Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mae Kampong Village

Mae Kampong village

Mae Kampong is a small village about an hour's drive from Chiang Mai near the Chae Son National Park. 

The village has not quite yet made it on to the tourist trail so the village remains tranquil and small.

The main road of Mae Kampong

The village has a little river running through it that winds past a small temple.

The river

Further up the road the river flows over the Mae Kampong waterfall.

Mae Kampong waterfall

The top of the falls

Even further up the hill is the beginning of the trail to the Chae Son National Park.

Chae Son National Park

At around 1300m high the trail gives sweeping views accross the valley.

The view from the trail

Looking down the valley

Back down the road there is a café perched on the hillside, looking down over the little village of Mae Kampong.

Mae Kampong from the café

Monday, May 15, 2017

The hills around Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai from the hills

Chiang Mai is surrounded by many hills covered in small villages, temples and farmland.

Just outside of Chiang Mai is the temple of Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. It is easily reachable by the public red trucks or a tuk tuk. The temple is on the top of a hill outside Chiang Mai.

The stairs to the temple

The temple is similar to many in the region.

The temple

The altar at the temple

A pagoda

But with spectacular views over Chiang Mai.

The hills around Chiang Mai from the temple

Chiang Mai through the haze

Near the temple is the Huai Rap Sadet Waterfall and Nature trail. The waterfall itself is quite small (especially in the dry season) but the 1.5km nature trail gives a nice walk through the area.

The waterfall

The bottom of the waterfall

Chiang Mai from the nature trail

The hills from the nature trail

An orchid

Further afield the hills are covered in farmland.


Banana plantation

There are also caves in the surrounding hills.

A cave

And many small villages offering basic accommodation.

The accommodation for the night

Sunset from the village

As well as many forested areas with various animals.

Golden Orb spider


Tarantula out of her burrow

And waterfalls which were perfect for a cooling swim.

A swimming hole

Before the long trek back to Chiang Mai.

The trail back to Chiang Mai

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Northern City of Chiang Mai

A canal in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is an old city in the North of Thailand surrounded by 600 year old city walls.

Fort Sri-poom

Unfortunately a fire in the 1950s destroyed much of the walls and gates, so the gates are reconstructions.

Tha Phae gate

However, there are still large sections of original walls around the city.

Original city walls

Chiang Mai also has a 15th century temple which contains the original ruins.

Wat Chedi Luang Worawihan

The other side of the temple

As well as having a modern temple built within the complex.

The temple

Inside the temple

Chiang Mai is situated on the Ping River and for 500 Baht you can take a cruise along the river.

The iron bridge


Boats on the river

Chiang Mai is also known for having a large number of markets where you can find all manner of stuff, good food and music and cultural displays.

The night Bazaar

food at the market

And although to food at the market is delicious and cheap - sometimes it's nice to splash out on a fancy restaurant by the River and watch the sunset.

Sunset on the Ping River

Monday, May 1, 2017

Bangkok - The old city

A statue in the Grand Palace

Bangkok is probably more known for its bars and partying but the city also contains a rich history with many temples and other historic buildings. 

At the heart of the old city is the Grand Palace.

Pagodas in the Grand Palace

The grand palace is an extremely popular tourist attraction and is extremely crowded. It also costs 500 Baht entry which is quite steep for Thailand. Another thing to keep in mind is that you cannot enter the complex in shorts or uncovered shoulders, so dress appropriately if you want to enter and enjoy the spectacular architecture.

Another Pagoda

Statues around the pagoda

Decorative artwork on the main temple

Inside the main temple.

Near to the Grand palace is the temple Wat Pho which is almost as impressive as the palace - and a lot less crowded.

Wat Pho

The reclining Buddha

Within the temple complex is a large market with a huge variety of delicious food and drinks.

The market

From Wat Pho you can either take a taxi or (overpriced) Tuk-tuk to see the other sights in the old city.

The big standing Buddha is a large statue of the Buddha within walking distance of Wat Pho.

The big standing Buddha

Also in the Old City is the temple of Wat Saket which is on top of a small hill which gives views across the city.

Bangkok from Wat Saket

The pagoda at Wat Saket

Accros the river is the temple of Wat Arun, which unfortunately was under repairs when I was there.

Houses on the river

Wat Arun from the river

A statue at Wat Arun

Wat Arun

Just outside of the Old City is Jim Thompson house. This historic house and museum tells the story of Jim Thompson, an American, who came to Thailand and revitalised the silk industry. The house is filled with interesting antiques and art (unfortunately they don't allow photos inside).

Jim Thompson house

The gardens at Jim Thompson house

After the old city, I you can head into central Bangkok for the bars - some of which are better than others....

No Thailand....just no