My First Mountain
Well, I did it! Climbed my very first mountain. I have always enjoyed hiking, and this hike was unlike any I have every done. Probably because it was the longest I have ever done, and also the most beautiful.
It's so hard to capture the true beauty of it all.
Carolyn and I took the weekend and headed to Chiang Dao and climbed Doi Chiang Dao, the third tallest peak in Thailand. 5 hours to the top it took us and 3 hours back down. Not to mention the 20-30 minutes it took us on scooter to the starting point, it would have been much longer if we walked this part. Coming down the mountain, it was pretty much a mud slide, or as I was referring to it, a slip and slide. No one understood me when I made this reference, but I laughed. It was nice going down hill but also made for more crashes. I only fell 3 times which was surprising. Almost fell about 50. Turns out a lot of people camp near the top and make the trek back down the next day. We decided to do it in one, which was most impressive to the Thai people. "So strong", we kept hearing.
I have never actually climbed a "mountain mountain" if you will, and for those of you that have or are avid climbers/hikers, this was probably one of the more physical things I've done. I also didn't know this trek was supposedly one of the more challenging in Thailand until after we were done. I describe it as running a marathon uphill with obstacles. Reading different reviews online told us different things, some said it was an easy and quick trip, others not so much. The majority of it I would say was fairly difficult, but again, I'm not an avid hiker. I thought I was in decent shape, but throw in high elevation and constant movement, I guess not. I started feeling dizzy and couldn't catch my breath near the top. It got better once we headed back and my breathing returned to normal.
At the top! So happy to have made it.
The clouds were so cool.
Getting to Chiang Dao was an adventure in itself. It took about 4 hours. We took 3 taxis and 1 bus. When we actually arrived in the city of Chiang Dao apparently the taxis stop running there super early (like most places here) which is about 6pm. We arrived there at 7:30. Looking up where we had to go was an hour and a half walk away, in the dark, in the middle of no where. We started walking and was hoping someone would stop and give us a ride out of the goodness of their hearts. Luckily, not too far into it a magical taxi appears out of no where. Yay! Then takes us to the place we were staying.
If anyone out there is ever in the Chiang Dao area, I highly recommend you stay at the Chiang Dao Nest. It's a mini resort and it is so so nice. And it was only $14/person per night. The beds are super comfortable, the shower is hot, you can actually flush the toilet paper, they have air conditioning (although we didn't use ours), the staff are all very friendly and helpful, the food is fantastic, and the views......
From our cabin.
Also, because I know everyone wants to know just how muddy we got during the trek....