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Monday, December 15, 2014

Thailand Trip Itinerary 2014 - Part 8 Doi Inthanon Trip

Day 9 – Tour of Doi Inthanon, Chiangmai 
Continuation of my November 2014 Thailand Trip Itinerary
Location – Mae Chaem. Joined a day tour to Doi Inthanon for 900 THB per person. Tour van will  pick and drop you at the hotel at 8.00 am and after the tour by 4.00 pm.  Had early breakfast provided by hotel from 7.30 to 10 am.
Apart from visiting the highest point of Thailand, the tour includes visits to Wachirathan and Sirithan Waterfalls, Twin Pagodas, Royal Market, Karen Tribal Village and provides lunch too.
Doi Inthanon is the highest peak in Thailand, rises to 2565 metres above sea level. Known as a sanctuary for a wide range of animal species and perhaps the best place in Thailand for bird watching. The park has approximately 362 different species, many of which are not found anywhere else in Thailand.
Doi Inthanon is a popular destination not only for its natural beauty but also for its historical significance.
Places visited were [time stated is assigned by tour operator]:
  1. Wachirathan Waterfall [30 minutes]
  2. Highest Peak of Thailand [King Inthanon’s Tomb] [30 minutes]. 30 minutes drive from Wachirathan Waterfall. The lowest temperature recorded on the day we visited at 6.00 am was 7 degrees C. Cool and fresh air at the peak that is 8595 feet above sea level.  There is nothing much to see except the King Inthanon Grave here.
  3. Twin Pagodas [1 hour]. Doi Inthanon Scenic View Area at this place. Nice place with lots of flowers blooming in the area. There are escalators to get to the Pagodas and not tiring to climb up to the foot of the Pagodas.
  4. Lunch at Doi Inthanon National Park [1 hour]. Lunch provided here is good with local Thai dishes and rice. Dishes like creamy chicken tomyam, stir fry chicken with cashew nuts, stir fry broccoli and cauliflowers, fried fish etc. After lunch, the next stop was the Royal Market.
  5. Royal Market Place [20 minutes]. There are numerous stalls selling dried pickled fruits [strawberries, mangoes, kiwi, plums, longans etc], fresh organic vegetables, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower etc and fresh fruits like persimmons, mangoes and strawberries etc and tea leaves are also on sale here. Was told that the prices are cheaper than in the city and all are organic products.
  6. Sirithan Waterfall [30 minutes] – visited this waterfall after lunch around 2.30 pm on the way downhill. To see this waterfall, you need to water down about 300 steps. Climbing up the steps is quite tiring and taxing to many who are not used to climbing.
  7. Karen Tribal Village [30 minutes] – visited this village after Sirithan Waterfall. Here you get to see the tribal settlement, some rice fields and a place to see cloth weaving. You can have a cup of organic coffee brewed from charcoal boiled water.  Place is very small and you can't see any Karen young ladies. 
Good trip and advisable to visit this place by package tour. For the rate charged and tour itinerary, it is reasonable.
Back to hotel around 5.00 pm. We extended our stay for another day to do some shopping and visiting some other places in Chiangmai.  Made some plans on visit to Bangkok and Ayutthaya.  My hubby rented a motorbike for a day through the hotel staff which charges 250THB per day.
For dinner, we went to Chiangmai University Road Street Food. Visitors to this night food haven are mostly university students. Prices are reasonable and there are lots of food choices suitable for the young.  The place is not as crowded or touristy.
We had the BakMee. The noodles look like wantan noodles and comes with many kind of ingredients like char siew, fried chicken fillet, meatball, siew mai, crispy pork, vegetables, wantan dumplings and a bowl of soup for each person. One serving is 49THB and a serving for 2 persons is 89THB. Tasted good too. A very popular noodle dish among University students here.
Popular Bak Mee Noodles among Chiangmai University Students.
 89THB for 2 persons
Before leaving for some last minute shopping at the Warorot night market, we went to San Kampeang Railway Station to get the train ticket to Bangkok instead of Ayutthaya since the latter is only 1 and 1/2 hours journey from Bangkok by van.
The train leaves Chiangmai at 5.30 pm arriving Bangkok at 8.30 am the next day.
Notes: Be careful when booking your hotel.  Check the arrival dates carefully cos' you are travelling in the night train and will reach your destination the next day.  My hubby made the wrong date reservation and lost a day's stay in Bangkok.

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