by James, Co-Director, IHF Chiang Rai
After working hard all week, I decided that I wanted to get out of the city on my day off. I rented a scooter, and headed south to explore the surrounding area of Chiang Rai. About 20 minutes outside of town, I found this nice little café set on the bank of a pond. I sat and enjoyed a cup of coffee, soaking in the scenery and enjoying how quiet it was. I finished up my coffee and hit the road again. Just a few miles down the road, I saw a sign for a wat (temple). The road cut threw some rice fields and looked to be in good shape, so I headed off in search of the wat.
I rode for about an hour, following what I thought were signs for the temple. I came to many intersections, some without any signs and some with but in Thai, and guessed a lot as to which way to go. I was beginning to get frustrated with the lack of direction provided by the Thai government when I saw a nice winding road going up a mountain. As a race enthusiasts and lover of good roads, I headed straight towards it.
45 minutes later, I was out of road and had no idea as to where I was. I knew which direction to go, but could not remember all the turns I made. I had my phone and considered Googling my way back, but decided to wing it. I made the right decision. I found myself driving down a dirt road that ran through tea fields and a nice little stream. I rode upstream in search for a place to swim, as it was a hot day, and heard the sound of water crashing on rocks. Somehow, I had stumbled upon a waterfall. I hiked for a bit up the hill, and found a nice place to take a picture, have a swim and relax. It pays to get lost in Thailand.