I decided to celebrate my birthday in Chiang Dao this year, which means I did an extraordinary amount of research and had lots of ideas for what we’d do during our 4 day stay. Conveniently just before our trip TielandtoThailand posted about staying at the Chiang Dao Nests and a things to do in Chiang Dao list. I wanted to do it all! I did something I don’t normally do and I made reservations. Had I not done that we likely wouldn’t have gone to Chiang Dao that weekend because I had a cold (and no energy) and it was raining heavily the day we left (not fun for a 2 hour motorbike trip). Instead we suited up and headed north in a chilly downpour.
So due to my energy sapping cold and some typical (but not for this year) rainy season weather we didn’t end up doing too much. Mostly I felt blah so many of the “attractions” we visited didn’t leave much of an impression. I am going to sound like a total grump (which I was), but here’s my take on Chiang Dao.
Chiang Dao cave tour~ Like most tours we were rushed in and out so fast we didn’t see much more than a photographer wanting to take our photo for good luck and a few rocks shaped like elephants.
Sri Sungwan waterfall~ I think I’m just not that into waterfalls.
Japanese hot springs ~ The developed hot springs were closed so we tested out the murky cement tubs on the river. The water felt nice, but I was hoping for something a tad cleaner.
Pong Arng Hot Springs ~ The hot springs themselves were quite unimpressive to me. We didn’t try the developed pools because of the heat and humidity though they look like they’d be nice to dip into during the dry season when the weather is cooler.
hike to Tha Pha Plong Temple ~ It’s a nice walk up to the temple, but the view was eh.
The opposite of Blah
roadside fruit market~ just outside of Chiang Dao near a police checkpoint is a market that was full of pomelos, egg fruit, avocado and rambutan.
pomelos~ When I arrived in Thailand last year I was so distracted by mangosteens, lychees, and rambutan that I completely missed the concurrent pomelo season.
scenery~ Chiang Dao and the surrounding area is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to in Thailand. It’s a mix of fruit orchards, jungle, and mountains. Bright green in all directions.
local bbq~ This is where we ate on my birthday and we came back ever night after that.
Chiang Dao Roundhouse~ We happened across these adobe houses while out for a drive one day. Dream house!
hospitality at the Nest 1~ off the charts nice and the owner, Wicha, made me a pot of mint tea when she found out it was my birthday and I had a cold
western breakfast at the Nest 1~ there was real cheese, homemade bread, butter, fresh herb teas, and a yogurt drink with lime and honey
passion fruit cheesecake at the Nest 1~ a tangy passion fruit delight
fresh ginger lemongrass tea at the Nest 1~ strong and spicy fresh herb teas each day soothed my sore throat and warmed my core
accommodations at both Nest 1 & 2~ we took advantage of the rainy season rates and stayed at both the Nests. In the end the Nest 1 was the clear winner for us.
Would I go back to Chiang Dao? Yes, but maybe we’ll head there during the dry season when the mosquitoes aren’t so awful, the skies are clearer, and the mountain is open for trekking. Or maybe we’ll go back during the rainy season and do what we do best, jump on the motorbike and wander with no plans and no expectations. Those pesky expectations!
Has your health or the weather ever influenced your opinion of a place?