The last couple of days have been something of a dream… Monday morning we flew to Chiangmai, a few hours north of Bangkok. Landed at 11 am and hit the ground runnin. Checked into our hotel ten boutique house.a really cute 2 story building right in the center of town, and started venturing around town. Cute lil shops and stands all over, but it’s not until dusk when the real show starts. The bazaar markets .. where all the streets are flipped from roads for cars&motor bikes to streets filled with stalls with everything imaginable. shirts,shoes, scarfs, paintings, mini scented soap bars carved as fruit and much much more, the best part is it’s all hand made( things range from 1-$15) it took every bone in my body not to buy one of everything. (I ll be back to do that ) I did happen to buy a pair of hand made leather sandals for 500 baht about $15, The most comfortable shoes I ve owned so far. After a few other purchases and Lil more Wondering around I headed back to the hotel to prepare for the next morning. (yes mom I wander around Thailand by myself) Maehongson loop is a 600km (370 miles) drive starting in Chiangmai and going thru maehongson providence. A chance to see a more authentic and less tourist version of Thailand. windy roads that take you thru the mountains to some of the most beautiful views in Thailand. Started first thing in the morning packing our things and callin a taxi or should I say a small Toyota truck that’s revamped its bed into a caravan. Head for the airport to collect our rent a car for the next 4 days. Now I know what your thinkin .. hiring a car .. in thailand are you mad ? Maybe a lil but what better way to see the island and nothin says perfect holiday like a road trip. Heading out of Chiangmai we head to the beautiful doi inthanon national park .. the highest peak in Thailand. With a temple at the very top and views that you have to see to believe, Never seen a place as lush and green as here. Being from California thou doesn’t say much. Takin in every second I can from the views to the people. we slowly make our way onto our first stay on the trip.. Mae sariang. A quite lil town with one road goin thru. If there was ever a placed I wanted to get away and never be found .. this would be the place! We arrive at our hotel above the sea, Just in time for sunset. It looked as if they built a two story house in the back and made it into a mini B&B. With a pool right in the middle. So cozy ! After a few mumbles and gestures we given our room set our things and and Went for a walk. up and down the road seein what the town had to offer .. (very little if I must say but still very cute) we found a place with a view of the river that runs thru the town to watch the sunset and have a bit to eat. I had the pad Thai( Never go wrong with pad Thai) and som Tum which is papaya salad. In my mind I thought it was goin to be a crispy sweet salad. WRONG ! It was the complete opposite. It’s made with papaya, (before it ripens)peanuts, tomato, &&chile peppers.Let’s just say my sinuses were cleared out after that meal! After dinner we went for a lil walk to see if there was anything else to see and then headed back to the hotel.
I know I know your thinkin but wait .. it’s Tuesday morning now .. but I am 15 hours ahead of everyone back home.. my day is pretty much complete !
Mae sariang –> maehongson
The day I drive on the left side of the road.
Wake up to The sound the roosters crowing .. we get up and start getting ready.. remembering the lady at the front sayin breakfast is served at 730. We pack up the last of our things and head down stairs. Again a few gestures and tryin to exchange words the best we know how to,we order coffee & a bowl of musli with fruit and some fruit juice that I believe was grape juice. As we talk about the agenda for the day, we finish up breakfast grab the rest of our stuff and head to the first spot KHUN YUAM ! (Really fun to say ) a place that not only has a beautiful water fall, as well as their wild flowers that only bloom in November. (I guess called Mexican sunflowers) lucky us! A quarter down the drive I start thinkin .. I wanna try.. so Dan pulls over and thus begins my journey of driving on the left side of the rode. A bit weird at first then you warm up to the idea and become more comfortable and before you know it your driving around the curves like the locals. (sorry mom) after about an hour or so of driving we finally arrive. Field of flowers.. with a view that looks like something out of a painting. Sky’s so blue, baby clouds scattered all around, the faint hills tops in the distance and nothin but bushes filled with beautiful yellow flowers all around you. Climbing the stairs to see a view that’s just a lil higher than the last.. you finally get to a point that you can’t go any further( if it wasn’t so rocky I prob would have) you turn around and soak up everything around you! After countless moments we decided to head to a nearby waterfall. A good stop over and worth the drive but wanting to see the sunset we head of to Mae hong son. B&B number 3! This town busier than the last. We slowly drive thru seeing what there is before arriving at baan mai guesthouse on a quite one way street with a hidden car park, we pull in and make our way to the front. Again where we point and mumble some words hoping they understand( def should of learned more Thai before this trip) they show us to our room hand us a drawn up map of the town and send us on our way. Everything we’ve read said the temple of Mae hong son mountain wat was best place for sunset/ sunrise along with before sunset cafe (very original) so that’s where we went. I ve done quite a bit of traveling but nothing has truely compared to what I ve seen today.. when you look at nature magazines or scrolling thru your feed and wondering where in the world are these places .. I finally found it or at least one of them! I honestly don’t even know what to say… the cafe is just jaw dropping ,a tiny tiny cafe with a bamboo ledge that has 5 tables all lined up on the side lookin out at the hills of green in front of you that go as far back as the eye can see. with trees all around you and the sun setting ever so slowly to the left you start to think .. this has got to be a dream who knew something so simple could be so magnificent! Before the sun fully sets I climbed a few set of stairs to the top of the temple where I sat for the next 20 minutes watching as the sun set and people from all around doin the same. The perfect way to end the day ..PUPPIES !!! Ran off the the toilet and when I got out Dan said so there is a really cool gold tree over there with peoples signatures in memory of the king and there’s two puppies over there play.. before he could finish I rushed over to see them .. 3 all together fluffy golden puppies with short legs and a lil white spot on their chest. honestly if it was possible I would swooped them up and brought them home with me! Knowing we’d be back in the morning for sunrise i said my goodbyes to the pups and back to the hotel we went.
Off to pai tomorrow and back to Chiangmai on Thursday before heading down south to the clear turquoise waters of koh lanta on sat!