Home > Thailand > Doi Inthanon and Princess Diana’s umbrella.

Doi Inthanon and Princess Diana’s umbrella.

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

For a change of scene we opted for a standard issue Toyota Pickup and headed through the traffic out of town. The thinking was that the bigger the vehicle, the more likely we were to have right of way – it seemed to work. First stop the natural hot springs and geysers of San Thaempang.




Quail's eggs converts

Luckily we arrived before the bus loads of Thai kids, so we had the place a bit more to ourselves – clearly this is a Thai tourist hotspot –no westerners and no pun intended. With our basket of quail’s eggs we headed off to find the hot pools to boil them in. The instructions on a board were pretty inaccurate, but 10 minutes seems about enough for a quail and we happily munched our way through a dozen little eggs watching the hot water geysers spraying into the air whilst slowly cooking our feet in the warm water.

slowly cooking - the further upstream the hotter it gets.

Next stop was the well known umbrella town of Bo Sang – described as a village in the guide book, this is a full on bustling busy typically scruffy town just outside Chiang Mai. This place is on the map for it’s umbrella making (although they do all sorts of crafts). It is well known enough to have warranted a visit by Princess Diana; a big picture adorns the wall of the factory together with the enormous commemorative umbrella they made especially for the occasion. Taking the time to watch the women splitting and whittle the raw wet bamboo into these super delicate umbrellas was a delight, and obviously, we could not head out without at least one umbrella and a fan to post home. (even though the postage cost 3 times the price of the umbrella!)

umbrellas as works of art.

Leaving the hustle of Bo Sang behind we embarked on the drive south to Doi Inthanon – the highest mountain in Thailand, and whilst not managing anything near to it’s Himalayan neighbours, the mountain does top out at a respectable 2565m. Luckily for us, there is an observatory and an important temple at the summit, meaning there is a sealed road all the way to the top.

the top temples were owned by the air force - I think these chaps were the tour guides!!!

view from the top with the mountainous forests below.

The journey up was punctuated with numerous waterfalls and a break for a lunch of peanuts (all we had), before driving up into the cold air for the views. The temperature in the valley is around 30, whilst at the summit it is 10, falling to freezing at night, so we were very glad for the fleeces. The best views were actually not from the summit, but from the nearby temples; the heat haze limited the view a bit but it was still impressive looking over all the dense forest and mountains stretching out below us.

Elena takes over cameraman duties


Not that any bit of haze mattered, because the highlight of the day for the kids was hanging off the back of the pickup like the scruffy local urchins as we careered around the hairpins and over the rough gravel where the landslides had taken the road away. Best bit of the trip as far as the kids were concerned!

loving the open air mountain driving

Categories: Thailand Tags: , ,
  1. katko
    January 25, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Ahhhhhh what a lovely photo of Jo and the kids – first close-up of Jo! – keep them coming….


  2. Suzie Ankers
    January 25, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Hi Guys!
    We are so jealous! Its freezing wet and horrid here! Your photos look amazing and you have got us thinking about Thailand now for our next trip! In an uncharacteristically rash moment on the plane journey home we caved in and agreed to get the kids a dog! We called him Beau after the dog at Samurai. He ate a rubber on day 9 and has been in hospital to have it removed from his stomach already! Apparently puppies eat anything! Your “lovely” friends from Bournemouth!!!!
    P.S. Come visit us soon

    • January 26, 2012 at 1:02 am

      Great to hear from you – we in Koh Mak this week, saw the weather forecast back home and did think of you!

      You must have been very tired on the flight – after telling the kids the conversations here now go something along the lines of: “daddy – just explain to me WHY we cannot have a dog”. “I said NO”. “OWWWWWW – Why not”. “NO”. “Daddy – your brain’s weird”. etc etc.

      Hope you have all settled back in OK – remember, it is not long until spring! See you when we get back….

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