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Thursday 15 May 2003
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Highest mountain in Thailand!

Myself and Kirsty took the motorbike today to the south-west of Chiang Mai. Our destination: Don Inthanon National Park (named after King Inthanon). I decided to cancel my session with Master Joe since if I had it, I would have had to waste another day just staying in Chiang Mai until my appointment hour arrived. Nope, as much as I wanted to continue the treatment, Im afraid I dont really have enough time to hang around Chiang Mai much longer. Maybe next year Master Joe...

The ride to the park was not as hectic as my solo-drive yesterday since the park is only 100 km from Chiang Mai (yesterday I must have driven about 200 km through various towns and potholed roads. 400 km there and back.). The park is most famous because it has the HIGHEST PEAK IN THAILAND! And I drove to the top on a struggling moto!

During the drive to the top of the mountain, we encountered two large Pagodas situated in a stunning landscaped area (dont worry Ive taken photos for you Gary!!) and then the cloud came...

This cloud was so thick visibiliy on the road literally came down to 5 metres! We HAD to pull in, had a bite to eat, but still the cloud remained... we decided to chance it and pushed on up to the peak where we arrived 15 minutes later! The cloud was FREEZING and me with my shorts and Beer Lao vest. I was not exactly comfy.

By the time we had reached the top of the mountain on a continuous uphill struggle (mostly in first gear), we were pretty much flat out of petrol and not a station in sight. Thankfully gravity played its part in getting us down the mountain, as we free-wheeled it 30 km back to the base-camp.

At the bottom of the mountain it was ROASTING in comparison, but there was also an abundance of large dramatic waterfalls to cool off in. I indulged in a quick dip in one of them (which was about 100 metres high), but the current was intense and almost took me down the rapids!

Im going to be leaving Chiang Mai soon because Thailand is proving to be VERY EXPENSIVE in relation to the other countries Ive visited, and there is still a lot Id like to see before I head to Bangkok and on to Myanmar... I may head tommorrow or the next day.. Ill decide later.

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