Tuesday, August 26, 2014

FEBRUARY 5, 2014: DOI INTHANON


February 5, 2014

     After breakfast we are eager for our day trip with JOURNEY.  It will be a group tour but sometimes it's nice to experience things with others rather than having private trips all the time.  Cost 2400 baht for the 2 of us.  Pick up 8:30 am.  Our guide is Banana and our driver is Ton or it may be the other way around as I'm not 100% sure!

     DOI INATHANON  Named in honor of King Inthawichayanon, one of the last Kings of Chiang Mai, who was concerned about the forests in the north and tried to preserve them.  There were pros and cons about this trip.  It was nice having a guide explain so much but on the other hand there were some places I would have liked to spend more time and others I could have missed.  I don't regret doing this though.

     We start by taking a short hike from the main road through the forest on a trail that leads to the SIRITHAN WATERFALL  We have some time here to admire the surroundings from a wooden platform.  A nice view.  This waterfall is around 40 meters high originating in the Mae Klang River.  It was named by the Queen who visited here.

Sign by the road

On our hike














     SHORT NECK KAREN HILLTRIBE VILLAGE  I'm not sure how I felt about this.  I kind of feel that while it's interesting to see how they live that it is too much of an intrusion.  I just feel uncomfortable.  We see some homes, some livestock grazing, some fields-nothing much.  In a large building we see how the young women weave cotton table runners, scarves, etc.  I find a pretty green hued table runner that I purchase for 450 baht.  I'm not sure about the name of this village.












     WACHIRATHAN WATERFALL  Much more impressive than the first one as it's bigger.  Can see water falling year round.  Segmented with cumulative height of 80 meters.  There are walkways but need to be careful as can get slippery from the waterfalls mist.






Walkways







     LUNCH  Included.  Restaurant is located right by our next stop of the King and Queen pagodas.  Rice, chicken with green beans in a spicy sauce, mixed vegetables of carrots/cauliflower/green beans, mushroom soup.  It's all good.

Lunch

Another way to see the sights is to go by songthaew.

     KING AND QUEEN PAGODAS  These were built to honor the 60th birthday of the King (1987) and the Queen (1992).  Too bad the QUEEN one is covered-think it's being renovated. The gardens are just beautiful.  I would have liked to spend much more time here to really explore the entire area as noted on the site map.  King pagoda-Naphamethinidon meaning by the strength of the land and sea.  Queen-Naphaphonphumisir meaning being the strength of the air and the grace of the land.










Looking down the stairs





Lovely views







Queen pagoda being renovated

















     HIGHEST SPOT IN THAILAND SIGN  No view because it's too hazy.





I thought this looked cool!

It can get cold at the summit



     MARKET  I buy lots of goodies here like a bottle of wine, some dried fruit, 2 jars of jam, pistachio nuts.






     LOTUS PROJECT  The government is trying to encourage the hilltribes to grow crops other than opium.




     MUSEUM  A small building that has some information about the kinds of wildlife found inside the park.  I didn't take any pictures here.

We return to our hotel around 5:00 pm.  Tired but feeling ok that we did this.  I went back and forth about this trip so I'm glad it turned out so well despite no view.  Our guide gave us so much info, took pictures for everyone.  It was a good size group-about 10 or 12 of us.

     DECK 1 for dinner.  It's also walking distance from our hotel right on the Ping River.  I really should have been more on top of things and made reservations.  We get a table-not right on the deck area next to the river but pretty darn close.  We have a view of the river from our table even though we are inside as our table is right by the opening to the deck.  Caesar salad to start that we shared.  Our regular drinks-coke for me and Singha beer for my husband.  I have grilled shrimp lemon grass with Thai herbal rice and my husband orders the crispy salmon with wasabi mashed potatoes.  Our table setting is very nice with a fresh flower arrangement and lovely candle.  As I'm eating some of my rice my head feels like it's going to explode.  It is so spicy that I give the rest to my husband who gives me his potatoes which are divine.  As he's eating the rice he tells me there's no spiciness.  What!! I tell him I wasn't making it up.  Just then he gets a small/very tiny red pepper and says OMG!  Now that's what must have happened to me.  It's so tiny that before you notice it , it's in your mouth!  Dessert-I get a dark chocolate mousse with cherry, strawberries, chocolate swirl designs, almonds with a white chocolate cookie. I've died and gone to Heaven!  My husband has banana crepes with chocolate sauce and ice cream.  He's a happy camper too.  Cost of one of the best meals of our trip was 1647.80 with 10% service charge added.



View from our table

Tables with a view of the Ping River



Caesar salad

Grilled shrimp lemongrass with Thai herbal rice.  Doesn't this rice look innocent?

Crispy salmon with wasabi mashed potatoes

Another angle





Banana crepes with chocolate sauce and ice cream

My dark chocolate mousse with cherry, strawberries, swirl design, almonds, and a white chocolate cookie
     We walk over to the Narawat Bridge and decide to catch a tuk tuk to the Night Market.  Price was less than from our hotel but I didn't write it down.  At the market I buy a bunch a cute gifts-scented soap carved in the shape of flowers sitting in a nice wooden container.  I will end up giving these to my niece's daughter, my nephew's girlfriend, and my step daughter.


Beautiful soaps





I'm in a moving songthaew but look-Burger King!

And Mickey Ds!!
   

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