We have wanted to come to Chiang Mai for a long time; so spending two weeks here has been a dream. Chiang Mai is the second largest city in Thailand and there are plenty of ways to spend your time; art galleries, coffee shops, massage parlours, city parks- the list continues. Whilst the the city centre is bustling, there are also lots of amazing places to visit a hop, skip and a jump away. Our only problem is- we don’t have a scooter, nor do we feel comfortable enough yet to get one (the roads here are IN-sane!) so getting to these places can sometimes be tricky. We have wanted to visit Doi Inthanon national park since we began planning this trip, but it’s simply too far to get to without your own mode of transport, we thought of catching a songthaew but there are so many sightseeing stops up the mountain- it would turn into a logistical nightmare.
Rather than be the DIY backpackers we claim to be, we sat back and let our hotel organise everything for us. For 1000 BHT each (may seem pricy at first but was totally worth it) an air conditioned mini bus; picked us up from outside our hotel at 8am, drove the hour and a half to the mountain, took us to two different waterfalls, dropped us off at the peak (which isn’t just the highest peak in Thailand, it’s also part of the Himalayas FYI). They then took us to the King & Queen’s pagodas, drove us to a local market and then to a restaurant- lunch was included and was delicious. Our final stop was a local hill tribe who created incredible scarves and blankets from a luxurious cotton fabric- each one handmade wholly by one person which takes them up to two weeks to complete, all before dropping us safely back to our hotel at 5:30pm. PHEW! If that wasn’t a hectic paragraph to read, then try actually doing it. This was a fantastic experience; the mountain is gorgeous and there are so many hidden treasures on your way to the peak. I would 100% recommend everyone to visit Doi Inthanon if you’re passing through Chiang Mai. I would also suggest asking your hotel/ hostel to put you in touch with local travel agencies for this trip as it wasn’t just hassle free, it was an absolute bargain!
**All photos taken by Joe- I know I said I was trying to get into photography more and I am; I was too busy filming a video montage on our compact camera and trying to take photos of some nuns I saw with our zoom lens**