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Chiang Dao, darling!

THAILAND | Monday, 5 November 2012 | Views [574]

After returning to one of our favourite places - Chiang Mai - for a few days of downtime, catching up with friends and THE BEST coffee at Ristr8to; we took the recommendation to spend a day and night at nearby Chiang Dao Nest for a mountain experience. 

 
After taking the bus from Chiang Mai (bargain at only 40 baht / $1.30aud per ticket) we arrived in Chiang Dao and then hopped in a song thew with our first ever female taxi driver in Thailand. She had a map with set prices for the few accommodations in the area, taking us straight to the Nest. 
 
On arrival at the Chiang Dao Nest 1 (there's another Nest #2 about 10 minutes drive away) we were greeted with some lovely lemongrass tea and our quaint little cabins sprung around the garden. After quickly scouting the hand drawn map of the area, we hiked up the road to the local monastery and then hit the 510 steps to the Chedi (temple) at the top. What a peaceful place and a great walk. Every 10 steps or so, we were met by a motivational sign quoting Buddha wisdoms. It distracted us from the steep incline and the nearly unbearable humidity in any case.
 
After walking home and a dip in the icy but refreshing pool onsite, we rendezvoused in the undercover deck area on Thai mats for happy hour drinks and to enjoy our surrounds. Very peaceful and relaxing! 
 
We decided to try dinner at the Nest 1's western restaurant and had an amazing experience. What a treat to find Argentinian red wine,  lamb shanks, risotto and good steak! Thai food has been delicious but it was a nice treat to be able to eat well cooked western food and enjoy a candlelit dinner in the bush. 
 
The next day we enjoyed breakfast before hiring bikes and making the ride 7km to the local hot-springs. After a wrong turn (we should have cycled 50m more) we added about 5km of uphill riding and an hour to our trip; but eventually made it to the hot-springs and river where we enjoyed ourselves for a few hours by alternating dips in the hot and cold pools. we stopped off at the Nest #2 for a Thai lunch before riding back to Nest #1 for a quick shower and beer to cool down. 
 
That afternoon we returned to Chiang Mai in our own song thew, wishing we'd stayed another few days in Chiang Dao to try out some of the other activities like the morning market, temples and to relax in the surrounds. Saving that for next visit.....

 

Bang Bao fishing village, Koh Chang

Bang Bao fishing village, Koh Chang

Tags: bikes, chiang dao, monastery, mountains

 

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