Escape to Chiang Mai

Well we are in our last few days of our winter escape in Thailand and just trying to pack in as much of the lovely things we like to do here as possible. We went for a long ride up to Doi Inthanon (the highest mountain in Thailand) and drove through the hill tribe villages on our favourite route. It is the prettiest of all the bike rides we do, twisty turny roads up and over into lush green valleys a heady citrus scent lingers in the air, it’s spectacular.

The Mae Wang National Park has miles of forest, waterfalls, hiking trails and a large reservoir. Camping is a great favourite for Thai people, especially at the weekends, and around every lake and reservoir and in every National Park are campsites, lots of them with moderate facilities and is incredibly cheap to do. It’s proper round the campfire have a party, they know how to have fun in big family and friends groups.

Pha Chor is a geological feature within the park. It came from the erosion of river sediments deposited 5 million years ago. Like a mini Grand Canyon!! It was pretty good, better than I thought it would be. When Chris said we’re going to see a wall on the way I thought he had lost the plot……

Doi Inthanon is also in a National Park. There are 5 major National Parks within 1 hour of CM and many smaller parks it’s very green and mountainous . We didn’t ride to the top of the mountain this time we turned off into the villages half way up. It doesn’t take long to get into narrow rural lanes and chickens running and dogs asleep in the sun in the middle of the road. Everyday life unfurling in front of you. Hardworking women hauling unfathomably large bundles of greenery about and men fettling around in the fields, food cooking, motorbikes dusty and noisy toiling away taking all sorts of ‘stuff’ here and there. It’s fascinating

I do like being out on the motorbike, I think you would miss so much in a car, the aromas the noise of life and people working, the hum of insects and other things moving around as you slowly meander along it’s very appealing. Stopping for a cold drink and making the villagers laugh with our rubbish Thai, they are very friendly endearing folk who are quick to smile and laugh. The landscape, food and weather are brilliant but the people make our escape the joy that it is.

On the way back from the bike ride we have to come through the area that has all the elephant tours, near the Mae Wang river. We have been lucky before to be able to go and see them. There are no tourists around, the elephants are off duty in their corrals for the night.

We have done this before: we ask if we can go and take pictures of the elephants and the mahouts always seem happy to let us and even happier when we push a couple of drinks worth of money into their hands for letting us. I could cry with happiness they are beautiful animals and we managed to have a proper cuddle with a very friendly Nellie who liked air blown down her trunk and then she would do the same, good game. Bliss.

Typically we found the local public outdoor swimming pool last week. We looked at it last year but it looked deserted and desolate but no more it’s refurbished and great 50 baht a day, big clean pool and the best bit is it’s really quiet. We have been 4 times now it’s great especially since the heat has just turned up to 37degrees, phew. Better late than never….

6 of us went 10 pin bowling, that was fun. £3 for 3 games, a bar and a very good time had by all. We keep finding these things always as we are leaving….. we went to the cinema and saw A star is born. I’d missed it at home so enjoyed it here, great film.

Thailand is highly addictive. When we first got here we said maybe we will go somewhere else next year but the longer we stay, the more people you meet and it gets almost impossible to not come back. We would really like to come in November the end of the rainy season, it’s supposed to be at its best then with the waterfalls full and the fields lush and green. That must be really really green because it’s as green as a green thing now!!!

Things change quickly here, lots of things we really liked last year have gone or changed but new things have appeared, it’s a very fluid life here. Businesses come and go really quickly. The band we loved and spent many a night with a ‘mugarita’ in hand have split up but we have found table tennis, a few new friends, new food we like and new places to visit. We have found a local eatery who make a fab Tom Yam soup and they are going to show us both how they make it before we leave. The people really make this place special….

We have been out shopping for things to bring home, birthdays we’ve missed and things you just cannot get in the UK easily.

This trip we especially liked Mae Hong Son and Chiang Rai and will definitely return. We loved the guesthouse in Mai Sai and will return there next time. There are still plenty of places in Northern Thailand we haven’t been to yet, there is almost a plan.

Here are a few pictures that didn’t really fit in with anything in particular

Chris nearly threw me off the bike stopping really quickly, I wonder why? Drove really quickly past the interesting shops……..

5 thoughts on “Escape to Chiang Mai

  1. We will miss living it through you! What a great adventure every time you go! We’ve got to meet you there and spend some time,a truly special place on earth 😊😊😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s