Several months into my latest Asian adventure, I had the rare treat of Canadian visitors, nephew Jason and his significant other, Tanya. Usually I am here studying massage, yoga, qigong or other things along the holistic healing avenue and feel guilty if I get sidetracked . This visit gave me an excuse to unabashedly don my Tilley hat and play the tourist 🙂
There are many good sights around Chiang Mai I haven’t seen and I kinda of like to keep it that way, always leaving something to come back for. Nonetheless we did check out many attractions together with the highlights being Doi Inthanon, Chiang Dao cave, Night Safari and Chiang Rai to name a few. Doi Inthanon was an action packed day trip, including two waterfalls, the highest point in Thailand (2565 meters), gorgeous Royal Gardens and a Karen hill tribe village. It’s lush and beautiful up there with a paradoxical tropical yet alpine feel to it.
Chiang Dao and it’s cave was another good mission. It’s not far so we rode bus like the locals do. Once we arrived we quickly found out it is not so touristic here and had a few challenges with communication, all good fun though. From previous experience in India I am not a big cave fan, what is the attraction going into dark, slippery, cramped sand generally dangerous places? Chiang Dao swayed my opinion on this, it is worth the trip for sure. The cave itself is rather impressive with many large chambers, and tons of stalactites and stalagmites. After a couple of hours caving we were ready to go back to the village a few kms away but there was nary a cab to be found. We eventually hitched a ride with a kind Thai man going that way who had a plank attached across his truck box for just such an emergency. He graciously refused our offer to pay him for his trouble, so nice.
I believe Jason and Tanya were impressed with the kindness of the people around Chiang Mai, as I am continually. The people definitely remain one of the main Chiang Mai attractions for me.