18 February (Paden’s Birthday) – Pai Day 2 – Water Falls with no Water

Happy Birthday Paden!!

Breakfast was included with our reservation so we headed over to the office area where breakfast was. It pretty much consisted of bread and fruit. Not a lot of choice but still good. I don’t know if I was exceptionally hungry or what but I really enjoyed the toast. Coffee which was instant was drinkable for me, which was a bonus. Most of the coffee over here is like ink. It was great to sit in this outdoor covered area and enjoy our breakfast while listening to the birds.

We had booked an all day tour for today. Our tour guy came to the office area to pick us up. He actually parked on the other side of the bamboo bridge instead of driving around, but that was no issue and saved time. There was also a woman from Germany, who was traveling alone, from our ‘huts’ going too. Transportation today was another open back truck but this one had a 3 person cab, which is where the driver put us older folks. We got the air conditioning. Paden had told us it would get cooler the further north we went. He lied to us. It was still stinking hot here. The German woman didn’t want me to open the window as she had a tickle in her throat and didn’t want to get a cold. So I got to roast in the sun and wasn’t able to get any good pictures as we drove. Both the driver and the front passenger had their windows open so the air conditioning wasn’t doing a whole lot.

We were the last pickup as it turned out and off we went to start the tour. First stop was the White Buddha on the hill, Wat Phra That Mae Yen. There were something like 250 steps to get to it. I got wrapped up in my sarong skirt and my shawl and started my hike up all those steps. It took some time but I made it. Good thing this was the first stop as I can’t image doing it in the heat of the day.

We got to the top to find the white Buddha wrapped in scaffolding. The temple below had also had a fire and looked pretty badly burned. I’m thinking they are doing maintenance as the North is going into their ‘burning season’. This is where they burn their garbage and all the old crops to clear the fields in preparation for the rainy season. After the rainy season everything grows back and is all lush, green and a jungle again. The burning season had just begun and you could see smoke and haze in the air every day. I guess it gets really bad and some businesses close down for a few months.

You can see the haze from the smoke in the air.

Next up was Kui Lom Viewpoint where we had a 20 minute stop. This was part way up the mountains and had a manual Ferris wheel type attraction. The younger participants had a great time on it. The view from the lookout was spectacular. Again photos don’t do it justice especially with the smoke haze in the air.

Some of the roads we drove on were no wider than the bicycle paths that we have at home. I managed to get a couple of scenery shots in.

From the viewpoint we headed to Lod Cave. People rave about these caves. It had been advertised as a bamboo raft through the caves so I was not expecting to have to walk through them and didn’t really have the proper footwear on for it. I did the basic walk but we did not go up into the 3 separate caves as there were many steep steps to get to them. I’ve been in caves before and didn’t need to see other hard to access ones. Reading about the caves afterwards, I guess we missed some spectacular sights. Oh well!

We did do the bamboo raft portion but even that paled in comparison to the boat tour through the caves that we did in 2016 in Vietnam. It was pretty dark in there and I wasn’t feeling to secure on our narrow raft.

When we got to the end we got off the bamboo raft as that was where Cave #3 was. Not happening. These are part of the stairs to Cave #3

Plus it really stunk in here. There were so many bat droppings everywhere, plus dead swift birds. All the white spots are bat droppings. The place was covered with them.

Had our guide gone slower instead of racing through we would have been able to enjoy it more. Unfortunately the parts we did were basically a blur as she didn’t stop to allow us to look around and take pictures. I did stop now and then though.

I guess the faster they get you through, the more people they get to guide and the more money they themselves get. After the caves the group regrouped and we all had lunch together. Lunch was good but, how can you mess up chicken fried rice? That was what I ordered. Like to be safe with my meals.

After lunch we headed to Mor Pang waterfalls. There was a sign saying to be aware of the deep water.

This was actually quite funny to us as the waterfalls had no water running. We hiked up the trail to the waterfall and this was what we found.

There was a small pool at the bottom of them. Guess it has been dry here for a while.

Anyone need to use the washroom? A squat toilet at its finest!

Next up was the Hot Springs swimming pool and spa. When I hear hot springs I always think of natural pools but they never seem to be this. This one did look a little more natural than some I have seen.

The hot spring pool was way too hot for us, especially since it was already 1000 degrees outside so we headed over to the swimming pool.

We chatted with an expatriate from California who now lived not far from the hot springs. It was an interesting chat. The grounds for this place were lovely.

Our last stop was Pai canyon for the sunset. The sunset was spectacular. I wish I had of wandered around more while up there but Doug was a little nervous for me. The edges dropped off into the canyon.

Once back in town we headed out for Mexican. We both ordered chicken quesadillas and they weren’t half bad.

We called it a night.

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