Thailand Jan 2009 (1 of 5)
On our way to Thailand we spent three very enjoyable days in Sydney
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After leaving Bangkok, on our way to the Elephant Conservation Center, we visited the city of Chang Mai. Someone at this Wat had a sense of humor - Donald Duck is in the garden eating a bowl of noodles.
We spent a day visiting Doi Inthanon National Park, which includes the highest point in Thailand. It was nice and cool near the top, with clouds blowing through that obscured what we were led to believe was a great view. Here Phra Mahathat Naphamethanidon, built to commemorate the king's 60th birthday, peeks out of the clouds.
Although it looks good in pictures, and was nice to relax by, the river was none too clean. This did not in any way stop people for getting in it with their fishing nets. These kayakers were the only watercraft we saw on the water.
We took a day tour to the mountainous areas outside of Chang Rai, to see some of the countryside and visit some of the Hill Tribe villages in the area. First stop was the local hot spring, where the favored trick was to buy eggs from the vendors that you could cook in the spring. Having recently finshed breakfast, we passed on this opportunity.
The village of Mae Salong, in the mountains West of Chang Rai, is only about 10km from Burma. It was settled by Chinese who fled the country when the communists took over, so it is almost more like a Chinese village than a Thai one. We had a fantastic Chinese lunch there. The scenery was not bad either.
Doi Inthanon has several nice waterfalls, including Wachirathan which is shown here. There was plenty of water even though it was the dry season. We could only imagine what things may look like during the rainy season.
After leaving the Elephant Conservation Center we stayed for a couple of days in the town of Lampang, which we quite enjoyed. Not too much of a tourist place, just a norther Thai city going about its business. There were nice walking and biking paths along the river which we took advantage of.
A fair bit of tea is grown on the slopes around Mae Salong. We stopped at two places to sample some. It tasted like tea.