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

Daily Bits of Joy ประจำวันปิติ

Daily Bits of Joy ประจำวันปิติ

Living in Chiang Mai gives me a dose of elation on a daily basis. In the morning, this is the beauty I see:

This tree greets me everyday as I walk into school.

This tree greets me everyday as I walk into work at Panyaden School.

Walking to the office includes bananas and Bodhi trees.

On my way to the office includes bananas and Bodhi trees.

My new classroom

My new classroom

The beginning of the rainy season viewed from my classroom. Ahh, a relief from the heat.

The beginning of the rainy season viewed from my classroom. Ahh, a relief from the heat.

Jubilant children running through puddles.

Jubilant children running through puddles.

Blooming lotus in my backyard. บัวบาน

Blooming lotus in my backyard. บัวบาน

Buddha image delighting in the lotus

Buddha image delighting in the lotus

All of nature reminding us to be mindful of each moment. Everything is temporary. Notice beauty.

ดอกบัว

ดอกบัว

Hidden Hike in Chiang Mai to Wat Palad วัดผาลาด

Hidden Hike in Chiang Mai to Wat Palad วัดผาลาด

Chiang Mai is a little city with plenty to do. One of the things I love, even after living here for over 2 years, is that there are still hidden gems. Last week I found one of them: the hike to วัดผาลาด.

Though I am an avid hiker, in Thailand I rarely go. This is mainly due to the heat, and the mosquitoes and snakes don’t help any. Lately it’s been cool to cold in Chiang Mai (10C – that’s 50F) especially in the mornings. This is the perfect weather for a hike.

My friend Lauren asked me to come along. It wasn't a long hike, but it was beautiful.

My friend Lauren asked me to come along. It wasn’t a long hike, but it was beautiful.

It, like many places in Thailand, had a sign that made no sense...

It, like many places in Thailand, had a sign that made no sense…

Nowhere near a car park. What did they mean? No short skirts?

Nowhere near a car park. What did they mean? No short skirts?

After a fairy short hike we arrive at Wat Palad. Nagas and waterfalls.

After a fairly short hike we arrive at Wat Palad. Nagas and waterfalls.

Buddhas blessing each step.

Buddhas blessing each step.

When I got to this point, I had to stop and take in the beauty of the whole wat grounds in the forest. The soft sound of water rushing by, the elegance and the serenity of if all really wowed me. After having been to so many wats in this city, it’s nice to know there are still lovely surprises to be had.

Looking down at a hazy Chiang Mai

Looking down at a hazy Chiang Mai

The beginning of the Wat in the forest.

The beginning of the Wat in the forest.

Decorative door with Thai astrological animals on the sides.

Decorative door with Thai astrological animals on the sides.

Door detail

Door detail

Reminiscent of the Bayon temple at Ankor Wat

Reminiscent of the Bayon temple at Ankor Wat

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Amazing Ganesh door

Amazing Ganesh door

Another effeminate looking Ganesh

Another effeminate looking Ganesh

A gentle reminder to keep a...

A gentle reminder to keep one of these

Seeing this guy meditate there felt so serene. It made me want to do another meditation retreat...maybe here if women can

Seeing this guy meditate here felt so peaceful. It made me want to do another meditation retreat…maybe even at this wat if women are allowed. It was a very special place indeed.

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Window twin details

Window twin details

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Interesting ideas

Interesting ideas

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Looking down the nagas

Looking down the nagas

Nagas on the hillside

Nagas on the hillside

Hiking back down amongst the blessed trees.

Hiking back down amongst the blessed trees.

The whole place was so spiritual, even Lauren wanted to meditate...for about 3 seconds.

The whole place was so spiritual, even Lauren wanted to meditate…for about 3 seconds.

Bamboo forest

I will most certainly go on this hike to Wat Palad again.

If you look closely, you can see the spider inside.

If you look closely, you can see the spider inside.

So often it looks like autumn in Chiang Mai

So often it looks like autumn in Chiang Mai

Here's a map, if you can read it.

Here’s a map, if you can read it.

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