car from Baan Rabiang Dao go down to buy things at Chiang Dao district and tourists who stay here also could travel with them to Chiang Dao district. Nevertheless, I choose the first option which is lie back and have a nice time her e a little bit more for a worthy of visiting here.

Today is considered to be a very nice day with a pleasant weather and an open sky. I think back about a weather condition yesterday and feel really regret, however, I could not do anything except come back to visit this place again and Yes! I intend to visit here once again for sure!

I walk back to my room to lie back and leave the door open to get a good weather from outside and watch the scenery that could overlook a peak of Doi Luang Chiang Dao ahead which seems like it is pretty near within a stone's throw.

It kinds like the time moves slowly, I feel relaxed and could truly forget about all the stressful during this moment.

DAY 2 : 01.30 PM

Sit back, lie back, sip a beer, watch the scenery and take photos until almost 02.00pm and it is about time for a journey back home. I walk out from “Baan Rabiang Dao" and then turn back to see the place and I found that the fog is really thick that I could not see such a beautiful scenery when I arrived here yesterday.

For the return journey - I walk back to wait for a car at the main road where I got off yesterday. There is a tiny shed for waiting a car, you could wait here to hitchhiking a car that passes by to get off at Chiang Dao district.

As usual, hitchhiking is kind of easy here. Most people are pretty kind to give tourists a ride as it is on the same way to the town. Sometimes even before we ask for a ride, if they see that there's someone waiting for a car, they will just stop and ask whether we will go down or not? It kinds of give me a good impression somehow. However, it is quiet a long time waiting until there is a car passes by. It takes around 10-20minutes, I think. I wait there almost half an hour to catch a ride back to Chiang Dao district. When we arrive at Chiang Dao district, the journey will be quite easy as there definitely is a bus travelling to Chiang Mai.

Question and Answer

1. Is it possible to drive your own vehicle there?

Answer: Yes, you could drive there, only that a car condition must be good enough and need a good driving skill as the road condition is rather steep and winding.

2. If I don't stay at Baan Rabiang Dao, can I just go there and take some photos?

Answer: Of course, yes. You also could buy some foods or drinks, sit back and take some pleasant time there.

3. Additional tips

  • During the journey between Chiang Mai - Baan Rabiang Dao for both legs, you should prepare some extra time for the journey around 3-4 hours. Do not arrive there during the late evening or come back late as it will be hard to catch a car and after all it is for a safe journey.

Finally, I would end this short travelling review to “Baan Rabiang Dao" at this point. I hope this review would give more or less information for those who are interested, making a plan to Baan Rabiang Dao or those who are going to travel there during this winter time. Thank you.


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 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 5:22 PM