Bua Thong ("Sticky" Waterfalls)
07.19.2016 - 07.19.2016 85 °F
Well as the title suggests, we spent most of our day on a scooter/moped today. We slept in a little later than planned since we needed a bit more time to recharge before a long day out of the apartment (and we stayed out later than usual yesterday). We started to get ready around 10:30 a.m. and I got to catch up with Mom and Kyra before heading out to the recommended moped rental shop. We met the shop owner, Monte, right away and he hooked us up with a sick whip. He gave a quick lesson on how to drive a moped, had us pick out a couple of helmets, and soon we were off! This was the first time that Justin had ever driven a moped! Justin and I had already planned on spending the entire day out of the city exploring the countryside with a final recommended destination called Bua Thong or, its slang name, "sticky" waterfalls.
We mapped out our whole route there and started our long trek out to the site. We dipped into some city traffic on our way out to the countryside and soon enough we were on a much less crowded highway enjoying the scenery. Luckily, Chiang Mai is the least hectic city we've visited thus far in terms of traffic, so maneuvering the moped was much more possible here compared to other places, but still not easy. Once we were outside of the main city, the scenery got increasingly more beautiful, which was a great thing for our hour and a half drive on the moped. We also had great weather the entire drive, which was huge considering it's the rainy season here. It was a beautiful day!
Even though the drive out was long, it was pretty easy. We stayed on the main highway for most of the ride and before we knew it we were at the main site for the waterfalls! Both of us were pretty happy to stand up and stretch out when we arrived. There were a ton of people around, probably for the Buddhist holiday that took place today, so it was easy to see where the main attractions were. The site we went to had a ton of different hikes, but we were there to see the famous waterfalls. The reason Bua Thong is so noteworthy is because you can literally climb up all of the waterfalls with ease due to the "sticky" make up of the landscape. By sticky I mean that the rocks are made of limestone and have a rough texture like a pumice stone that makes it possible for you to stick to them and walk straight up. Although they look slippery and smooth (with water running directly over the surface of the rock), the texture makes it super easy to climb up. The rocks are a creamy tone, which contrasts with the clear water and bright green foliage surrounding the entire area.
We walked down to the third level out of five and climbed back up through the waterfall to reach the beginning. It was very refreshing after such a long ride in the heat. Once we'd explored the waterfall to our liking, we followed signs to Nam Phu Chet Si, where there is a small shrine with a sacred spring (the source of the waterfall). We continued walking through the jungle before finding the crystal blue water. There were long bamboo poles with buckets attached to them that allowed us to grab some of the healing water to splash on ourselves. There was also a long story describing the origin of the falls that included a folktale about two princesses living there during a time of war. The whole experience was very beautiful and calming.
We made one last stop to grab a snack and something cold to drink before hitting the road again; we settled on sweet basil ruffles and a passionfruit ice smoothie. It was the perfect snack to satisfy our hunger! The drive back seemed shorter than the way there. Maybe Justin was a more confident driver at this point or maybe I was too focused on my butt that had become numb from the hard seat. Regardless, soon we were back in town ready to find some food. There was a popular khao soi restaurant recommended to us (thanks to Eric Angerer), so we made our way over there first. After a few wrong turns, we finally made it only to find that it was closed! We decided we needed to head back to the apartment for a quick Google to find a plan B. Justin found the second best place pretty quickly and we left the apartment once again. The place we found was delicious! We both ordered khao soi, which is a Thai dish that has egg noodles, chicken, and crispy wonton chips in a thin curry broth. We were stoked to have such amazing food after such long day. This was actually our first meal too, and it was 5:00 p.m. at this point.
After lunch it was time to turn the moped back in since we are leaving semi-early tomorrow. We headed back to the house to finally clean up and rest and shower of from our long day out in nature. After getting all cleaned up I decided to go get my nails done to celebrate our last day here. I opted for some gels and your standard pedi After some me-time I got caught in a torrential downpour on the short walk back to the apartment. I got absolutely soaked!! Once I got back, I caught up with Justin and we spent some time resting and hanging out. We did one last load of laundry for the trip and decided to go out for a late dinner back to our favorite neighborhood Thai restaurant. We quickly ordered pad thai and fried rice to split, and made it just in time before the kitchen closed at 8:30 p.m.! After we scarfed down our meal we headed into the night market one last time to explore and pick up a few more souvenir gifts for people back home. Now we're back at the apartment trying to finish The Man from UNCLE before we doze off. We have to get up around 7:30 a.m. tomorrow to pack up and head out for our morning flight (our clothes aren't totally dry yet so they need the night to dry).
We're heading back to Bangkok one last time tomorrow (I'm gonna miss Thailand!) and then catching a connecting flight to Osaka. Then we get two nights filled with ramen in Japan before flying back to Oahu! Should be a long travel day tomorrow (we lose time), so it's time to wind down and doze off to our film.
Kaela and Justin
Our ride for the day!
Hiking up and around the waterfall!
Beautiful Thai countryside.
Checking out the source of the waterfall.
An incredible meal, thanks to Eric Angerer for telling us to seek this out.
Last supper of Pad Thai and Fried Rice at our local Thai restaurant!
Walking through the night market one last time.