Hiking the Tallest Mountain in Thailand – Doi Inthanon National Park ดอยอินทนนท์

Hiking the Tallest Mountain in Thailand – Doi Inthanon ดอยอินทนนท์

If the city of Chiang Mai gets too hot and congested, a good trip away is Doi Inthanon National Park. Driving, it’s about an hour south to the entrance of the park and quite a bit longer to reach the peak at 2,565 meters (8,415 ft).

Trekking up the mountain

Trekking up the mountain with students

Views from the top

Views from the top

Hiking into the clouds

Hiking into the clouds

In the clouds in Doi Inthanon

In the clouds at Doi Inthanon

Mountainous Doi Inthanon

Mountainous Doi Inthanon

Apart from hiking, Doi Inthanon has many other offerings…

Waterfalls

Waterfalls

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Enormous and unusual insects…IMG_0897IMG_0896IMG_0882IMG_0973
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A small praying mantis at our bungalow

A small praying mantis at our bungalow

The most incredible golden chrysalis I've ever seen

The most incredible golden chrysalis I’ve ever seen

Big beautiful blue butterflies

Big beautiful blue butterflies

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Different types of accommodation…

Basic bungalows

Basic bungalows

Indigenous Karen homestay

Indigenous Karen homestay

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A bit more upscale digs

A bit more upscale digs

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IMG_1249I’ve stayed in all types of rooms there – from the national park dorms with students, to Karen homestays on the ground of a bamboo hut with a tour group, to basic bungalows with friends, to slightly more upscale rooms with colleagues – each one gives a different experience of the park.

Of course there is wildlife…

Water buffalow

Water buffalo

Black Swan

Black Swan

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piglets

piglets

and the ubiquitous dogs and chickens

the ubiquitous dogs and chickens

and sometimes snakes that bit off a bit more than they could chew

sometimes a snake that bit off a bit more than it could chew











cows

cows














The topography is varied…

Mountainous

Mountainous

Mountainside with waterfalls

Mountainside with waterfalls

forests

tropical forests

more developed trails in the forest

more developed trails in the forest

wats

stupas on mountaintops

Terraced rice fields

Terraced  fields

Manicured areas

Manicured areas

Greenhouses for the Royal Project agriculture

Greenhouses for the Royal Project agriculture

Inside a greenhouse

Inside a greenhouse

Gorgeous nature…

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IMG_1264IMG_4702And the things that are quintessentially Thai…

Monks in a garden

A monk in a garden

Cute nature

Cute nature

Goofy products

Goofy items – Mr. Popcorn whiskey

Delicious coffee everywhere

Delicious coffee everywhere

Freshly roasted

Freshly roasted and served

Kanom (Thai snacks) wrapped in banana leaves

Kanom (Thai snacks) wrapped in banana leaves

Herding cows on a motorbike

Herding cows on a motorbike and with a bamboo stick

...and signs that make you wonder

Signs that make you wonder

It’s well worth a trip there. You will need a guide for hiking, and make sure to pack your coat – it’s significantly cooler than the city Chiang Mai.

Beautiful Doi Inthanon

Beautiful Doi Inthanon

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Timeless Naxos

Timeless Naxos

If you want to find a traditional Greek island, complete with mountains, beaches, ancient villages, and friendly people, Naxos is an excellent choice. We spent a week on Apollon beach in the end of March and immediately knew it would be fantastic, even by the rental car man who said, “If you have any problem call me, and I am next to you.”

Welcome to Naxos

Yassas! Welcome to Naxos. In the end of March it was cloudy and quite cool, but still stunning. Being this early in the season, some places are still closed, but that also means very few tourists.

This former opera singer, now restaurateur, delighted us with his heavily Greek accented stories.

This former opera singer, now restaurateur clad in track suit, delighted us with his heavily Greek accented stories. Inside the restaurant it smelled of fish and ouzo, just as it should.

The Greek accents are just incredible. They take me back to parts of my youth I forgot all about: flaming saganaki at the Greek Islands in Greek Town in Chicago and some of Dad’s characters in his Binyon’s Restaurant life. It’s very cold here, but right now the sun is trying to break through a cloudy sky.

The beach in Apollon just before the rain.

The beach in Apollon just before the rain. We were the only tourists here with the winds of Africa blowing in the red dust, and waves crashing on the shore.

Old stone walls dividing the land.

Terraced stone walls dividing the land.

We loved meandering through the labyrinthine stone walkways.

We loved meandering through the labyrinthine stone walkways.

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A reeking fish monger blaring Greek music

A reeking fish monger blaring Greek music

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Cheese glorious cheese!

Cheese glorious cheese!

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Halki

Halki

I know these as 'Shiva Eyes', but here they're known as 'The Eye of Naxos'.

In Thailand these are known as ‘Shiva Eyes’, but here they’re known as ‘The Eye of Naxos’.

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Cafe and Ouzeri - Whoo hoo! I can read Greek!...Um...at least those words.

Cafe and Ouzeri – Whoo hoo! I can read Greek!…Um…at least those words.

Exploring the port town of Hora, Naxos

Exploring the port town of Hora, Naxos

Ancient ruins

Ancient ruins

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Fresh octopus hanging outside a restaurant

Fresh octopus hanging outside a restaurant

'Sunburned fish'

‘Sunburnt fish’

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Fun with filters in Hora

Fun with filters in Hora

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The real artisan cheese

Real artisan cheese

Salt cured olives and extra long cinnamon

Salt cured olives and extra long cinnamon sticks

Now that looks like a bag pipe

Now that looks like a bag pipe!

Vineyard

Vineyards scattered throughout the island

We drove through a swamp as we attempted to go to the Dionysus temple, which like many things was closed, but Julian found an adorable brown dog who was thrilled that a visitor stopped by. Our detour gave us another opportunity for a hilarious adventure.

Next we wound our way through a little town with Jeremy fearlessly driving listening to Greek music on full volume. We were funneled down narrower and narrower streets until we reached an amiable standoff of a Greek man on a motorbike and a smiling guy in a car. Jeremy had to back up down the narrow winding road so he could pass. 

This little guy was adorable. For more https://mariposatree.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/the-day-we-tried-to-be-grecian-mountain-goats/

This little guy was adorable. He’s got his own post here

Wind power

Wind power

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The dog on the wall who wouldn't let Megan go

The dog on the wall who wouldn’t let Megan go

Lovely Lionas

Lovely Lionas

We were the only ones on this beach

We were the only ones on Lionas beach, and the sun made an appearance!

A rock skipper's paradise

A rock skipper’s paradise

Or a perfect place for a little mandala

Or a perfect place for a little mandala

Luckily,this restaurant was open. Amazing homemade dishes were served with genuine Greek hospitality.

Luckily, this restaurant in Lionas was open. Amazing homemade dishes were served with genuine Greek hospitality.

Bells back in Apollon

Back in Apollon, Megan and I were invited to a goat roast party.

Wolf, the new, and only other, tourist in town

Wolf, the new arrival and only other tourist in town, and I attempted to go to the goat roast party. We found neither a goat roast, nor party, but just a few Greek people having a drink at their friend’s house.

Fried Winced Balls

Fried Winced Balls

Sheep traffic jam

Sheep traffic jam

“What are you looking at?”

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The castle of the Duke of Naxos

The castle of the Duke of Naxos

A secret pathway in the castle

A secret pathway in the castle

The ceiling was layers of seaweed (which can't burn) and sand.

The ceiling was made of layers of seaweed (which can’t burn) and sand.

What a wonderful place to watch a concert!

What a wonderful place to watch a concert!

The Duke of Naxos and Jeremy. What a story teller!

The Duke of Naxos and Jeremy. Living history.

Paper table cloths were put over the fabric table cloths in most ever restaurant.

Paper table cloths were put over the fabric table cloths in most every restaurant.

My name in Greek

My name in Greek

Hora town

Hora town

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Ladybug or paschalitsa  salad

Ladybug or paschalitsa salad

Stamatis, the kind owner of the Adonis Hotel in Apollon, and enormous lemons...

We were treated like family by Stamatis, the kind owner of the Adonis Hotel in Apollon. Each time he brought us something – a cup of coffee, a basket of bread, or a fresh squeezed lemon juice – in a merry sing song voice he’d say, “Enjoy it.” We always did. And the enormous lemons…

...from these trees right outside. The divine scent of lemon blossoms wafted by our noses each time we went to our rooms

…came from these trees right outside. The divine scent of lemon blossoms wafted by our noses each time we went to our rooms.

Julian was more excited about this dog than the Temple of Dionysus

We returned to the Dionysus Temple, which was now open. Happy dog, happy boy

Cat mid-meow

Cat mid-meow

Exploring the Hora with Wolf

Exploring Hora with Wolf

Back to the port

Back to the port

The enormous ferries with escalators inside

Time to board the huge ferry with escalators inside

Yassas Naxos. Efharisto!

Yassas Naxos. Efharisto! We really did enjoy it!