Sawadee Krab, hello guys, it's us again. This is our first trip in 2016. Our couple on tour trip will take you to fully embrace the sea fog in Chiang Rai. This trip happens due to the desire to see the sea fog at Chiang Rai. But since it's the beginning of the year, taking leaves is difficult. So we organize it for a 2 days 1 night trip with one more night for departure. We leave Bangkok at around 8 p.m. and arrive Chiang Rai early morning. But wait, although our time is short, we do have quality time at each place because each attraction is quite near to one another. The total expenses for 4 people is 1,500 THB each. No, no, we didn't want to compete for a saving trip but anyhow my every trip is a saving one anyway since I want to do it often. We usually go out every month, sometimes, every weekends. Each trip then needs to be a saving trip but not to the extent where we torture ourselves.This trip, we travel to the north, so we try the local food and bring the tent for spending a night, so no fee for accommodation. Our car also use gas to run, so there's not much expenses. Just having a chance to come out and see this beautiful view, we are already very happy. Our budget of 1,500 THB includes no instant noodle. We eat full, sleep well, but just a small comment that the chauffeur needs to be tough a bit. I sleep the whole day before departure day then I drive the whole night and start the program as soon as we arrive Chiang Rai. The expenses will be summarized at the end of the review.
Itinerary of 9-10 January 2016
Day 1: Doi Chang Mup - Prat That Doi Tung - Chui Feng Tea Plantation - Phu Chi Fa - Dok Phaya Suekrong or Thai Sakura at Banpot Wittaya School - Spend a night at Doi Pha Tang
Day 2: Enjoy the morning sea fog at Pha Tang - Another sea fog at Phu Chi Dao which is a newly found great tourist attraction - Go downtown to Wat Huai Pla Kung - End the trip at Asian Flower festival
We follow the route as below:
All photos come from Nikon D5300 18-140 and Gopro hero 4 silver.
Before start reading, you can stop by for this short video clip. This trip we forgot our selfie stick, so the view is not so wide, haha.
We start our journey on Friday night as we want to catch the morning light. This trip is me and my girlfriend with 2 other friends from Khon Kaen. They have to take the bus of about 400 km. from Khon Kaen and another 2,000 km. and then take another 400 km. bus back, haha. It's like they sit too much that it could hurt, but anyhow, I see them sleep all the way. This may feel like changing bed, haha. After pickup up them two, we leave Bangkok at 9 p.m. and follow the Asia road until Nakhon Sawan. Then, turn right to Phichit, Phitsanulok. Now the road has been renovated that it's so good despite some minor rough road. Continue on this road, and we will see Uttaradit and Phrae, Lampang and Den Chai intersection. If you turn left at this intersection, it will take you to Lumphang or turn right to Phrae and then turn left again to Phayao. I take the second route and straight ahead which takes quite long time. Doi Chang Mup, our first destination, is located next to Doi Tung. It is the small military base near the Thailand-Myanmar boarder which they said has a very beautiful sea fog.
With the distance of 870 km, we arrive here at 6.30 am which is just on time for the morning light. But this morning, the sea fog only appears on Myanmar side; it has not reached Thailand. Anyhow, we still see this far distance mountain view. But the sun also rise on the other side of Doi Chang Mup so we didn't get to see the first light.
This morning, no one tent here. We are the first group to reach here.
We can tent here, there's clean bathrooms and many soldiers nearby that we can feel safe. They also greet us every morning before anyone else.
This morning is 9 degree Celsius. It is so cold that our hands and ears hurt. The wind is also strong.
After taking photos for a while, we clean our faces, brush our teeth and finish morning clean up. The weather is so nice that the drowsy disappear even though we haven't slept the whole night.
This area has the flower bed which I'm not sure what they are called but they are certainly very beautiful.
Then, we just enjoy the atmosphere until time has passed 7 a.m. and that the sun start to shine like below photos.
It is so breathtakingly beautiful.
We take so much photos and about 8 a.m. it's time to move on.
From Doi Chang Mup, if we continue straight, we could reach Mae Sai. But I'm not sure if we can go this time as it seems there's some dispute going on and it locates right at the boarder. So we return to the old route and move towards Chui Feng Tea Plantation.
At first we also wanted to visit Doi Tung as we asked people nearby and they said it's the flower gardens but there's entrance fee as well so we didn't go in. We just stop by to pay respect to Phra That Doi Tung.
After paying respect to Phra That, it's time to go to Chui Feng Tea Plantation. From Doi Tung, it is approximately 20 km. more. As soon as you are on the main road, the sign will lead you forward. And right before you take the main road, there's a la carte restaurant, so we all have our breakfast here. I didn't have photos but it's regular food. For this meal, it costs 150 THB. Then, we just need to drive about 4 km. and we will reach Chui Feng Tea Plantation.
Now, it's 9 a.m. and the sun starts to get stronger but the wind is still chilly. Many tourists also start to arrive. I think it would be so pack later. So let's get photos taken while it's not too crowded.
I was planning to have a couple shot but the photographer is so hot tempered, haha.
Since we don't have the basket, we take the bin with a wooden stick so I take it as a prop which is quite fit with the scene, haha.
Letting friends holding our camera is good too, so we have some unintentional shots, haha.
When we take a look at the other side, I see them harvesting tea. I think it goes by rounds in which they have to hurry because I see a person whistling from the other side as if to tell them to weight the tea and another whistle for them to come back to pick up teas again. If anyone knows what's going on here, please let me know. I'm so curious.
And then what must not miss is green tea, so we have to try it out. It becomes our most expensive meal in this trip, it is 390 THB. Well, the food is quite inexpensive but the sweet is so costly, haha. But well, since we are already here, why not, right?
It looks very appetizing and colorful. The taste is delicious. I'm not a sweet lover anyway but the girls said it's very delicious, so it be. Please don't forget to try it out.
Now the crowd starts to form. On the other side also have restaurants and coffee shops with so many people, so I didn't take any photos.
Having enough photos and food, now it's time to move on. It is 10.40 am. now, the sun is strong and our next destination is Phu Chi Fa.
From here to Phu Chi Fa is about 130 km. It is not that far and easy to drive, just follow the GPS. We go by the road 1098 and onto 1020 before running on 1155. In fact, 1155 route offers several directions, I choose to go on the one written gateway to Phu Chi Fa. I must say that the road is so steep and challenging. And some part of it is under construction but I think now it would be all completed. You can also see from the photo, it is steep but also very beautiful. It is both fun and a bit terrifying, only gear one will do now.
This video clip is taken when it is so steep, like the several S curve continued. If you are the new driver, do not panic, just keep using low gear without using too much brake, let the car help you brake. In the clip, the girl next to me perhaps complain a bit too much, haha.
Taking from the windshield, it looks so high up.
We arrive at Phu Chi Fa about 1 p.m. The wind is chill. Though the sun is not that strong but still affect us a bit.
Let's take a walk now, so easy, it is just 760 meter.
But for those who do not exercise much, you can be panting too, haha. After walking a while, I see this mountain looking so like a monkey. I'm not sure if you see it the way I see it, but it looks really like King Kong, looking really harsh.
Well, looking at it, it is really pointing towards the sky (the literal meaning of Chi Fa), quite terrifying.
Stop by for some photos first...
The wind is quite strong and the sky is not open. It looks like the cloud is covering the entire area.
Let's keep walking to the end.
Seeing them cuddling, we also want some. But no one takes it for us, so let's have it this way, hehe.
Now, we reach the tip of the mountain that I said looking so terrifying earlier from below. But it looks much less terrified as it is fenced. The view is very beautiful.
Let's now take a look at the path we have walked.
After taking photos a while, it's time to move on. Phu Chi Fa didn't offer much photography angle but only the below area where you can see the Phu Chi Fa overview as well the panoramic view up top that are quite beautiful.
When we walk down, we see these kids are singing. We ask for their photography and give them 20 THB in which they automatically divide among themselves. They sing quite well and also dance.
Let's move onto our next destination. I heard from Chiang Rai friends that Dok Phaya Suekrong (Thai sakura) is now blossoming at Banpot Wittaya school, so we must also visit.
Banpot school is located near the way up to Doi Pha Tang. The day we visit is the Children day so the atmosphere is very fun with all kinds of activities.
The school is surrounded with this Dok Phaya Suekrong. Although only some is blossoming on the day we visit, but seeing this pink flowers is really refreshing.
Each tree is so tall. We need to zoom in and zoom in. In a close up look, it's very beautiful.
And now, it's time to go back to where we will sleep tonight. We arrive at Doi Pha Tang around 4 p.m.
Then, we start to tent for tonight. It's a first comes first serves service. We arrive here quite early so we get to choose the location. We choose to tent at the building where there's a power for battery charging in which no where else has it available. Below to this building also offers male and female bathroom, separately. You can tent wherever you need. And if you didn't bring the tent, you can also rent it for 200 THB each like the blue ones below.
Soon, we are starving. We have our dinner at the shop nearby which offers a lot of choices. That we are already here, we must try Pork Knuckle Mantou and noodle which I'm not quite sure what it's called, haha. Then, we also each have one a la carte dish and finish up with Roti. More than full for this meal.
And then we must hurry for shower as the water would get really cold. The bathroom is quite clean.
Now is only 5 p.m. but the water is so cold that we are shivering while taking shower.
This is basin, we would have such a good time when brushing our teeth in the morning.
After that, it's a socialize time while watching the sunset. I brought some liquid from home, so we save cost a bit. Anyhow, we also try 2 bottles of wine, which is quite tasty. Tonight we go to bed at 9 p.m. so that we can take some rest and ready for tomorrow early morning.
But but....there are two groups of teens. I think they might have been local people because they get here quite late. One side comes with so many people while the other side come in a van. They park on opposite side to each other. At first, they were playing guitar and singing which is quite enjoying. After one side finishes, the other side starts. But after taking several turns, the volume is up. I thought they would fight but they didn't. They kept continue until midnight when I woke up again. I actually slept since 9 p.m as I'm quite exhausted but woke up again due to the cold. My girlfriend said she couldn't sleep because they were too loud. The later the night is, the louder they sing. Both of them are trying to sing the loudest possible, I think they were using large white water plastic bucket as a drum. It's really loud. There's one in-trend song that I swear, they sing it at least 5 times, haha. And OMG, before they can stop, it's 2 a.m. Well, that I write so much here, I just want them to feel more considerate about tourists a bit. At first, I quite like it as it is my style songs. But the volume should turn down as it gets later, but this is the opposite. Going to tell them doesn't seem to be a good idea since we are only 4 people and of which 2 are female, who would dare to? Another group with more people didn't dare to too. Oh well, perhaps that they stop at 2 a.m. because someone goes talk to them? So they stop. Anyhow, after that we sleep and the cold continues. We get shivering at late night.
We set alarm at 5.15 a.m. as we wanted to go to the farthest mountain at the 103. But since the cold makes us sleep so well, we finally wake up at 5.40 a.m. in which the sky is still dark. My girlfriend said she's scared and didn't want to go now so we go wash our faces, brush our teeth and pack the tent up while waiting the morning to come so that we can go to Phu Chi Dao.
At around 6 a.m., people start to wake up and go to see the sunrise. In fact, walking a bit would show you the sea fog already. But from what I read, they suggest to go to the 103 which is about 900 m. further. So we did. The good thing about the 103 is there's very less people since it's the farthest. Most people stop at the 102 as it's much closer. I walk really fast as we are also on the clock. It is quite tiring. And this is what awaiting us here.
Wow, we are on time for twilight. It is so beautiful, let's go take a look at photos together.
After the twilight is gone and the sun is yet risen, we just keep taking photos. This sea fog looks so soft that I want to just jump in.
Let's set up the camera for a couple shot.
The Doi Pha Tang Conqueror, reading this makes us feel so powerful, haha.
For the 103, we thought that we would win some, but at last we lost it all (for the lottery), hehe.
That it's so breathtakingly beautiful, we need to selfie a bit, haha. But selfie like this too much will earn me a big muscle, haha.
Now, it's a single shot time.
And then finally the sun is here, softly touching the sea fog....just....speechless....
This sign is a bit on the rock, we need to climb little to find it.
I keep pressing the shutter that the memory card is full. Luckily, I have the second one. Taking for 100, only a few is good, haha.
When we walk down, it's already 8 a.m. This angle is also very beautiful. That's why I said Phu Chi Fa has less photography angle. Pha Tang has so many photos angles. The big mountain to your left is the 102.
In fact, the 102 and the 103 can oversee each other, you can choose at your own convenient.
Along the way....
This is the triangle to Chong Khao Kad, the 102, and the 103. If you do not want to get too tired, I think the Chong Khao Kad is enough. I can guarantee that it is compatibly beautiful.
I'd like to end Doi Pha Tang with this angle from Chong Khao Kad.
Here also offers horse carriage service for those who didn't want to walk. But I recommend you to walk as walking is terrifying already with this narrow way, sitting high on the horse would not be so much good idea.
Lastly, let's finish it with the welcome to Doi Pha Tang Gateway sign. But the sea fog is yet ended. Phu Chi Dao has it until 11 a.m. and the beauty is nothing less than here.
After having such a good time at Doi Pha Tang, we need not to hurry as Phu Chi Dao is only 18 km. away. It is the recently open destination. We have our breakfast at Doi Pha Tang. Then, we arrive at Phu Chi Dao about 9 a.m. From here, we need to take the truck there. It costs 50 THB for several people. But we are only 4, they asked us to hire the whole truck in a price of 500 THB but I negotiate it to 400 THB for round trip and they would wait for us there too. I think it's not expensive for this 2 km. ride. It's just like that of Kitchagood road, but more. The road is so steep and the road is not good. So we jump so high along the way and we need to hold onto the handrail tight that I didn't take any photos. Anyhow, you guys can have a look in the available video. It is the one lane road that two cars cannot pass each other. There's one time, a car is driving down and cannot park aside to let us go so he needs to drive up and find some place to park first in a 90 degree curve. This is so much fun, haha. From here, we need to walk a bit, I think it's about 800 m. which is not that far.
When we arrive at the first milestone, we must have walked about 600 m. The sea fog is still there with the beautiful lighting.
And this might be the origins of Phu Chi Dao (Chi Dao literally means pointing towards stars). Well, I think it also points to the sky too, haha.
After walking to the tip of the mountain, it is so terrifying. Our legs are shievering as both sides are cliff. It is so scary that we didn't get the photo with another milestone. The wooden fences are there but we can't be sure how strong are they. For those who are afraid of height or with children, please pay special attention here. But if you can get up here, it's so worthy.
So Incredibly Beautiful...
After sitting and enjoying the sea fog for a while, it's time to say goodbye to Phu Chi Dao, until we meet again!
When we get down, it's 10.30 a.m. and we start to feel hot. How could it's not? We wear 4 layers. But we still felt cold in the morning. The weather is so so good.
After that we prepare to go back as our main goals has all been achieved. The rest is the gain for our trip. That we are already here, let's go visit Wat Huay Pla Kang. Our friends in Chiang Rai also told us that now two flower festivals are on with no entrance fee. So why wait?
This is my Vios who takes me around Thailand. She can conquer every mountians, no matter how steep it is as long as the road is smooth, otherwise, she also gives up.
We reach Chiang Rai downtown and have lunch. Then we arrive at Wat Huay Pla Kang around 1 p.m. There's a lot of tourists and the sun is strong now.
The temple is very beautiful but the sun is so strong, in couple with the cement, it just looks too hot.
Here also offers the charity food, but we just ate, otherwise, we would not miss out, haha. After taking photos for a while, it's time to go to Asian flower festival which is located not so far.
Now it still has and I remember it will last until Valentine's day. The flowers are so beautiful.
The smoke we see is the water that are watering the flower, it gives us such a beautiful effect.
As well as Love
It is such a perfect ending for this trip.
After that we leave Chiang Rai at 2.30 p.m. as our friends need to catch the night bus back to Khon Kaen at midnight so we need to hurry a bit. On the way back, we stop for gas filling and dinner at Nakhon Sawan. We arrive at Nakonchai Air at 11.45 a.m. which is just on time for their 00.00 bus. Everyone now arrives safe and sound and get ready to fight again on Monday morning. Oh well, this is s salary man life.
In summary, this trip is very smooth. We got to visit every destination that we like. We drive about 2,100 km. and with good timing. For those who plan to travel to Chiang Rai, I recommend that if you would like to go to Phu Chi Fa, Phu Chi Dao, Doi Pha Tang, it's best to spend a night at Doi Pha Tang and when the morning comes, you can take photos around. For another night, you can sleep at Phu Chi Dao. And after taking morning shots, you can go to Phu Chi Fa and walk up about 500 m. and you would see the sea fog already for those who wish to capture the beautiful sea fog shots. Anyhow, you can arrange as per your most convinient as each place only 10 km. away from one another with Phu Chi Dao located in the middle.
The Summary of the Entire Trip Expenses
I firstly collect 1,500 THB from everone and spend it together for 4 people.
The fuel is 800 THB.
The gas is 2110 THB.
Breakfast on Saturday is 150 THB.
Green tea dessert time at Chui Feng Tea Planation is 390 THB.
Phu Chi Fa Bathroom Fee is 20 THB.
Dinner at Doi Pha Tang is 340 THB.
Roti and Milk Tea is 75 THB.
The tenting at Pha Tang is 230 THB.
Ice + Soda + Peanuts + Meatballs is 135 THB.
2 Bottles of Wine is 200 THB.
Breakfast at Pha Tang is 180 THB.
Phu Chi Dao Truck Fee is 400 THB.
Lunch at downtown Chiang Rai is 280 THB.
Dinner at Nakhon Sawan is 210 THB.
And some other small expenses.
This is our overall expenses. At the end, we have 280 THB left and give back to everyone where I take the 140 THB to wash the car.
The following is my other tourist destination reviews which you can take a look. I put my first review to the latest one accordingly.
Review Trang-Krabi, Hundreds THB Accomodation for a 4 Days 3 Night trip, Driving by Myself
Khao Kho & Phu Tab Berk on the Day that Sea Fog is all around
Hunting for Sea Fog at Thong Pha Phum National Park, Sagklaburi with a Free Accomodation at Felix River Kwai Resort
Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai, a Saving but Quality Trip of 3 Days 3 Nights with a Budget of 2,xxx THB.
Lipe....the Driving and Savig trip of 4 Days 3 Nights
A day at Rayong with Tung Prong Thong and Khao Laem Ya
Chiew Lan-Phuket, the Highlight of Thailand with a Saving but Quality Trip of 3 Days 2 Nights
Kanchanaburi Tour to Tiget Cave Temple, Giant Chamchuri Tree and Floating Raft Accomodation
Khao Kho & Phu Tab Berk, the Third Timer but Still Hunting for you, Sea Fog
Nan-Payao-In search for Sky Road-Rice Terraces-and Noen Maprang, Once and for All Trip
The end of Rainy Season, Let's go to the Red Mountain, the Lotus Swamp at Sam Roi Yot, Sleep at Pranburi and visit Rajabhakti Park
Si Sa Ket - Ubon Ratchathani - the Southern Laos, Going once and Going everywhere, My First Time Going Abroad
Inthanon- Tung Bua Tong-Pang Ung-Jabo Village-Pai-Chiang Dao in Welcoming Cold Wind for a 3 Days 2 Nights Trip in a Budget of 2,500 THB Each
This is yet another very impressed trip to see this full scale of sea fog. I only have seen something like this once in December 2014 but I haven't seen anything like this yet in 2015 despite several hunting sea fog trips. It is now time to close the sea fog hunting trip and looks forwards to the sea trip, perhaps? I haven't yet decided yet of where to go for this year. If I get anything, I will definitely share with you by writing a review.
When we have strength and time, let's go out for new experiences. We don't need to have a lot of money to start a journey. Sometimes, when we are rich, we might not have time?
See you again with the couple on tour, goodbye for now, Sawadee Krab.
Travel Around Thailand with Vios