rose of the north (p12) - Doi Inthanon ... a walk in the clouds
the day started early, as Prem told us it'd be a long journey to Doi Inthanon. fun facts about the place from wikipedia
Doi Inthanon (Thai: ดอยอินทนนท์ (Pronunciation)) is the highest mountain in Thailand. It is located in Mae Chaem District, Chiang Mai Province. This mountain is an ultra prominent peak and was also known in the past as Doi Luang (meaning big mountain) or Doi Ang Ka, meaning the crow's pond top. Near the mountain's base was a pond where many crows gathered. The name Doi Inthanon was given in honour of the king Inthawichayanon, one of the last kings of Chiang Mai, who was concerned about the forests in the north and tried to preserve them. He ordered that after his death his remains shall be placed at Doi Luang, which was then renamed. Today, the summit of Doi Inthanon is a popular tourist destination for both foreign and Thai tourists, with a peak of 12,000+ visitors visiting the summit on New Year's Day. In addition to a range of tourist facilities on the summit, there is also a Royal Thai Air Force weather radar antenna on the summit.
we had our breakfast at the hotel's cafe, and then waited for Prem at the lobby. after a while, a lady came in and quoted my name. ah..she was our driver for the day. a friend of Prem, that runs a small scale travel agency. Prem unable to take us outside the city as his taxi permit only allowed him to be within certain radius from the airport. we were fine, but i guess he could have told us earlier.
her name was Teng. well...that what was she told us to call her. and our ride for the day was a toyota vios. not bad.
so here we go. it was a long 3 hours journey to peak of Doi Inthanon.
|a quick stop at one of the petrol stations|
at one point, we were passing the cloud. the temperature dropped and it was freezing. luckily each of us brought our sweater.
once we passed the cloud, the view was cleared again.
and we finally reached the peak of Doi Ithanon.
|the information centre cum gift shops. next to it is Thai's army base|
anyway...we could still see that we were above the cloud.
|a white temple/wat in the middle of the woods at the summit|
|the high altitude-low pressure effect|
|the gift shop|
Teng parked our ride at a car park at the junction to the place, and we had to take the ride/minivan to the main entrance of the garden where it host the famous two Chedis - Naphamethinidon and Naphaphonphumisiri.
|entrance tickets - 40 baht|
well...the mist was thick, and i guess we were walking in the cloud.
it was freezing. the Royal Flower Garden was a nice feat., but it didn't feel that fabulous and colourful. probably, it was not at its blooming peak, or probably because the thick-heavy air without sun light prevent the full blooming etc.
we went back to the entrance, and waited for our ride to go back to the car park to meet Teng. this time, we had to deal with others too, as everybody was like rushing to get on to the same ride.