Chiang Mai: More Temples, Mountains, and Food

Last couple of days in Chiang Mai have been pretty hectic.

Thailand so far has been an on the go thing. We wake up, plan the day and somehow everything works out fairly well.

Day two consisted mostly of Doi Ithaneon (?), the King’s mountain. There we peaked up to 2550 metres above average sea level. Literally at the top of the mountain, we reached Thailand’s highest point. Sadly it was but a spot in the middle of a dense forest than the expected peak or view point I had in my head.

On the way up the mountain, we stopped by two bug waterfalls. They offered good scenery and photography practice but in my honest opinion, these waterfalls were nothing special. 

Having taken a breather at Thailand highest point following the waterfalls, we walked down a nearby nature trail. Said trail looped around a helicopter crash site 40+ years back. A small shrine was built around the helicopters engine which I found to be very unique and very thoughtful.

It was actually pretty chilly up in the mountains. A mere 21 degrees… I think the heat of Thailand has really settled into my body and mind.

After the trail, we drove a little further down the mountain to find the King and Queen’s pagodas. Detailed as all the other temples and tributary artifacts in Thailand, these pagodas included detailed paintings of Buddhas journey to enlightenment and Thailand’s interactions with many other countries of the world. Although very heavily tourist developed, it was a worthwhile site to see.

A semi buffet lunch was then served of coconut based chicken curry soup, fried chicken, chicken with sauce and rice. Chicken. Yum. I guess they have an abundance of them up in the mountains.  Lunch also included sometime at the local market where we ended up with a bottle of lychee wine (turned out to be quite good… At first).

The trip concluded with a visit to the local village. The women mostly spent their time making scarves, blanket with a knitting technique consisting of a wooden machine and multiple threads and needles. 

We ended day two with a visit to the Saturday night market, packed with people and good food.

Day three… Today was even more hectic. We got up pretty early, mopped around for a couple hours and then headed out to rent a motorbike to drive to a sticky waterfall.

Having never ridden a bike before, it was a much less intuitive process than I thought. And with Lucy sitting in the back, the first trip ended with my crashing the bike into a wall… LOL oops… Guess that waterfall wasn’t happening.

So it looked like today’s plans fell through. I left Lucy to re do the days plans and took the bike out to get a little more comfortable with it.

Realizing not having someone else sitting on my back made it a lot easier for me to ride as I had one less persons safety to worry about.

A good twenty minutes around the two and I felt pretty comfortable on the 125cc bike. In the end, we each got one and took it up the highway to a nearby Lake to go for a hike. Riding the motorbike on the highway and breaking 90km/h felt thrilling. Having quickly arrived at the lake, we found out the hike was actually closed due to the recent heat wave and high chances of forest fires. So we parked out bikes, took out some snacks and people watched on the beach.

Guess the day didn’t turn out so badly. 

After, not having had enough of high we felt speeding down the highway, we took a giant loop around the city, stopped by a local market where I at the biggest seafood omelette of my life, and eventually made out way back to the hotel. Yea I said hotel and not hostel because hotels are cheap as fuck here! An extra 5$ for privacy definitely worth it. 

Tired and full filled, we grabbed some booze and went hunting for the Sunday night market! Yea creativity in names seems to be lacking here…

An hour later, we dawned upon what seemed like endless streets of stalls and food stands. You could literally buy anything here.

Tired as hell, I willed myself around the market for an hour before leaving Lucy behind to go home and sleep.

Having no Internet and my hotel not actually loading on my off line map, I luckily found it. Did some quick clean up to prepare for our trip to Pai tomorrow! (which we obviously haven’t planned out either…)

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