I did skip the usual zoo, the temple on the cliff top and those kinds. To me, I saw how I can take advantage of the place and the coziness it has to offer. Chiang Mai had lots to offer and I did go berserk. Here are few things that we indulged in and have no regrets of any kind in choosing Chiang Mai.
Zip lining: I have this bucket list kind of thing where I want to try all the adventurous stuff available. My ultimate aim is to do tandem sky diving and sea diving. I had zip lining in the list, sure I wouldn't be happy with the miniature ones where its done if you zip line 10-50 mts a couple of times. I wanted an adrenaline rush for at least a couple of hours. So whcren I found out about the zip line adventure that takes you deep through the jungles of 1500 years old Thai rainforest, I would not forgive myself if I missed it. As usual, had to pursue Velu a lot since he is scared of adventures of any sort. I put my foot down that if he is not going, I want to do it alone. So we plunged. The experience was AMAZING!
Over 5 km of zipline gliding through the luminous green treetops and canopies for 3 hours. Not only do you experience the fun of it, but also get to enjoy the stunning vistas of the forest. Since it was a rain forest, it rains every noon and wow! when it rained, it was just wow! And so I zip-lined, abseiled, rappelled, climbed rope ladders, crossed suspended and monkey bridges and flew from one platform to another like a monkey up above from the height of 1-2 km. There were a couple of ones which were scary and others didn't want to do, but who cares! I went ahead and was thrilled, the sky rangers were friendly and funny and kept the enthusiasm throughout. The trail among the vegetation and trekking at Mae Kampong falls and its 7 wondrous cascade was enchanting.
A wild but beautiful mushroom on the way up to the waterfall
One of the many cascades of the waterfall. Walking alongside the waterfall was beautiful, the sprays of water making it electric.
Trailer; trying my hands on free climbing
Walking on a suspended bridge
Abe-sailing from a tall rain forest tree
Taking a break on a tree top
Another of the bridge. I don't have snaps when we were zip lining. You need to be more than a monkey to be zip lining and clicking photographs! :)
Thai massage : The very first moment we stepped into Khao San road in Bangkok, I so wanted to experience Thai massage. But it seemed sleazy in that place, its more of attracting tourists than offering a traditional Thai massage. Since there was a discount for Thai massage from the store we booked for zip-lining, didn't want to miss this too. The massage at Chiang Mai is worth and must not be missed than at Bangkok, Pattaya or Phuket. They are all touristy, the practice is more religious, spiritual and traditional. 1 hour of massage was soothing, all joints and muscles in the body welcomed the unique experience. I wanted to try once again but somehow missed it since the last night was spent at walking through the night markets.
No, no photos of Thai massage :)
San Kamphaeng Hot springs and Mineral Bath : Remember my post on the Calistoga hot spring at California? There are numerous hot springs in Northern Thailand. Its mostly frequented by locals and San Kamphaeng was one such hidden gem. I think I could count the number of foreigners there - hardly 10 including us. The locals come here for a picnic, spend some good family time and take a hot mineral bath and wind up. The hot spring is located around 35 km from the town and is surrounded by trees and verdant hills. The water has a high sulphur content and is rich in restorative and curative properties. Since its not touristy, the entry fee and the fee to take a bath is nominal. Another amusing thing is at the entrance, you can find a shop selling chicken and quail eggs. We saw Thais buying them and I didn't really understand why. Then I recalled reading about the practice. Buy some eggs, let them boil in in a well near the hot spring, eat it and go bath! The hot spring was continuous unlike what the one at Calistoga where it go calm and resurge after every 20 minutes. I will have to mention the mineral bath. For 100 or so baht, you can sink into a tub of steaming hot mineral water and relax your senses. It was rejuvenating and refreshing, and you get your minerals baby!
On the way to hot spring
See if you can read this
The hot spring. It was tall and zzzzzz non stop spewing out sulfuric water.
A well near by. You will know its purpose soon.
To boil eggs!
20 metres beyond are picnic area and the channel of water where people can dip their foot in and enjoy their eggs.
It doesn't end here. I have more adventures at Chiang Mai to share! More later.