Chiang Mai Mountain Trekking

Jan 2013
My sister was picked up sharp on time for her sky adventure.  My mountain trekking tour pick up came late, more than half an hour.  The driver came with a motor bike.  Morning was chilly but another experience other than the red car or tuk-tuk. It brought me to somewhere I had never been to in the last few days.
Still some waiting.  Trucks of tourists unloaded.  But our tour consisted of 6 people only.  Plus the guide JJ, we headed to the mountain Doi Inthanon, if I remember the name right.  We first stopped at a market which was not on the itinerary.  Welcome us was a pig head.  After 20 minutes, we proceeded further. 

Before I continue to write about the trip, I should introduce our guide, JJ Jungle.  He knows everything in the forest.  He showed us all the tricks and told us a lot of the plantation.  The most fabulous was the ways to enjoy the waterfall and fun.  He is very humorous.  You will never find the trip bored.  If you look for a guide, try to find him.
Though in January, it was a day full of sun and hot.  Trek was up and down, very exhausted.  But the scenery was gorgeous.  Our first stop, more than half hour walk was a waterfall where tourists coming constantly.  JJ showed the way to slide from a rock into the water, the most exciting reverse hop into the water.  So much fun!  The water was icy but you would get use soon.
After eating prepared packed lunch, we further up the mountain and reached a bat cave.  Tons of bats inside with noise.  We swing like monkey in the jungle. Of course, trick from JJ.  After strenuous walks and timeless hard breathing, we came to a village.  Villagers still used fire to clear up the forest. 
We stopped at a store.  Apart from serving beer it's also the hub of the village.  Villagers shop here. Dogs greeted us.  Perhaps, the villagers were too shy.
Thereafter, the walk became much easier.  Closer to the evening the nicer it was.  But the light was no longer perfect for taking photos.  The hill side at 'winter' was not great for rice at this time.  Instead corn was planted. 

The trip ended at an elephant farm where two of the trip mates spent the night.  The next day would be living with and caring about the elephants.




Chiang Mai - Street Scenes

Jan 2013

 The city has wide streets.  Houses are a few levels high.  One next to each other.  Electricity wires are sometimes disturbing.  Walking between streets is kind of fun.  Many interesting scenes along the way.  You don't need to visit a temple to see monks but they are everywhere as a part of normal life.

A tailor with its companion
Chiang Mai China Town

Lonesome monk

Monk friends
Young monks on red car

An artist at a market

Chiang Mai River seen whilst cycling
Chiang Mai River
Chiang Mai people are friendly.  The street sculpture tells they are amusing too.




Chiang Mai - Markets and street food

Jan 2013

We explored Chiang Mai on foot upon arrival!  Unbelievable!  Darkness, wandering around the western wall and got astray.  Hunger and tiredness.  Let's start with food and the markets.  It's on the way to the Pratu Chang Phueak gate on the north but still perhaps 200-300 metres away.  We saw a tiny noodle cart serving pork soup noodle.  Why not?  A small bite to fill up to continue the exploration.
Going forward were numerous food stalls on the street.  All kinds of food, fresh and fragrant.  Groups of diners.  With just 30 Baht one can have a fried noodle. 

We had pat thai.  The dish was very special, noodle and all stuff wrapped in eggs!  Delicious! 

Then we went to the Saturday night market.  Full of tourists and selling stalls, mobile ones.  All kinds of goods, food and performances.

Among all the most special was a man crafting on metal.  Much work and decent outcomes. 
The next day began with temples and market.  A market within a temple, Wat Phan Tao.  Crowds were much smaller than the night before.  Then we strolled along the Ratchadamnoen street, stopped for foot massage and finally rented bikes to travel around the city.   
Chiang Mai Tha Phae Gate
Chiang Mai China Town
Sunday market started after 5pm when the heat has slowly faded away.  Suddenly the street was full of mobile stores and loads of tourists. Right at the Tha Phae Gate was a group of Caucasians played music and sang along.



Chiang Mai - Sky Adventure

Jan 2013

My sister was excited and appealed with the Gibbon flight, not trekking on her own feet to view the beauty of the nature.  As so, she took a 15 minutes flight whilst I went for the trekking on one of the surrounding mountains.  Car picked her up at 8am to head to the flight.

It was freezing high in the sky in the morning but it should be the best timing in the day to appreciate the beauty of the landscape.  Her instructor was kind to give her a jacket.  One, two, three....... take off!  Photos speak much better than words.........