Sunday, July 7, 2013

Chiang Dao night getaway

We had been wanting to get away for awhile.  It had been suggested that we go up to Chiang Dao for a night  to a place called The Nest. They have a "world famous chef who studied in Europe" and what not.  It is an hour north into the mountains. We decided Friday night to hit the road Saturday morning.  We had no reservation but took the leap anyway (I had a back up place though so do not worry!)  Here is our route:

We left around noon and headed up.  Our bums were quite sore but it was a beautiful drive. We enjoyed the scenery tremendously.  We arrived and had lunch right away as we were quite hungry.  Moe had a boar burger and I had a beef burger.  Both were delicious.  Then we asked about rooms.  They did not have any air conditioned rooms available so we got one with a fan instead.  I was a little worried about it, since it is so hot all the time, but it was fine.  Here is the little cottage. It is very simple but cute. 

We then headed out to Chiang Dao Cave, which we passed on our way in.  Here is the entrance.  

We werent really sure what to expect, but figured it would be like surprise cave that we explored in Vietnam... no no, this was still a cave not for people... sorta.  There were a few statues and buddhas and spirit houses near the entrances.  Then we got to a part where there were some Thai women with lanterns and two entrances that were rather dark.  They asked us if we wanted to go in and we said sure... not knowing what we were getting ourselves into.  We were led by a Thai tour guide with a lantern through these massive caves. It was very neat.  BUT then she crawled through this tiny hole and said this way, "we dont come back".  I laughed thinking she was kidding.. no no. She was dead serious.  So I had to crawl on the ground, it was not pleasant.  Plus the cave had bats, and spiders.  I was terrified! But looking back it was very cool. Moe and I enjoyed it a lot.  

Next we went for a drive around the area.  The amazing people at the hotel suggested we explore the area the King has set aside for agriculture.  They said it would smell beautifully and it did.  It also looked beautifully!  We sadly though need to learn our plants.  We only identified corn, rice, and banana trees. My Grandpa Cal would not be pleased!  Here is a picture of the beauty with the mountains behind.  

Then we went to the Thai restaurant at our hotel and had dinner.  Moe had buffalo in a spicy soup and I had chicken and veggies in a palm sugar sauce; both with rice of course.  Both were delicious, even though Moe struggled through his.  He got a bit sun burnt on drive up to Chiang Dao and his sun burn did not like the hot food too much! 

We left our computers and books at home. The hotel only had wifi in the restaurant.  So when we returned from dinner at 730 we did not know what to do.  After about 30 minutes of sitting in our room, we decided we wanted dessert. So we went out to the restaurant and enjoyed it for another hour or so.  There were other guests that were quite entertaining at that point so it was a good time.  We went to bed at 930, which is very early for both of us!  Surprisingly we slept until 8 the next morning! 

We had breakfast which was again delicious.  (I wish this place wasnt so far away so that we could eat there more often!)  We then set out for the monastery which was about 500 meters from the hotel.  Then it was 510 steps to the top.  It was beautiful. These are some of the stairs that we climbed with monks walking.  


This picture was taken from a lookout point.  It is the final destination.  

This is looking back down onto the position of the previous picture.  It was so clear and calm up there.  

We thoroughly enjoyed the monastery. After we returned we packed up and headed home.  This was taken on our way home. (Yes, mom, we did stop for the picture!)

We very much enjoyed the trip. We were only gone for about 24 hours, but it was very much needed.  More pictures can be seen on my facebook page at this link  Brittany's facebook album

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