02 November 2013

In the sticks (2)

From Phrae onwards, the route took us into the remotest parts of Thailand, following the lao border until we reach Chiang Rai.

The first day ended in Pua district, Nan Province. We visited some more wats in Nan town at first and then the Bua Thong wat in the countryside. Although not being crazy about visiting temples, I must say that I loved to visit them ; in this area, they are built in the thai-lue style : rather small compared to others but many offer beautiful murals, and they are also remarkably shaped, the model being Wat Phumin in Nan town.

We visited another waterfall but I can say that there is some deceit to label this Silaphet Waterfall in Pua District as a waterfall. It was more a resting place with many selling stands and some running water. I guess the locals have found the right idea to bring some tourists to their place, hiring another cute male guide to promote it on Youtube, see at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAbAp23I-fY

Bathroom at Huanam Homestay, Pua district, Nan province
Bathroom at Huanam Homestay, Pua district, Nan province
Our resort for the next two nights was very close, and it would have to be the highlight of our trip. Tam being mad at eating mushrooms, had found this Mushroom Farm homestay, and I decently could not refused him to go there. A nice although rustic place in the middle of nature, overlooking rice fields at the foot of the mountains, and of course mushrooms on the menu for two days. And two gorgeous local boys as waiters, which I would not complain about. (google "Huanam homestay" for reference).

The next day was a trip to the Doi Phuka National Parks, where we did not see a lot of people as the roads here are rather challenging and there are very few facilities. We made our way to Bor Klua, along a spectacular route with some viewpoints unfortunately obscured by a persistent fog. After a never-ending 72 km in the middle of nowhere, our next stop was the Huay Kone border point where there is nothing to see unless you come here on the day when there is the thai-lao market.

Phu Sang Waterfall, Phayao province
Phu Sang Waterfall, Phayao province
We left the Nan Province along another scenic route, this one in a much better condition running across Phu Langka National Park. We reached then the Phayao Province with a very nice stop at Phu Sang waterfall, the only waterfall with hot water which is of course a favorite playing ground for the local kids. The aim of the day was one of the numerous resorts on the Phu Chi Fah mountain ; we could not help going to the Phu Chi Fah summit as soon as possible, only to find another very foggy landscape.

With a bright sky on the following day, we got up at 5 am like every one … at least like the few tourists being there on that weekday. We were lucky enough to see the top of the mountain in a clear sky and also to see the sea of clouds of which the thais are very fond of. Unfortunately the fog rose up again suddenly hiding the rising sun, so everyone was a little bit disappointed about their trip. No great views either at the neighboring Pha Tang viewpoint, where you walk along the lao border (or inside lao territory, who knows ?) near a village inhabited by chinese people.

Rai Rom Pho Thong Resort, Phu Chi Fah
Love nest on Phu Chi Fah
We finally found clearer skies when going back to the Maekhong valley, an area I cannot get tired of seeing. And we took the time to visit again the famous White Temple south of Chiang Rai town as well as the spectacular Khun Korn Waterfall, where Tam showed unusual qualities as a hiker ; the three kilometers we had to walk along a convenient footpath were worth the effort, as the water was in full swing after the rainy season.

And then it was back to reality in the hot and bustling Chiang Rai town. The local Tesco Lotus was a mandatory visit after so many days in the country, and a huge pizza a well-deserved reward. The beer we had in the only remaining boy bar in Chiang Rai (Regency Bar facing Wangcome hotel, half a dozen of decent guys on duty) was like a transition to the new part of my stay : Bangkok, Pattaya, and its famous dens of iniquity...

Up to Phu Chi Fah, VERY early in the morning
Up to Phu Chi Fah, VERY early in the morning


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing and all the best for your trip.


khunbaobao said...

A nice report - always happy to read about your trips!