When duty calls, I have to work. But when I have any free time, I just have to travel!
After several days of planning and scanning online for new and interesting places to visit in Chiang Mai, we discovered Chaing Dao. With five people in my group, we needed to do something we could all join in with together so we chose to spend a day in Chiang Dao.
Chiang Dao Cave
Our first stop was at the famous Chiang Dao Cave, where there is a temple built inside the cave! It was really worth the visit, even if the smell of bat poop and kerosene lamps filled our nostrils. We could see the beauty of nature and the beautiful Buddha statue in the same place.
Here at the front gate, tourists can buy tickets but they must be wearing modest clothing.
After walking up the stairs, you will find yourself in front of Plong Chaeng or bright chimney (“Plong” means chimney and “Chaeng” means bright).
To venture deeper however, you need a guide to lead you, because the cave is dark and could be dangerous to go alone without a guide. Carrying a kerosene lantern, the walk is eerie and exciting, with dark wicked shadows cast on the rocks either side, it felt pretty scary until we all turned on our own flashlights — top tip, bring a flashlight too!
As we ventured deeper, there was a narrow hole in a rock which we needed to pass to access the next area. The guide told us with a giggle that many people slip and fall on their backside here.
As there is no natural light, it can be hard to see everything clearly, but as we passed some weird looking rocks, the guide told us what they look like. It was such an amazing experience!
Guarno, or bat poop, litters the cave so the smell at times can be quite strong, but that also means you may be able to see bats, and even get close enough to take a photo of them! Just be careful using a flash, because if you spook them they fly around in the hundreds! Story goes, there is a lot of snakes hidden in the rocks just waiting for a bat to fall into it’s mouth.
Then the guide led us deeper and there was another narrow spot, this time we had to craw under a narrow tunnel and then climb over a big rock. So, you might want to mind your head a little bit.
Another part of the cave is known as the Phra-non Cave. In this cave, there is a rock shaped like a human body laying on the ground. When people discovered it they crafted a Buddha head at the tip of the stone and created a natural sleeping Buddha.
After hours of exploring Chiang Dao cave, we made it out, with just a few bruises. After we adjusted to the light again, we grabbed some lunch at Kha Mu Chiang Dao restaurant, before making our way to the main attraction of the day — Kayaking!
Kayaking in Chiang Dao
Once we arrived to a spot along the River Ping, we were instructed on how to control, be safe in and enjoy the kayak. Once we were geared up with safety harnesses and helmets, we began.
We spend about 3 hours kayaking along the Ping River. Travelling through unseen parts of the jungle, surrounded by nature.
The whole trip was amazing. falling in several times, we finally got the hang of it and started to admire the views before mooring up after what felt like no time at all.
Our final destination, after drying off from our wet and wild time on a kayak, was Cafe Chilepu. Here we took our time to relax in the countryside, surrounded by lush rice paddies. We enjoyed great food, drink, and some amazingly fresh air. This place was so calm and so amazing. It’s the best way to end the adventure trip!
Cafe Chilepu also has rooms to rent if you just can’t face going back home, but for us it was time to go.
This trip was a trip I will not forget in a long time. The friends and the activities made it special, and I can’t wait to go again. Thanks to Tripzii.co for making this trip possible!
If you want to go kayaking in Chiang Dao, you can book now by click here.