Doi Suthep

On Saturday we headed up Doi Suthep (the mountain that overlooks Chiang Mai) to visit the Buddhist temple near the top. We chose the hottest day so far (94 degrees and 80% humidity) to be sardined in the back of a truck with 11 Chinese tourists for a 30-minute ride up the mountain. 302 stairs later, we reached the temple and the conclusion that we’re in terrible shape.  The temple is massive and beautiful, and the views were well worth the trip. Now that we have scooters (spoiler alert) we’ll make the ride back up and see the rest of the sights on the mountain.

Bua Thong Waterfalls

We finally rented two scooters and rode 1.5 hours out to Bua Thong Waterfalls. The ride out there was a blast, and Lauren successfully avoided all trees with her scooter this time. This was our first time really getting to explore the rural areas outside the city and it was incredible. The foreground is all rice patties and banana trees, and there are mountains every direction. We went far enough outside of town that white people are a novelty. Ordering food and filling your gas tank become a new adventure when the locals don’t speak a single word of English.

The waterfalls were one of the coolest places we’ve ever been. The water is unbelievably clear and refreshing. The rocks are grippy due to mineral deposits so you can easily walk up the waterfalls against the flowing water. This was definitely a highlight of our trip so far and I don’t have the words or pictures to do it justice. We took limited pictures of the waterfalls because cell phones and water don’t mix well, but here is someone else’s mediocre YouTube video set to the Happy Days theme song.

On the way home, we got caught in rush-hour traffic and got an accelerated driving lesson in Thailand. You’re either riding on the shoulder or splitting lanes between cars…and there aren’t really lanes. It was nervewracking but also a lot of fun. We’ll be careful, I promise!