Thailand was great. It was better than great. It had exceeded my expectations. Unfortunately my month there was coming to an end. After returning to Chiang Mai once more (for the 3rd time) I was almost ready to move on. Luckily I had a few days extra in the city before I had to fly out! Good thing because I had yet to tackle 2 main attractions….
The first was Doi Suthep. This is one of the higher mountains in Chiang Mai and at its peak sits Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. This is an iconic Buddhist temple known for its giant golden stupa. The legend states that a white elephant carried a relic of Gautama Buddha to the top of the mountain, trumpeted three times, and died upon its peak. The construction of the Wat was ordered immediately after. After a 45min motorbike ride out of Chiang Mai (one of my more difficult rides through the big city) we made it to the top for some fantastic views of the city below. The Wat was also something to behold. I can’t imagine having to be a worker on that mountain in 1383 A.D.
The next and final adventure in Thailand was to the Bua Thong waterfalls, also know as the ‘sticky falls’. These waterfalls were about a 90min drive out of the city. Their signature feature is the limestone makeup of the rock. It allows you to literally run up the cascading falls with relative ease. Even as the water rushes over you, it’s easy to find solid footing as though your feet are actually sticking to the falls below. As with most things in SE Asia, I’m shocked that more people don’t die on these falls on a weekly basis. While it was easy to find your footing, if you do happen to slip, the falls are quite steep and you’re sure to find yourself in the hospital. If you do survive a climb up and down the falls, it makes for a pretty unique experience.