Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chiangmai Day 2

Ok, this one is also a scheduled post.
I kinda figured after I finished doing those nail ones
that I still need a little buffer time before I return to blogging.

Day 2 of Chiangmai.
We had booked ourselves a day tour of the Doi Inthanon National Park the night we arrived at the hotel.
I would recommend this if you are the sort who enjoys the nature, waterfalls and/or flowers.

The entrance to the Doi Inthanon National Park.
Ok, I confess, when I first reached the entrance,
I was a little disappointed.
I kinda thought that an impressive National Park should have an impressive entrance to welcome visitors.
Should have known by now that first impressions mean nothing.

Scenery while travelling along well-built roads in Doi Inthanon

Our first scenic stop:
The Wachirathan Waterfall.

I think my pics don't do the waterfalls justice.
It looks a lot better in real life.
And the rainforest was really lush.
Only thing missing that would have made this perfect was a rainbow.

We spent a long time here taking pictures and just scrambling around.
On hindsight, we might have covered more of the National Park had we been more prudent with our time.

Here's an interesting shot of the food available at this scenic stop.
At the Doi Inthanon, you actually don't have to worry about bringing along a picnic
or you'll starve.
There are rustic "cafes" (I use the word loosely here) at the scenic stops,
so you can grab a drink or a bite anytime.

Check out the salted fish!
I thought it actually looked a little too scary

Next scenic pit stop:
the ornamental flower gardens at the King and Queen's commemorative chedis.

A chedi is a usually a bell-shaped tower or pagoda.
It usually contains a relic of the Buddha,
but may also contain the ashes of a king or an important monk.

Visitors have to note that Thailand is mostly a Buddhist country,
and there are Buddhist temples abound in Thailand.
So if you head towards Thailand,
you should really visit one of the temples in which ever region you're in.

And if you're someone who's really into gardens and flowers,
you really should visit here.
It was so breath-taking, my friend called it paradise

Needless to say, we again spent too much time scrambling around
and taking loads of pics

So much so, we got caught in the rain
and our tour guide had to come running to rescue us with umbrellas

though we were insanely amused that his brollies all had holes in them =)

I know there are animal lovers among us nail addicts,
so the next 2 pics are for the cat lovers amongst us.

Courtesy of my friend who attracted them like a magnet
5 cats and a dog who stuck to my friend,
who incidentally owns 14 adorable rabbits

Our guide then brought us along a trail,

that snaked along really old moss-covered trees.
Kinda reminded me of the Nancy Drew book, "Mystery of the Moss-Covered Masion"
I used to love reading the Nancy Drew series as a kid,
and collected almost all of the hard covers.
hmm.... I wonder where they all went now.

The peak of the Doi Inthanon,
which also happens to be the highest point of Thailand.

Unfortunately, its mostly covered by the rainforest,
and there ain't no pretty "top-of-the-world" scenery to be had

Last scenic pit stop for the day,
and yep, its another waterfall:
the Mae Klang Waterfall

Again, it looks a lot more impressive in real life than in my pics
and made me really marvel at the beauty and wonder of nature.
Can't imagine how I would feel when I face the Niagara Waterfalls one day

That's me in the pic; probably the only one you'll get to see of me =P
And this pic conveys perfectly how I felt that day;
so small in the face of nature

And before we left Doi Inthanon,
we stopped by a little marketplace set up by the tribal people living there.

My friends bought this roasted tapioca
and said it tasted really sweet.
But I thought the roasted corn was a hell lot better!

And if you've a penchant for the preserved sweetened fruits (like I do)
you should really get a few packets of these.
I liked the attap palm seeds and the honeyed dates.
Regretted not getting more of those.

Unfortunately by the end of the tour,
I was coming down with a bad headache.
So I went back to the hotel to rest while my friends headed off for a hotpot dinner,
which I was told the next day,
wasn't anything interesting nor yummy.


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