Doi Inthanon is Thailand’s highest mountain peak (2,565 meters above sea level) and part of the Himalayan mountain range that originates from Nepal.
We started our day by driving out to the highest Summit and working our way back down. The summit was beautiful. This is a huge tourist destination for Thai people as this is the one way for them to experience the cold.
We then stopped by Phra Mahathat Noppha Methanidon and Phra Mahathat Nopphon Phumisiri. These twin pagodas were built by the Royal Thai Air Force to commemorate the sixtieth birthday anniversaries of Their Majesties King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit.
The grounds are absolutely beautiful. We parked in a lot and a took a free shuttle truck to the admission gate then up into the park. It is a beautiful modern park. You can take an escalator (thankfully) one way up to each pagoda. Around each pagoda is intricate stone carvings. The view was amazing! Inside each pagoda are large Buddha statues and pictures depicting the life of Buddha. It was nice to have the story translated into English for us to read.
We then went to Namtok Wachirathan, a popular one-tier waterfall known for its remarkable high cliff. We walked down to the bottom and really enjoyed the views with out any major hiking to enjoy the views.
Afterwards we drove to Namtok Mae Klang. A popular waterfall in the summer months for swimming. We saw inner tubes but as this is the dry season and winter no one was enjoying being in the water. If we had more time or lived locally this would be a great day trip. Along the river there are umbrella covered bamboo tables on mats for you to order food and sit around and enjoy your day.
We then made the long drive to our last waterfall, Namtok Mae Ya. One of Chiang Mai’s largest and most stunning waterfall. The waterfall is truely unique as it cascades from a 280 meter steep cliff onto 30 different levels of rock formations. We had about an 800 meter hike into the forest to view this waterfall. Crossing some bamboo bridges that I prayed could support my weight. We came across a giant tree that people must pray too. As it was wrapped in cloth to signify that it is sacred. People then place food, drinks, incense, candles and beautiful formal thai dresses around it. So the tree must represent a female spirit. If you make a wish or pray to it and your prayer comes true then you must return and give the spirit a gift of a dress. So Sierra made a wish to marry well. So if it comes true she must return to Doi Inthanon and bring the tree goddess a dress.
We then headed back to Chiang Mai and our hotel. Our Hotel is located directly at the main gate into the old city where all the major events are held. And a giant 3 story Starbucks is located. We went to the main gate entrance for dinner, as it was full of vendors and tables. After dinner we sat in chairs and got 100 baht ($3.50) 1/2 hour massages. I got my feet rubbed and everyone else got shoulder massages. We then walked to the night bazar and did some shopping. Afterwards we took a Tuk Tuk back to our room to get some much needed rest.