Saturday, January 07, 2006

Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai: Day 1

We arrived in Chiang Mai by overnight bus from Bangkok. Our chartered van driver met us at the bus station, and we proceeded to the railway station to pick up the rest of the gang who came by train.

We had a great breakfast at a "chook" or congee restaurant in Chiang Mai. The rice bits were much more fine (smaller) compared to normal Cantonese chook, but nevertheless the meal was excellent! We also made a short stop at a temple before heading off.

Mok Fa Waterfall

Our first stop of the trip was at Mok Fa waterfall, located at Doi Suthep-Doi Pui National Park.

We packed some food along the way, and so had a nice picnic by the stream. It's during times like these that I realize how useful sticky rice is - you can pack it, eat it with your hands while on the move - so convenient but so tasty.

The rocks are more slippery than they look. Yours truly slipped several times, saved only by some breakdance-like moves. After lunch, we took a short hike through a bamboo forest before heading back to the van.

Pong Duad Pa Pae Hotspring

Our destination for the day was a resort near the Pong Duad Pa Pae hotspring, located in the Huay Nam Dang national park.

Being my first visit to a hotspring, I was awed by the sheer power of nature - a never-stopping stream of hot water gushing out from the ground.

Ah, natural hot water does have it uses! ;) The water was really hot - even hotter than the very-hot bath showers that I'm used to. Later on, some of us tried the hotspring bath. It was probably the closest way to experience what meatballs in an MK hotpot felt like. But once we got used to the temperature, it felt great!

We spent the night in the comfort of one of the chalets, after a filling meal (which got cold far too quickly). Amazingly, all 10 of us were able to fit into one house. The world being as unfair as it is, us 4 guys got the floor while the 6 girls shared the beds.

Continue to Day 2 / Back to Prologue