The Undiscovered Mae Suai – Chiang Rai, Thailand

My friend wants to show me around in Mae Suai and show me the village where she grew up. She’s going to see her family in the village and I’m invited to join. I will spend one night there. I’m super excited for this. I have been looking forward to this day for a while now. The friend I’m talking about has been in my previous posts. It’s the girl who showed me and my friends a local night out in Chiang Rai. You can read the post here.

Road Trip

We wake up early in the morning and I wait for her to pick me up at Mercy Hostel. I check out and leave my big bag in the hostel. I’m only bringing my small backpack with a fresh set of clothes. I will be checking in again in Mercy Hostel the next day.

She arrives and we get going on our road trip. We’re going to drive through the mountain area of Mae Suai. There are a lot of beautiful stops. But first we will have to make a stop at the grocery store. We need to get milk and drop it off at her friend’s coffeeshop in the mountain area.

I take advantage of this pitstop for coffee. With coffee I mean a late with sugar and condensed milk. Not the healthiest thing to drink in the morning, but absolutely delicious.

After this stop it’s time to hit the road and start the trip through Mae Suai. The roads in Thailand are pretty good for driving. But every now and then you’ll see something unique like this overloaded pickup.

We continue our way. The roads are absolutely beautiful. We get on the countryside and mountain area. The north of Thailand is really gorgeous. It’s totally my style. I love nature. We make our way to one of the viewpoints.

You can already see the clouds in the back of this picture. We continue our road trip. But we weren’t expecting to hit the clouds. And suddenly we did! We were just amazed! This is so amazing. It’s the first time for my friend that she sees this. The clouds are very dense and it’s so close. It’s almost like you can touch it. It looks like you could jump on it and land softly.

And then there’s me having to act a bit crazy . There’s a viewpoint on the other side of the road. The clouds are on the other side. This is not as spectacular without them.

My friend tells me that the road goes up even further and we will most likely get an even better view over the clouds. So off we go! I’m excited to see it!

And… she was right! OMG, this view is so amazing! It leaves you speechless when you see it. Views like this are absolutely breathtaking. The also make you feel calm and grateful.

This viewpoint is absolutely stunning. But there is a lot more to this place. Not only is the view amazing, but there is also a pineapple farm. Here you can buy fresh pineapples directly from the farm for next to nothing. The Pineapple in the bottom picture was only 10 baht (0.28 euro)! We buy one and also get some passion fruit.

At this farm they also give you traditional clothing for rent. You are allowed to wear these for taking pictures. It’s funny to do. Renting these costs you only 20 baht. I mean, they have to make money somehow, the pineapples are so cheap. Furthermore you can get fresh tea here for free! Yes for free. The hospitality in Thailand and specially on the countryside is so amazing. Sometimes it gets lost when visiting big cities and tourists hotspots, but not here.

Abonzo Coffee

Next we arrive at the coffeeshop. This is where we needed to drop off the milk and other supplies. The coffeeshop is in the mountain area. It’s also very huge! I didn’t expect to see this big of a coffeeshop in such a calm area. I forgot to take a picture of the front. So here’s one from their Facebook page.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/AbonzoCoffeeDoiChang/photos/a.1651823568411345/1996188280641537

The inside looks like this.

What’s cool about this coffeeshop is that they roast their own coffee beans. They also have amazing patisseries. The Facebook page suggests that they grow their own coffee too. However I forgot to ask the owner about this.

This place has an amazing view over the mountains. The owners are very friendly. This really is a hidden gem in the middle of the mountains. Make sure to stop by if you are in the area! See on google maps

Doi Chang

We continue driving through the mountain area and we make our way to the top ‘Doi Chang’! It’s already noon now. There are no more clouds. But the view is still amazing. When we get to the top we see some monks walking back down.

We go to the top and get an amazing view. This view is pretty relaxing to me. It isn’t as breathtaking as the one from this morning, but that is just the timing of the day. This view is still gorgeous in real life. There’s something about mountain tops that makes me feel free and happy.

On the way back from the mountaintop, we bump into a roadblock. A van tried to turn around and got stuck. The rocks are slippery and he doesn’t have enough grip and power to back up. So we try to help him. I was pushing the car back while he was driving backwards. We manage to move it a little bit and he can forward again in the right direction. But it isn’t enough.

Some people pass by on motorbike and we ask them to get help. About 15 minutes later a group of 4 people arrive on 2 motorbikes to help push the van. We also move some rocks that were in front of the van so there’s more room. And we’re finally able to get the van out! The driver was so happy.

Wat Saeng Kaeo Phothiyan Temple

Next up we make our way to a mountain temple. This is a brand new temple. Compared to 2 years ago, everything was still under construction. Now there’s only a big buddha in the back under construction. Everything else is finished.

This temple is absolutely magnificent. It’s insanely huge. There are no words for it. It’s very unique. All the statues and buildings has a style that I have never seen in a Thai temple before. It’s so amazing. How can you even describe something like this?

I think the pictures speak for itself. This temple is absolutely gorgeous. It’s popular among the locals in the area, but not for tourists. It’s a hidden gem and off the normal tourist routes. I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to explore something so amazing. It’s definitely worth a visit when you are in the area. view on google maps

The Hot Spring

In the late afternoon we make it to the village. I get shown my room and I meet with the family. It’s the perfect time for some relaxing. The weather is great and I enjoy some time relaxing in the sun. But really tho, the weather is always great in Thailand. It has hit 30˚C (86˚F) every single day for an entire month.

I eat some passion fruit that we bought earlier in the mountain area. It’s absolutely delicious. For sunset we decide to go to the hot spring. There’s a hot spring in the area and the view is amazing. It’s surrounded by fields and in the back you can see the mountain area. We go inside the hot spring too. A lot of locals come here during sunset. I don’t think they ever saw a white person in that hot spring before. It’s quite funny to see. Even driving around on the scooter, the locals look at me. I instantly turn into the most popular figure of the village.

I can’t really show you where to find this hot spring. The road doesn’t have a name. The village also doesn’t have a name. I can only tell you that the area is called ‘Tambon Si Thoi’. This one will remain a hidden gem.

I went back in the morning the next day. This is what the Hot Spring looks like in the morning. The hot spring has a different color in the morning. The locals call this hot spring ‘three colors’, because it changes colors depending on the time of the day.

Going out

We end the day by having a local night out. I have fallen in love with the Thai way of going out and Thai country music. The local bars always have live music. There’s a stage and different bands come to perform.

When you enter the bar, you get assigned a table. That’s basically where you stay. You arrive with a group of friends and get a table. Then you order some drinks and food, enjoy the music and crack some jokes.

Then the bar is starting to get full and people start to get a bit tipsy. That’s when the dancing happens. Whenever a good song hits, people get up off their chairs to dance and sing. They have fun with each other, but they always kinda stay around their table. So you basically dance around your table.

It always is a lot of fun. You can connect with your neighboring table and just act funny on the music. You can say cheers with them. It’s quite easy and fun to have some talks and fun with them. Thai people are very friendly.

The bar is called ร้านสหายหมื่นจอกแม่สรวย. Don’t worry if you cannot read that. I cannot read Thai either.

That is the end of this day. It was a very big and amazing day. I have been welcomed by my friend’s family. The hospitality is over the top. This day has been very unique and inspiring. The moment a local takes you under their wing to show you something unique, you bet it will be something amazing that have never seen before. I am so grateful for this amazing day and the amazing friends I made. I don’t think there’s anything I can do to show my friend how grateful and happy I am for spending this day with me.

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