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Thailand’s highest mountain is a great alternation to temples and markets in Chiang Mai. From Chiang Mai city you can take the public bus from pratu Chiang Mai to Chom Thong. From Chom Tong it’s easy to reach the Doi In by Sawngthaew. If you want to have it a bit easier than you can book a daytrip tour from CM town. Another option is traveling by car; the Doi In is about 80 km away from CM. Many tour operators drive to the most beautiful spots of the Doi Inthanon National Park in northern Thailand. The most magnificent sights are the 2509 meter high apex of the mountain, the Great Holy Relics Pagoda of Nabhamethanidol – Nabhapolbhumisiri, Karen and Hmog hill tribe villages, Doi Inthanon Royal Project and great waterfalls.
The highest Mountain in Thailand:
The highest spot in Thailand is very famous for the beautiful nature. About 400 bird species, moss, orchids and many rare animals like Gibbon Monkeys and Asian black bears are at home at the apex of the Doi In in Chiangmai. On the apex there is a visitor center and a coffee shop where you can rewarm yourself. If you come here than it’s recommended to bring a jacked or a warm pullover, the temperatures here at Doi Inthanon are around 10 degrees Celsius.
Waterfalls at Doi Inthanon:
The most visited waterfalls at Doi Inthanon are Wachirathan Waterfall, Nam Tok Mae Pan, Siriphurn Waterfall and the Nam Tok Mae Ya which is with 280 meters the highest in this 482 quadrate kilometer big national park in Thailand’s Chiang Mai province. My favorites are the Mae Ya and the Wachiratan which exhibit some shops for fresh coffee and other beverages.
The Great Holy Relics Pagoda of Nabhamethanidol – Nabhapolbhumisiri:
This spot was one of our highlights at Doi Inthanon National Park. The Royal Thai Air Force constructed the beautiful stupa to commemorate the 60th birthday anniversary of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej in December 1987. 5 years later the Royal Air Force builds the Phra Mahathat Naphapholphumisiri to honor HM Queen Sirikit’s 60th birthday in 1992. At the Great Holy Relics Pagoda are beautiful flower gardens which are really worthwhile to visit. The small restaurant invites tourists for food, drinks and to buy souvenirs. This place becomes very beautiful when the fog lying over this spot on the Doi Inthanon near Chiang Mai.
The Garden at The Great Holy Relics Pagoda
Many day trips stop at one of the hill tribe villages of the Doi Inthanon, here you can watch the all day life of the Karen and buy some handmade souvenirs. For us it was not that interesting because we were already at a Karen village at Ban Nai Soi near Mae Hongson. But still, it’s a nice destination for all who want to see the traditional life of Karen minorities here in the northern Thailand.
Doi Inthanon National Park is a great trip for all Nature fans in northern Thailand. The tour prices are about 1000 to 1500 Thai Baht including lunch and drinks. For us it is one of Chiang Mais main attractions and a worthwhile trip for all tourists in Chiangmai in the North of Thailand.
The campground on the apex of the Mountain
The national Park of the Doi Suthep and the Pui Mountain is home of about 300 bird species, many flowers and many tourists’ attractions which are easy to reach from Chiang Mai in north Thailand. The most visited places here are the Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep temple, the Phra Tamnak Phu Phing Palace of the Royal Family and the Monthathan Waterfall. The apex of the Suthep Mountain is 1676 meter high. On the 1688 meter high apex of the Doi Pui in Chiang Mai is a great place for picnic, rest or camping. You reach the campground of the Doi Pui if you follow the street at long the winter Palace to the Hmog hill tribe’s villages here in northern Thailand. On the way to the top you will recognize many beautiful temples, waterfalls and viewpoints which are a bit quieter than the main sights of this area. Another attraction of the Doi Suthep area is the Zoo of Chiangmai which you can find on the foot of the hill. Nearly every sight is easy to arrive by songteaw Taxi, Car and motorbike. Racy tourists and traveler can rent a Mountain bike in Chiang Mai and can climb the top by bike. For me are the Doi Suthep and the Doi Pui Mountains one of the highlights of northern Thailand. It is a nice possibility to flee from the pollution in central CM and come close with the nature of South East Asia.
The minority village Ban Nai Soi is about 15 km out of the state capital of Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province in the north. It’s easy to reach by Motorbike. Just follow the signs to the Longneck Karen Village. In the 18th century the Burmese-tibeto origin come to the north of the Kingdom. The woman’s of this “type” of Karen minorities wear metal rings around her neck’s which let them look as a longer neck than other people. Nobody knows really why they do that, but they wear it since generations. Some people believe that they wearing the rings to protect them self from tiger bites. Other ones think the Longneck woman in Thailand’s Mountain wear the metal because than they are not attractive for men from other hill tribe minorities. Some travelers or backpacker don’t visit the Karen villages in North Thailand because they think that they destroy the culture. I think it’s ok to visit them when you follow some rules. For me it’s important to know something about the people and the art of living before I visit the village. Just in this way it’s possible to respect the lifestyle and the culture of the Karen. Inform yourself is it ok for them that tourists come into the Thai villages in Asia. Some Minorities don’t like that the travelers make pictures because of religious aspects. Don’t touch statues or sth. like that, maybe it’s holy for the hill tribes. My point of view is: if you know something’s about their life, you can respect that and if you want to visit the Longneck Karen its ok so long you leave nothing instead of used air and footsteps at the village. No waste and no inspirations for a different life so far it is possible.
Ban Nai Sai Village
For us it was the second time that we visit Karen Minorities in North Thailand but the first time that we meet the Longneck woman. Our first time was at Chiang Mai’s Doi Internon National park. We traveled by motorbike from Pai to Ban Nai Soi village near Mae Hong Son town. It was a nice trip at long the beautiful landscapes of the highlands in Asia. The village is about 500 meter long and on every side of the path are simple bamboo huts where the Karen lives. One Longneck Girl give me a neck ring, I think it was about five kilogram heavy. I read before the metal on their body’s can be up to 25 kg. The people are friendly and it’s nice to see how happy people can be without commercial thinks far away from shopping malls and other civilization thinks here on this quiet spot in South East Asia.
I Traveled from Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands by public Bus. It was a nice Trip trew evergreen Rainforest and Mountains who catch the clouds. The Price for this Travel Trip was 17 Malaysian Ringit.At Cameron I was staying at Fathers Guest House in Tanah Rata. The Guest House is a five minutes walk from Tanah Rata Town where you find Restaurants, Supermarkets and ATM’s. A single Room with shared Bathroom and a Fan was 20 Ringit. For more Hotels and Hostels at Tanah Rata look at the Lonely Planet Travel Guide for Malaysia or Southeast Asia. This idyllyc City is surrounded by Mountains, Tea and Strawberry plantages. Because of the low temperatures on the 1536 meter high Bukit Mentigi Mountain are the conditions good for Tea. All over year here at Cameron Highlands are temperatures like in Europe at Summer. Perfect as well for the Strawberry Plants!
Fathers Guest House
I spent here 4 days on my Southeast Asian Travel Tour 2007. My highlight at Cameron Highlands in Peninsular (West Malaysia) are the small Jungle Trails around Tanah Rata. It was a pleasant walk along a Jungle River to some nice Waterfalls like the Robbinson Falls or the Parit Waterfalls. An other sight at this high spot in Peninsular is the Sam Poh Chinese Temple. Here I meet many Backpackers and traveler from around the World. Every Evening we sit together at Fathers Guest House, talked about our last Travel Destinations and ask for Travel tips from the next Cities/Islands.
Jungle at Cameron
From the Cameron Highlands I took a Bus to Ipoh where I had a non stop Bus conection to Georgetown on Pulau Penang in Northwest Malaysia. Tanah Rata was one of my favorite places on this Traveling Trip. The sleepy Village is a good Travel Destination. The landscapes are totally different than at any other Destination in Malaysia where I have bin. But don’t forget a light Jacket because at Nighttime it can be 12-14 degrees Celsius. grrrrrr cold!
2001 i was with my father at Berchtesgaden by car. It was the first holiday in Bavaria for me, but not the last. Berchtesgaden is a national park in south Germany close to the border of Austria. The landscapes are dominated by mountains, Forrest and cold but beautiful lakes. Till this travel tour i don´t know how beautiful Germany can be! The people are relax and friendly. In the summer You have allot of beautiful viewpoints over the mountains with tight Forrest and small villages in the valleys.
Mountains at Bavarian
This part of Bavaria have many sights and memorials of the WW2 because Adolf Hitler had a residence on the “Obersalzberg”. The eagles nest (ger.: Kehlsteinhaus) is on top of the mountain with a beautiful view of the surrounded mountains, sometimes the view reach till Salzburg in Austria when the weather is sunny. A. Hitler did allot of important meetings with leaders of the SS and other heads of the WW2 here at the eagles nest. Near the “Obersalzberg” is a museum in a old bunker who documentate the time of the second world war for the locals.
Eagles Nest on the Obersalzberg
At Bavarian you have many options for walking thrue woods and climbing on walls, the Watsmann for example is famous for wallclimbing. Of the valley of the Watsmann mountain is the Kingslake (ger.: Königssee) where you can make boots tours to a beautiful church with a red roof. The St. Bartholome church is one of the main sights of Berchtesgaden and landmark of the kingslake (Königssee). As well famous is the echo of the walls around the kings lake. On the boatstrip a man blow for a small tip into a bugle and let bang the echo.
Kingslake at Berchtesgaden
The national park Berchtesgaden is a paradise of nature friends! If you are lucky you can see the landmark of Germany the stone eagle while it is huntings mouses and other small animals. There are a lot trekking ways to clime up the mountains or you have on many places the option to take a cablecar or a lift witch brings in winter the sportler on the apex. The villages around Berchtesgaden invite with small glacier rivers and beautie churches for a visit.
In the evening You can enjoy bavarian draft beer in beergardens, restaurants or in the widespread small pubs in the small cobblestone streets in the center. Many time the “berchtesgadener Hofbraeuhaus” invite to a Bavarian night with draft beer, good German food and people in Bavarian liveries who make traditional dances. In the valleys you will see old Bavarian frame houses decorate with European blooms and flowers. Many guesthouses are family established and most of them still have companion animals. In this kind of hotels they will serve you homemade yoghurt, chease, fresh milk and many more homemade Bavarian dishes.
Alp in south Germany
My result for Berchtesgaden in summer: Nature, nature and again nature! The national park is beautiful and the food, the wheat beer and the hospitableness of the locals is great! This part of Europe is for sure one of the beauties places in Germany. Visit Berchtesgaden and take a priese of the fresh air of the national park. This holiday region have many thinks to visit and to explore, visit here the official homepage.
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My wife and me was in august 2008 direct after Chiang Mai in Pai. Pai is a small village at Mae Hong Son province in north Thailand with 3000 habitats. Here is everything small and idyllic. Small Restaurants, Cafe’s (like: All about Coffee, Pai Now, Sincere Coffee…) and guesthouses with style and ambiance dominate Pai. We was staying at the Breeze of Pai guest house next to the River. Some other good accommodation in Pai are the Lisu Hotel and Baan Pai Village. The most famous tourist features are elephant riding, rafting, hot springs, three waterfalls and some minority villages not far from Pai.
Pai Mae Hongson
The main sight is Pai itself! Musicians, artists. spirituals and backpacker must be fans of Pai in mae hongson. The mix of all give a harmoniousness cityscape. The harmonies of mountain and woodland is amazing. Actually i come to Pai to visit a friend who have some small bungalows and the Stone Free Bar at this beautiful part in mae hong sorn. Before he was living on Ko Chang and was the owner of Thale Bungalows. I was living 1,5 years in his Bungalows direct on the beach.
Siri, owner of StoneFree Restaurant
Nearly every evening sounds live music out of the pubs. Blues, Reggae, Rock n roll, jazz and many more options You have. Some famous locations for nightlife in Pai are “Buffalo Hill” and “Mellow Yellow“. The Pai hot springs come out of earth in a evergreen forest and runs into a small river. The natural river pools have about 40-50C, perfect for a hot mineral bath in the nature. The river witch runs slowly and easy through the mountains can be a mirror of the lifestyle of the habitats here in northern Thailand.
The slow river in Pai
One of my favorite sights in Pai is the “Nam Tok Mo Paeng” waterfall. This Waterfall is easy to attain with a motorbike (scooter). Its about 7 km out of the center.
Nam Tok Mo Paeng waterfall
The Stonefree bungalow park offer some easy but beautiful possibilities to stay. In the evening you can see the sunset over the mountains on this spot. The restaurant of Stone Free offer good and cheap foot, many good friends and a amazing ambiance, in nighttime you can listen to the “Sticky Rice Blues Band” which play from while to while at Thale Mhog in Pai.
The beautie in Maehongson is surrounded of ever green mountains who catch the clouds. From the “Wat Phra That Mae Yen” temple You have a good viewpoint over the environment and over the mountains with neon green rice fields. At the Chinese minority village you can see a beautiful Chinese open air temple with a big golden Dragon statue.
Temple at the minority village
After one week it was time to say: see you again Pai! We was going with a bus back to Chiang Mai and from there we book plane tickets to Bangkok Suwannaphumi Airport. The AirAsia flight was cheap and good. From the capital we took a taxi to Leam Ngop to reach the last ferry to Koh Chang at seven pm. For this trip in the north of Siam i used the Lonely Planet travel guide for Thailand.
My result for Pai: Its beautiful, one of the most beautie villages in south east Asian i saw right now! Amazing! Visit this small village in Asia, You will enjoy if you like quiet and relax holidays.
PAI: Love in the mountains!
Our second time in Pai
In April 2009 we come the second time to Pai to make holidays. We stayed about two weeks over the Songkran Festival. Compared to our first time here in this cosy village we did nothing, just relax and hang around with some friends. Just one day we did a daytrip to Mae Hong Son, Tham Pla Fish Cave and to a Longneck Karen village. But actually our normal day was like: we woke up at the morning in our Bungalow next to a small river, had breakfast than we walked back to the hut where we chill on our balcony and listen to the sounds of the nature. After lunch we sit on grass, talked and drunk some beers with some friends. At the late afternoon we droved nearly everyday to the central market in Pai to buy something for dinner. After food we was sitting around a small fire and went back to bed early. Pai in north Thailand is the perfect place to do nothing! The highlands around the Bungalows are beautiful, especially at sunrise when the fog hang inside the Mountains.
A road through the Mountains
After sunsent you will reconize some forrest fires in dry season. The Rain are rare in this time and the Asian Forrest are realy dry, so becareful where you put your cigarette. We enjoyed our holiday’s here at this peaceful place in Thailand and we will come back if we find time. Pai at the Mae Hong Son province should be a “must see” destination for Backpacker in Southeast Asia!
First at all i want to say that im a German guy in Thailand and not a english teacher. So please don’t expect “oxford-English”!
Hello and sawadee krap from the land of many smiles.
Today i want to report about Chiang Mai at north Thailand in Asia. I have bin at Thailands 2nd biggest city in the end of august 2008. My wife and I was going from Koh Chang to the north of Thailand. We was starting at our bungalow on Ko Chang at about 9am. We was going first from Klong Prao Beach to the pier in the north of the island. From Leam Ngop (pier mainland) we took the 12 oclock TAT bus to to Bangkok (need about 5-6 hours). From the Capital we took the night train at 10pm to Chiang Mai. We arrived on next day at 12:30 the train station in Chiang Mai. The run was long but nice, we don’t get any sleeping cabin because it was fully booked. So we was driving 2nd class on a chair. Open windows and the most of the time surrounding by rain forest. The sunrise in the morning was nice to see in the jungle over the teak trees. I used the Lonely Planet for Thailand for this trip. Totally tired but happy to survived we gone to the taxi stand at Chiang Mai station. Moun and me was staying at the Winner Inn Hotel in central-CM. It was 500 Thai Baht each night for a double room with hot water, frigde and air condition. If you like to stay direct in the old town, than are “The Garden Guest House“, “Fuengfa Place” or “Maa-T-Nee GH” good options for cheap accommodation.
At most i liked at Chiang Mai the Doi Inthanon National Park which is round about 80km away from CM. In this park is are really big and spectacular waterfalls.
You can not get closer than 50m without getting wet. The beautifulest falls here at Doi Inthanon are the Vachiratharn Waterfall and the Nam Tok MaeYa Waterfall. As well the highest spot in Thailand is located at the Doi Inthanon national park, with 2565m above mean sea level is Doi In the highest mountain in the Kingdom. On the top it was about 14 C, so really cold for old Siam. The park is really famous for the 400 bird species, nowhere else in Thailand you can find that much. Everywhere on the street are orchids and we was surrounding of evergreen rain forest. The mountains keep soft clouds in the slops. Beautiful! Than we was going to a Karen village to visit the minoritys in the mountains. If you want to watch more waterfalls around here you will like the Monthathan Falls on Doi Suthep and the Mae Sa Falls in Mae Rim about 15 km out of town.
After we was driving to the “Great Holy Relics Pagoda of Nabhamethalidol – Nabhapolbhumisiri”. Here You can find two big pagodas and a huge lay outed flower gardens with the same kind of blooms that you can find in the temperate climate zone, because of the low temperature on the mountain they grow brilliant. The Thai royal air force built this constructions for memorial of His Majesty King Bhumipol 9th and for HM the Queen, the Mother of the Thais.
great holy relics pagoda
On the next day we was driving with the scooter to the “Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep Rajvoravihara” temple on “Doi Suthep” mountain about 15 km out of Chiang Mai. The 300 steps to the top of the temple are a little challenge. But it was worthwile! The temple is one of the most beautiful Buddhist temples i ever saw. It is worthwhile actually alone for the nice view over Chiang Mai city. We was burning some scent sticks and three candles for a good karma. After we walked three times around the golden pagoda to get protection and good luck for this journey. On the way back we visited the Chiang Mai Zoo. If you like Wat DS than you will enjoy as well the Wat Chiang Man, Lok Molee, Wat Morntheran and the Phra Singh Temple which is the most visited Wat here. Another highlight for friends of Buddhist temples is the Wat Srisuphan silver temple where you can have a Chat with Monks about Thai culture, the life as a Buddhist monk in northern Thailand and many other topics.
At night Moun and me was going to the night bazaar to eat yummie Indian curry and some kao pat kai (fried rice and chicken). For western food on the night market i can recommend the “Daddys” Restaurant and O’malley’s Irish Pub. I was buying some t-shirts and some souvenirs. Another tourist attraction is the Sunday walking street market where you can buy as well souvenirs and handicrafts. On the same road are some nice coffee shops like the “Doi Chaang” or the “Ratchadumnern Cafe” where you can rest for a while. An other nice place to flee from the fumes is the Suan Buak Haad Park in the south of old Chiang Mai.
As well for tourists who like night life in Chiang Mai the right destination, around the city are many disco’s, A GoGo bars and cozy Pubs with live music like the “Cafe del Sol” in the center of old Chiangmai. The most bars and western Restaurants you will find near the Pratu Tha Pae gate on the east end direct on the city moat. A nice Restaurant here at Tha Phae is the “Dada Kafe“.
From Chiang Mai we was going by minibus to Pai. It belongs to the Mae Hong Son province and is a small village about 130km away from Chiang Mai. For all motorbike travelers i can recommend the “Coffee Hill” Cafe on the half way from CM to Pai. Other travel options from Chiang Mai are Luang Prabang (Laos), Lamphun, Mae Hongsorn, Phrae, Sukhothai…
If you are looking for day trip possibilities from here than are Chiang Dao, Bor Sang handicraft village, Ban Thawai/Hangdong villages, Doi Inthanon national park and Doi Suthep good destinations for a pleasant day. For tourists who like to make sports at holiday i can recomment the Huay Tung Tao Reservoir for a day away from the fumes and pollution of the city.
Museums in Chiang Mai:
For all cultural tourists has CM a good variety of Museums and Exhibitions. The prices are mostly low which make a visit at the most Museums worthwhile and possible as well for families and individual tourists. Good addresses with nice exhibitions are CM National Museum, Chiengmai City Arts & Cultural center which tells the history of CM, World of Insects and the Tribal Museum.
My result for Chiang Mai:
Its a clean (compared to other big cities in south-east Asia) metropole with a lot of history. You can find many sights and Chiang Mai have many corners to explore. The people and the atmosphere are much more relax and friendly than Bangkok. Many locals speak English, its easy to communicate with the Thais because if they speak English the English is very easy and for everyone to understand. Like everywhere in Southeast Asia the peoples try to help you if you get lost or need any other information. The “capital of the north” have a healthy mix of locals and foreigners, so its pleasant to travel. Chiang Mai is famous as well for many kinds of Thai-culture and Thai Language classes.
Visit CM, You don’t will regret this holiday in north Thailand!
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