I’m sure you’ve all been anxiously awaiting my next blog post. Fear not, good readers. I’m going to take you inside the day – and the mind – of Allie Vreeman as I explored the mountainous outskirts of Chiang Mai.
I met up with my friends after breakfast, ready to go with my swimsuit, sunscreen (which went unused… ouch), and snacks. I wasn’t so happy when I realized I’d be spending the next two hours in the bed of a pick-up truck, but it turned out well. I had a cushion and the back of a truck is actually a fantastic way to view the countryside. We cruised down the “Superhighway” as I craned my neck to catch a breeze, channelling my inner dog. Upon arrival at a Thai national park, we set off into the forest in search of the mysterious waterfall.
Past this sign and down about 200 steps, we found the Bua Tong Fall. There’s a place where you can scale a sheer waterfall face without any particular skill, and it’s just 45 km outside of Chiang Mai! The Sticky Waterfall is distinct, in that calcium deposits make the rocks “sticky” and climbable. Though it’s hard to reach from the city, the novelty and beauty of the waterfall make the trip incredibly worthwhile.
Our next stop was the Mae Ngat Reservoir. Nestled deep in the Sri Lanna National Park, the reservoir is home to a number of houseboats and floating restaurants accessible only by long tail boat.
The 20 minute ride from the shore to the restaurant was gorgeous, with fish leaping alongside the boat and water buffalo grazing in the hills. I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced that kind of stillness and tranquility. Glimpsing a side of Thailand beyond the Westernization, technology, and activity of urban culture has been valuable. It’s easy to lose sight of why I’m here when I’m sitting in a cafe with my Mac open and latte in hand, but I’ll be leaving for a refugee camp on the Thai-Burmese border this weekend. Perspective is necessary and welcome. I can’t wait to see what next week brings.