Friday, March 1, 2013

The Mountains of Chiang Mai

The Lanna Kingdom
The Chiang Mai area from 1300s till 1700s

On Monday morning, our tour guide from Lannakingdom Tours picked us up and drove us up to the mountains.  After an hour and a half we reached a local village 

where we helped grind and then taste (well, only I tasted) their locally, grown coffee.  Hmmm, hmmmm, hmmmm!

Coffee Beans drying in the sun:

Other scenes of village life:

A local guide took us on the trail to the waterfalls - the tribe maintains the path and bridges, so they guide tourists, also.  In the fields around the village they grow rice and flowers (which replaced the poppies of previous times) Notice the proper guiding footwear of flipflops on the trail...

The bridges and handrails made of bamboo were amazing...

  And we reached a waterfalls that were gorgeous, cool and clear, even in the dry season. (and speaking of dry, it was the least humid air I have breathed for 6 months!)

We met up with our tour guide/driver again and he took us to the special twin mountains that are topped by Stupas dedicated to the King and Queen of Thailand.  I understand they will be buried there when they pass away (?)  The gardens were manicured with spring flowers but the view (which we went there for) was obscured by smog..

Then he took us to the highest point in Thailand with gardens filled with wild rhododendrons:

and then One More Waterfall:

We were ready for a shower and some local beer that evening.

Tomorrow:  Wat Prathat Doi Suthep 

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