We were up before dawn again this morning only to find once we were ready and downstairs that we were getting picked up about 8am not 7am, so we booked the bus to Pai for 27th, went to the shop and then chilled for a bit. The bus didn't turn up until 8.45am either! That could have been an extra hour at least in bed! Or on the toilet as we both had bad bellies! It was the same guide that picked us up that we had yesterday. She apologised for it like it was a bad thing and then once we had set off we pulled over near the highway and she told us we were switching to a different guide. I don't know whether it's not good to have the same guide or she just didn't like us, but we got put on a full mini bus of all Chinese people. Us two and 11 Chinese people! It was pretty funny. Probably annoying for our new guide though as she had to first explain in Chinese and then to us in English. I don't think we got as much information about things as it was probably annoying for her to have to explain everything again!
The roads all the way were winding mountain roads, which got steeper and steeper and more windy as the day went on. The first stop was an hour and a half away and both our bellies were not right this morning. I'd took some tablets to stop it but Nath hadn't took any and nearly shat his pants on the way! Literally!! We first stopped at Wachirathan waterfall for half an hour which was beautiful. Probably the biggest most powerful waterfall we had seen. After, we drove another hour to Karen village. We had thought we were going to Karen long neck village but we weren't. It was a part of the same tribe but they weren't the long neck tribes people. We were pretty gutted that we wouldn't get to see the long neck tribe!! At the village we visited where they made the best embroidery in Thailand such as scarves and clothes and we could see the women on their machines making scarves as we walked around. The women in this tribe had to wear white tribes clothing until they were married and then they could then wear any colour they liked. Walking through the village there were two elderly people sat relaxing, so we obviously all disturbed them by taking photos with them. They also grew their own coffee beans at this village and we picked one to try. I ate the wrong bit of the bean, which would have obviously helped my belly feel better ha!
After the village we drove not too far away to a market where they sold fruits and vegetables. We tried some dried fruits and liked it so much we bought some bags to take back with us. I also bought some physalis fruit which reminded me of mum buying them for me when I was younger! Haven't had this fruit in a long time!
Once we had done some shopping at the market we drove a couple of minutes back down the road to a restaurant just at the beginning of Doi Inthanon national park for lunch. We were given soup, rice, veg and meats and it was very nice, although our bellies still weren't right at all! After lunch we drove for about half an hour up the very steep winding mountain roads through the national park to the very top of the mountain as you could go. There were some fantastic views on the way of the mountains and we were above tree level. Our ears were popping we were that high up!
We stopped at the highest point that a car could go and then walked for a couple minutes to the summit- the highest point in Thailand- 2565 metres above sea level. This point was in the jungle so there wasn't a view to see anything but we were at the highest point possible in the whole of Thailand!! We then drove back down the mountain for a couple of minutes to Phra Maha That Napha Methanidon and Phra Maha That Naphaphon Phumisiri Pagodas where there was a 360 viewpoint. The Pagodas were built by the king and queens daughter in honour of their 60th birthdays- one pagoda for the queen and one pagoda for the king. That was the 7th King of Lanna (when Thailand was split into separate countries and Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai were Lanna country). There was one pagoda either side of the hill, both up some steep stairs. The kings pagoda had the best view over the mountains and villages below but the queens pagodas was prettier. The views were breathtaking and were definitely worth the visit! We were above the cloud level so some of the mountains were misty but it was a such brilliant view! We got to see the mountains we wanted so the trip was more than worth it for that one view!!
We had an hour at the pagodas and then set back off in the mini bus all the way down the mountain, ears popping along the way! It took about 2 hours to get back to Chiang Mai city and we got back about 4.30pm. There's been a lot to take in over the last 3 days of trips! It's been busy to say the least but all of them were fantastic and were so different and great in their own way!
When we got back we headed out to try and find a hammock at a shop near Sompet Market but they were over 1000 baht each so we didn't bother getting one. We went to a market at Thapae Gate which was part of a festival and had a nosy around there before heading to the Night Bazaar and the other markets around there. We hadn't been to the night bazaar yet and my god it was unreal! I keep saying this about every market but this is defiantly the biggest! It was different to walking street because the night bazaar was all on one street too but then there were other markets off the Main Street too. It went underground, had a massive food court and then an outdoor food market. The food market was so packed and there were no tables to sit at and eat so we went back to the market at Thapae Gate, which also had a food section. This was ramming as well and we didn't have the energy to fight for a seat and through the crowds so we got some nibbles and went to a street restaurant at Sompet Market right near us. We both tried Koh Soi, which is a Chiang Mai speciality- a very hot watery curry with chicken, noodles and crispy like noodles. Our mouths were on fire!!! But it was still so nice that we would have it again! I think we are both getting more used to spice though. Very proud of us! After dinner we just went back and chilled for the night. Can't believe we only have one more night in Chiang Mai after tonight. I feel so down that our time in Thailand is nearly up. I love the place so much!! I think I would stay forever if I could so it's probably good we have a leave date as we would stay and never travel anywhere else! Will be so so sad to leave though :(