After my Journey in Vietnam I finally make my way to Thailand. It is my second time visiting this lovely country. This time I will explore a lot more of the north. Last time I was here I kind of just rushed through the country and tried to do everything. I wanted to do Islands, beaches, cities, mountains, nature, ... It just didn't really work out that well. I do think it is possible to do that, but you will need to prepare yourself for it. I don't really like to plan my trips that deeply. So this time I will spent almost all my time in the north. I flew to Bangkok from Hanoi, Vietnam. After a few nights in Bangkok and seeing some old friends it was time to go north and start my journey to explore the north of Thailand.
The north is very beautiful and has amazing nature. There are a lot of mountains, national parks, hot springs, waterfalls and culture. It is an amazing place. I have a lot of time to explore this area and I am so glad that I took so much time here. At the time of writing I made my way to Lampang. Which is a lot more south than Chiang Rai. I'm going to use some time to catch up with writing. My days around Chiang Rai has been totally amazing and I can't wait to tell you guys all about it. I'm sure you will love it.
The white temple
The white temple is the number one tourist attraction of Chiang Rai. There are so many tourists coming here. Around this time I was slacking on my travel experiences. The first 2 days in Chiang Rai I didn't do much. I read a lot and started working on my own website. The third day is when I started to explore the area and went to the White Temple. My travel pace has been screwed up a bit and I didn't manage to wake up early and come before all the tourists.
I rented a scooter and made my way to the temple close to 11 am. The temple was totally packed when I arrived. There are so many tourists here! It is unbelievable. If you love sightseeing I totally recommend to come early! Not only for here, but for any destination and hot tourist attractions. I tell you now that it's worth it!
The white temple itself is absolutely gorgeous! I now understand why it is so popular. Unfortunately it was too crowded for me to go inside. I will go inside the next time I come to visit Chiang Rai. I have seen pictures of the inside and it absolutely gorgeous. But you will have to come early and on a weekday to have it without a crowd.
You can go all the way around the white temple. There's less of a crowd on the back of the temple and it super gorgeous too!
After that you can visit the golden side temple. Inside is an art- and jewelry gallery. You are not allowed to take pictures inside. The jewelry is really beautiful and perfect to the smallest detail.
The Khunkorn waterfall is only 25 minutes away from the white temple. So I jumped on my motorbike and hit the road. The road is very easy to drive on. It goes through the woods and I absolutely love this!
A bit later I arrive at the parking lot of the khunkorn waterfall. You cannot drive up to the waterfall. You will have to hike. The hike is 1.4 km and it is very doable.
This is the start of the hike. Along the path are signs marked how far away you are from the waterfall. It's really not that hard. The start is really easy. I think the annoying part it around the 800m sign. But once you pass that and see the 600m sign and the 400m sign it goes really fast.
This is the path to the falls. As you get closer, the sound of the waterfall starts to get louder and louder and you can feel yourself getting closer. And then you see it! A thrilling feeling. The waterfall in all it's glory!
You forget everything about the hike in an instant and the excitement hits you! Waterfalls are absolutely amazing to me. I love them so much. There's something about it. The amount of energy they have. All that massive amount of water falling down. I can't wait to climb down and stand in front of it. I love to climb the rocks and get really close to the waterfall. All the water droplets hit me in the face. There's the sound, the energy and the beauty. It's makes me feel so amazing, so alive and also calm. There's nothing like this and it so hard to describe.
I spent about 20 minutes to 30 minutes in front of the waterfall. Just trying to let it all in and climbing rocks. But then it's time to head back. I look around and have a final glimpse of the waterfall before I continue the hike back.
Mao Lao wildlife breeding center
I still have some time left for today. So I continue driving away from Chiang Rai and just exploring. The road is really amazing. It's curvy and in the mountain area. I absolutely enjoy this. Eventually I pass by a sign that said wildlife breeding center, so I take the turn to check it out.
I arrived and parked my motorbike. There's no english here. Nothing at all. Everything is in Thai and I cannot read it. There's a map on the parking lot, but i have no idea what any of this means.
So I just start exploring the park and come to the conclusion that it's some type of zoo. They have a lot of birds and monkeys. Then they have bears, leopards and wild cats. There might be more animals, but I haven't found them. I think that all the animals here are local. They are from south east Asia.
This is the only sign that I can understand!
I totally recommend this place if you want to do something unique and not touristy. I haven't seen a single tourist here. I was the only white guy. There were a lot of Thai people bringing their kids. It was really nice to see! Also, it is totally free!
On the way back I stop for one more picture of the fields. The water is very reflective. It's just gorgeous. This whole area is amazing! I love the north of Thailand so much.
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