01.20.18 – Chiang Mai Day 3

Today was AMAZING. My favorite day so far this whole trip. Yes, it’s hard to choose a favorite anything, but if I go with my gut, today was the best so far.  Sooooo, I’m going to post an onslaught of photos from this day.  Sorry… 🙂

We went on a guided tour through different parts of Doi Inthanon International Park.  We got picked up in the morning and rode in a van with 9 other tourists (all from different countries!) for a couple hours up to the national park.  The tour guide was the one of the sweetest, happiest men I’ve ever met. He was so excited to show us a beautiful part of his country.

It started with two temples, the Kind and Queen pagodas.

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(it looks like I made the sky bluer or something but I didn’t)

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The views were INCREDIBLE.  That sharp line on the horizon was so fascinating – we aren’t 100% sure what causes it so I’ll keep you guessing, too.replacements-215

Lots of beautiful details around the pagodas.

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(Pretty sure this is kale..?)

Then we went on a little hike to the highest point in Thailand! I’m not being sarcastic when I say a little hike – we drove most of the way up. Haha.

You can see our tour guide below in the pink jacket. He was genuinely excited about everything the entire time and it was the cutest thing.

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I took too many pictures of the trees because they are just so beautiful.  Honestly, the forests in this area were not too unlike the forests in Oregon I’m used to hiking in.  The vegetation was a bit different, and it was warmer, but the smells and the feel of the air and the different greens and mosses were the same. replacements-220replacements-221replacements-222replacements-223

That there is the observatory that I wish so badly I’d been able to visit at night. Sigh.

We then hit some beautiful waterfalls. Again, something so familiar about the atmosphere…

replacements-224replacements-225(Does that look like a little monkey to you? It did to me!)

We went on a two-hour hike and found some more spectacular views. Mind you, the highest point in Thailand is 2,565 metres – 8,415 feet – so the hike felt a lot more strenuous than it was. At first I got worried – am I a lot more out of shape than I thought?! Oh, right…

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Really was not happy with any of the rhododendron photos I took (fyi like I mentioned earlier… the sky seriously is that blue!!) but I have to put one here because there are rhododendron trees (yes, TREES) everywhere. They get really tall and thick-trunked and speckle the forests everywhere.

 

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