The Thailand I Never Knew
A beautiful journey in Nan and Chiang Mai, Thailand
My journey started from Bangkok with a flight to Nan after a few days in Khao Yai and Bangkok.

For 250 baht, we decided to rent a motorcycle to catch a glimpse of sunset at Wat Phra That Khao Noi. The 9 meters high golden statue of Lord Buddha watching over the city of Nan took our breath away.

En route we stopped at Wat Phumin. The famous mural is the guy whispering to a lady and it is an icon of Nan.

We were lucky we were there during the weekend and enjoyed our first khantoke style dinner.

On Day Two, we rented a car and drove to Doi Phu Kha National Park. It was 85 km drive on a winding road up to the Park. We drove around the park and stopped by to have a closer look at the Chompoo Phu Kha tree. We also made a brief stop at 1715 Viewpoint for a panoramic view of the mountain range.

Next stop was to drive to Wat Phuket, located in Pua district, Nan. This temple is famous for its paddy field view as the temple is elevated.

Before driving back to Nan, we decided to stop by Ban Tai Lue Cafe. The uniqueness of this cafe are the stilted, thatched-roof sala suspended several feet above rice paddies and fields.

On Day Three, we continued our journey to Chiang Mai. Our hotel is located in Nimman area, and we stumbled upon the NAP - Nimmanhaemin Art & Design Promenade and had a great time enjoying performances, art workshops, and not forgetting the colorful street with stalls, galleries, cafes, cake shops and plenty of street food.

On Day Four, we rented a car and drove 105 km up to Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand. The weather was cooling, it was 14 degree Celsius and after some pictures taking at the highest point, we walked to the Ang Ka Luang Nature Trail - surrounded by evergreen forest inhabited by some rare plants and wildlife. I was deeply attracted to their large flowerless moss. The jungle had an eerie feel and I felt like it was in the movie set of Hobbits.

We then walked to the twin chedis which are located less than 10 minutes from the summit of the mountain. The beautiful hydrangea there were fascinating.

Our last stop was Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail. This is a must-do hiking and trekking trail not to be missed by nature lovers. Entrance fee is 200 baht and we had a local Hmong hill tribe as our guide. We walked up to station 9 to get the breath-taking mountain view.

We returned to Chiang Mai city in the late evening. At the weekend night market, you can find almost everything, including street massage!

On Day Five, we headed to Waroros market by tuk-tuk. One thing not to be missed is the crispy pork skin and the authentic Chiang Mai sausages.

That's our beautiful journey in Nan and Chiang Mai, Thailand.
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