CHIANG MAI, Thailand — Day 3 was epic from start to finish. Thanks to my friend Aura for taking the day off from work just to take me to all these breathtaking places. Traveling alone has its limits and I couldn’t have gone to these areas without spending a lot for transportation considering I had no one to split costs with.
There were times when I was pick-up-your-jaw-from-the-floor kind of speechless and sometimes verbally euphoric, uttering the words “wow” and “beautiful” over and over again. I apologize because most of my pictures won’t do justice to what I actually saw. (Again, click on any photo for a slide show.)
On the way to Doi Inthanon National Park. Reminded me of Baguio with its winding rows, except that the paved roads there were free of holes and bumps.
My temp reading on for that day
We finally made it to the peak! The highest point in the entire Thailand! We had to ignore the temptation along the way as there were many view points before reaching the top. We agreed to go all the way up before passing all other spots. The cold was not easy and soooo unforgiving! I didn’t pack winter clothes for a few minutes at the top but i wore the warmest clothing I brought with me. I was a li’l dumb to wear open toe sandals, though. Couldn’t feel my toes for a few minutes!
The peak took us through a jungle with a man-made ramp. There wasn’t much of a view from this area because the trees were quite dense. But this is where it was the coldest and the windiest. I just didn’t know what to feel because I couldn’t feel anything anymore. teehee 🙂
First viewpoint on our way down. Just surreal. How could I be above the clouds without being inside an airplane???
Our next stop were two striking monuments. You couldn’t miss them. Phra Mahathat Naphamethanidon and Naphapholphumisiri are two chedi built by the Royal Thai Air Force to commemorate the King’s and Queen’s 60th birthdays in 1989 and1992, respectively. It was surrounded with beautiful gardens with the most colorful ornamental flowers. And of course, another chance at the clouds. The temperature was more tolerable in this spot due to the sun.
Our next stop was Doi Inthanon Royal Project which was established in February 2009 by His Majesty the King Bhumipol (Rama IX) to educate hill tribe people (Karen and Hmong) about farming and land allocation. It has encouraged them to cultivate cash crops instead of opium, which is illegal. Main agricultural products of this Royal Project are several kinds of cold-climate vegetables and fruits which are used as ingredients in their restaurant conveniently located in the heart of the farm land.
We had a sumptuous lunch made from the farm’s produce and to be very honest, you can really taste the difference. Even the way they cooked the food, they made sure everything was cooked right as you can taste the different flavors and textures of the vegetables with just the right amount of spice, too!
I ordered my all-time Thai food fave — chicken with cashew nuts
Lightly fried shiitake mushrooms in a shrimp salad
Grilled pork and celery — first time to taste this and it was the bomb!
A dream come true, Avocado shake in Thailand! Chiang Mai is known to produce avocados but we rarely get them in Bangkok. They come at a more expensive price than what we are used to in the Philippines, too. So this was a treat! The twist, they used coconut milk instead of cows milk in the smoothie. It was sublime!
My friend ordered this as her dessert and I was a bit reluctant since it was fresh avocado with sweetened coconut milk. Her reaction after tasting was priceless and I had to have a bite. It was out of this world yummy!
Walked around the flower gardens after a very satisfying and filling lunch. It was such a beautiful walk. Have not seen so many flowers in bloom at the same time!
Just when I thought I’d seen and tasted enough, a few kilometers away was Wachirathan waterfalls, cascading beautifully and spraying cold cold cold water! And this one had a rainbow below it! Such a treat!
After driving for about an hour, we reached the city area but Aura had a few more tricks up her sleeves. She took me to one of the oldest temples in Chiang Mai. It featured that Lanna design that I really like.
This place reminded me so much of Jim Thompson House in Bangkok. Had to have some shots taken with ourselves, thanks to camera self-timers. 🙂
We were already quite worn-out from all the drive and sightseeing so we decided to grab a drink and snack somewhere. Out of all the coffee shops that Chiang Mai had to offer (not exaggerating on this one), this should get an award as the prettiest! It was located in a resort and the coffee shop was right beside a stream. You can choose to sit on one of the rocks while you soak your feet in the cold water, or sit on one of the huts or outdoor benches.
Said hello to the resident pet Beagle but he didn’t feel like talking to me. He definitely needs some coffee 🙂
Since I only drink coffee if I have a headache, I got myself a Thai lemon iced tea drink. AHHHHHHH!
Before settling and finding dinner, Aura took me to see a panoramic view of Chiang Mai city from Doikham Temple.
To end this beauty-filled day, we had dinner al fresco at a hillside restaurant called Galae. It was also abloom! Thai food was delicious as usual.
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