" Got dump by friends and stressed by what happened in the university, I wanted to hike and here we are at 'Chiang Dao' "

This trip started very easy with just women of whom can't stand coldness.

This trip got started when seniors I know telling me that they were going to hike at Chiang Dao and I was welcomed to join if I'm free. I wasn't considered it seriously as I also had my end of the year trip so I was afraid that I might not have enough money.

Until my Laos's trip friends postponed the trip in late November and changed to the date I have exam (really?). I was upset and angry, so I decided to join their trip and lined to tell them that "I wanted to join too."

And seems like everything is perfect for this trip.

  1. My money is more than enough, I have it left a lot and spend a very comfy life in Chiang Mai.
  2. It is during the university's holidays so I won't have to miss classes.
  3. It's not in exam periods and I have plenty of time to read after coming back.
  4. It's the first time I go travel and tell my family that I go with my seniors and she's also a teacher. So they have no worry as I will have seniors taking care of me the entire trip, lucky me!
  5. I have junior in Chiang Mai. While I'm waiting for the seniors at the airport, my junior comes to see me so I feel safe.

Some cons are also there.

And another good start is I grab the long lens. I usually have 2 lens with me but today I'm very confident and a lens is sufficient. Since I'm very hurry, I grab my tele 55-230 lens which can take very far shot. But if you want to take portrait shots, you have to step back very far.

That I have very good reasons to go, before I knew it, I already book my ticket to Chiang Mai.

5 December 2015

19.30 p.m.

Mo Chit Bus Terminal 2

Although I said I have much money left from Laos trip, I really can't book the flight to Chiang Mai with over 1,500 THB. Finally, I decided to go by bus. It's the regular AC bus with children running beside me (such a great start!).

I get to join the candle blessings to the King's Birthday ceremony too.

6 December 2015

6.00 a.m.

Chiang Mai

This morning, I plan to have my junior come pick me up from the bus terminal. Then, I'd like to see a strawberry farm by riding a scooter up. Also, Google map is very useful.

My junior said we need to charge up energy before traveling, so we go have breakfast at Waroros Market.


On the way to Samoeng District

It's so cold. I've never been to Chinag Mai when it gets this cold. I only wear a T-shirt, light sweater and shorts. So I have to ask my friend to stop and take out my pants and another sweater with hood. Now, I feel warmer but my face and hands have already been numb.

The road towards Samoeng District is quite easy to drive but eat up lots of fuel (this is what my junior said). The road is curvy and beautiful. It's lush green but still with sunlight.

9.00 a.m.

Nop Phu Pha Strawberry Farm

After arriving, I go straight to the coffee shop to enjoy hot latte and warm up my body temperature.

When finishing the coffee, I need more warmth so I go out and enjoy the light sunlight in the strawberry farm.

We can pick to taste, so I try two of them.

The cold and the thick of the clothes, haha.

11.00 a.m.

Downtown Chiang Mai

When we ride down from Samoeng, my junior was planning to take me to Maejo but the scooter is broken (I'm sorry) so we have to change the plan. We need to find some place to wait for my seniors who're flying here.

13.00 p.m.

Wake Up Coffee @ Nimmanheamin Rd

Coming back to a familiar comfort zone where we can sit, charge up battery, and enjoy the burger and tasty iced-chocolate.

16.00 p.m.

Chang Phuak Bus Terminal

Finally, my seniors arrive. We buy the bus ticket towards Chinag Dao here. The bus runs every half an hour (one bus just left before we came). I don't remember the fare.

Yay! The bus is here.

After certain chats, we all sleep.

19.00 p.m.

Downtown Chiang Dao

The bus drops us at the front of small Lotus (the atmosphere is like an alley in Bangkok but have mountains as backdrop and it's very cold).

My seniors said their friend is a National Park staff and now is driving to take us to stay an overnight there.

20.00 p.m.

The Room at the National Park

Once we arrive at the room, I meet another 2 friends of the staff who will also join our Doi Luang Chiang Dao trip. Now we have 5 female members of whom 4 are in the same age and either a teacher or National Park staff. I feel even better and immediately call back to my mom and reassure her that this trip is safer than the air bubble.

7 December 2015

7.00 a.m.

The Room at the National Park

We wake up early this morning and quickly pack our bag. We take some necessary things with us and put our bag on the truck and go out to find food at Chiang Dao Market.

7.30 a.m.

Chiang Dao Market

8.00 a.m.

Kha Moo (Pork Knuckle) Savoey Shop II

The National Park staffs take us to eat at the famous pork knuckle shop of Chiang Dao. It's really delicious!

After eating, we now set off for Doi Luang. We sit at the back of a truck and our faces get numb.

9.00 a.m.

The way up to Doi Luang Chiang Dao

We start to hike from here. We take some photos here and use the restroom. When Look Hab (the ones who help us carry our bag up) and a tour guide is ready, we are ready for this journey.

The shoes are still very clean.

It's a trekking without proper walkway. It's an actual trekking where the higher you go up, the scarier of felling down. I'm quite afraid of height (?) If we miss the step, we could be sleeping down there.

My running shoe is almost out of shape and very slippery (I experience it several times). Do not follow me like this, please have the good shoes ready. My other friend wears converse and she hurts a lot too.

We walk, rest, and take photos along the way.

12.30 p.m.

Lunch Time

After having lunch, we continue our hike. The higher up, the colder it gets.

And the more I walk, the more tired I am (I really wanted to call my mom and tell her that I wanted to go home as I'm really tired but I'm afraid I'll let her down and the mobile signal is poor).

And since I didn't do any research and had no preparation before hand, I start to breath in the wrong rhythm that I feel the chest pain after we hike steeper. So they ask me to rest a longer rest until I feel better and back to cheerful me again (everyone is taking so good care of me, I feel so lucky).

16.00 p.m.

Camping area on Doi Luang Chiang Dao

Keep walking....

And finally, we arrive here, yay!

But I feel terrible, my face and body is red with rashes and very cold as the weather is only 15 degree Celsius.

I quickly go inside the tent and find more clothes to wear like Long John, running pants, two pants and 4 layers of the top part of which two layers are hood sweaters as well as a hat, gloves and socks to ease out my cold.

Then, I find the sleeping bag to sleep inside. I say goodbye to my seniors who continue to go to the top. I wish you guys a great time as I'm so torn now. Luckily, another senior decided to stay.. So now I have a friend to enjoy the warm sleep in the warm tent together, haha.

19.00 p.m.

I wake up feeling fresher than earlier. I come out and my seniors ask me to eat instant noodle so that I can take a pill and sleep.

Soon, the seniors who hike up for the sunset complaining " there's nothing up there, it's covered by thick mist. The way up is also difficult, full of thorns". I feel so lucky sleeping in the tent, haha.

My seniors call me out again to eat. This time it's cooked by Look Hab. They cook Fried Pork with Basil and Omelet as well as some leftover from lunch. I have a few bites.

When I'm full enough and ready to bed, I want to pee and this is the highlight. I've never use the pit toilets in my life.

Black cloth as tall as our body height is wrapped around 4 woods in 4 angles. Inside is the wood placing across the hole. I was thinking I wish I do not have to poo up here.

Before going to bed, I take lots of pills like weather allergy and muscle pains so tomorrow I won't feel too painful.

My first time at Doi Luang Chiang Dao at 10 degree, it's very cold, very height, very far, very tired, and I miss my mom so much.

8 December 2015

6.00 a.m.

Camping area on Doi Luang Chiang Dao

This morning only three of us wake up and another friend gives up for sunrise as she's still sore from yesterday.

My soreness is better than yesterday so I walk around to see that there's quite a crowd here. There're several tents all around the area. The mist is still thick with the temperature at 10+ degree.

8.00 a.m.

The seniors who walk up to see the sunrise come back with the same complaints " there's nothing up there, it's covered by thick mist. The way up is also difficult, full of thorns".

This morning we have a noodle instant cup and ask Look Hab to help us boil the water like usual.

9.45 a.m.

Camping area on Doi Luang Chiang Dao

It's time to go down (the closer to it, the more cheerful I become). We walk down on the different route which is shorter but steeper so it's better for walking down.

Today I'm in the mood for photography much more than yesterday. We take a break and take photos a lot. I see many strange flowers (I don't remember the name but capture them anyway).

The mist is still thick.

Flowers are along the way.

When we see this sign, it means that we are half way down now.

Something is crawling here.

That is the village that we are going to stay tonight.

Chic grass flower is here and now the sky is clearer.

14.30 p.m.

The more they said we are getting closer, the faster I walk. I even walk in front of them, hehe.

The closer I see finishing line and people talking, I run to record when everyone is going for the finishing line.

15.00 p.m.

YAY! We finally arrive. And now we officially conquer Doi Luang Chiang Dao even though it's not so smooth and I didn't go to the top.

P'Som, the staff at the National come to welcome us with a box of cool beverages. I have a bottle of sponsor drink.

The staff who guide the way keeps saying we are almost here (which is more than 30 minutes). They introduce mountains we walked pass and point to rare flowers. They also let us try strange things that are not necessarily eatable but we already ate anyway.

P'Som takes us back to the National Park again to collect our other things and pay the expenses. He also finds the ride for us to the home-stay.

17.00 p.m.

Ban Mok Tawan, Chiang Dao

It is the newly open house which only opens for 4 days the day we stayed. At first, we were planning to stay at Ban Nab Dao but it's full so we stay here. My seniors handle all the booking (lucky me again).

Anyhow, two of the seniors stay at Ban Nab Dao (they book it on time although they have to sleep in the tent).

Since it's newly open, it's very new. The restroom is near to the house. The view is great but not compatible to Ban Nab Dao. Well, we see the view in different angle. Here is more private where no one walk pass our house.

But there's no plug inside the house, we can only charge it at the main house.

Once arriving, I take shower (shampoo and soap is provided but the water is so cold). I'm the last to take shower. When I finish I find other seniors go to take photos at Ban Nab Dao. I wasn't planning to go but oh well, let's also join them.

The Neighboring House

It's time to go back to our house.

The sun is about to set. I'm very happy to see it (I didn't see it for my first two days here).

My gloves look like this after the hike.

18.00 p.m.

Our dinner is served. It is the fried vegetable, a soup and omelet (the flavor is neutral to accommodate Bangkok people). It comes with spicy chili sauce (very spicy) and we can eat the rice as much as we want.

19.00 p.m.

My other seniors come join our house so we five girls watch the stars together. The weather is really cold (we have to bring out more blankets from the house to wrap around us).

I'm determined to take stars shots but I don't know how and my camera also is not made for this (without shutter pressing cable).

And this is my best shot (I'm so shy).

My seniors keep chatting for along time but I can't, please allow me to sleep in the warm bed first.

9 December 2015

6.00 a.m.

Ban Mok Tawan

I wake up early this morning to see the sunrise. But the mist is too thick so I only see the shade of red light without the big circle one. Anyhow, the view is like a paradise just like what the house owner told us (it's so beautiful looking with the eyes but I can't take beautiful shot).

7.30 a.m.

Ban Mok Tawan

This morning we have hot rice porridge as our breakfast. We also pay for accommodation now.

These two cute girls are the ones taking care of me the entire trip.

That's right, you listen it correctly. We book the place without paying in advance and even if we ask to pay first, they refuse.

The accommodation and 2 meals is 500 THB each so it's 1,500 THB per three people. Oh my, it's so cheap.

9.00 a.m.

Ban Mok Tawan

P'Som is so kind that he arranges the car to take us to the bus stop in order to go back to Chiang Mai.

11.30 a.m.

Downtown Chiang Mai

We take the red taxi to buy some souvenir from Waroros Market. Then, I separate with my seniors who need to take the flight back to Bangkok at the airport.

For me, I book the late night bus so I decided to watch a movie at Maya (I didn't watch it at Bangkok but come to watch at Chiang Mai?) Then, I wait for my junior to come pick me up to the bus terminal.

The sky is so clear. Let's say today is the best weather so far (and today is my last day here!).

20.00 p.m.

Bus Terminal

My junior take me here to wait to board Nakonchai Air Bus.

Since this is my first time going with Nakonchai Air, I just realize that they provide air conditioning waiting room and board us the same way as the airlines do.

When it's the time, the staff checks the ticket and gives us the baggage tag. The service is excellent, I love it.

I get to escape the heat from Bangkok to enjoy a cold sleep at Chiang Dao. There, it's full of stars. Even though the weather wasn't so nice at first, it's getting better and really nice on my last day.

Doi Luang Chiang Dao is a mountain that can test our physical and mental strength and allow us to challenge our own limits. It also makes me realize that I'm allergic to cold weather, haha.

My deep gratitude and thanks to P'Kuan for inviting me, P'Tuk, P'King, and P'Kwan (2) for taking care of me the entire trip. I'm so lucky to join this trip because if no one invites me, I wouldn't have a chance to come.

If you are reading this review, please find time to conquer Doi Luang Chiang Dao and keep it as good memory that one must experience.

If you can't walk that much, I recommend the home-stay at Chiang Dao as there're many beautiful angles that we didn't get to see daily.

The travel might not be easy. As far as I know, now there's car service to home stay running on scheduled times.

You can come as a family, a lover, or a group of friends. It's a perfect destination for everyone.

Lee Leelawadee

 Monday, September 5, 2016 11:00 AM