North Thailand

North Thailand Elephant Journey

North Thailand day trips with lush green environment rivers and elephants. It could be a good idea to do some shopping for native items such as "Hill Tribe Silver Jewelry". 

They moved the elephants to every tourist-spot in the country even in Hat Yai it's a nightlife attraction they run around with them at the night market to squeeze money from the Malaysian tourists.they usually ask about Baht 1000,- per person or more it's just a "hit and run business.  But don't pay more than 500,- for the whole elephant normally which can carry 4 people. 

Buddhist monks are always interesting objects for photos not only in Thailand.. The yellow and orange plus dark red robes contrast beautiful with the green environment for exceptional pictures.
North Thailand on the road
  • North Thailand  is also famous for silver jewelry

    Not only for elephants and wild rides on the bamboo raft
    Loei town is sandwiched between the Phetchabun mountain range and the Mekong River. It's green, quiet and far away with tropical mountain forest, lakes, National Parks, waterfalls, all agriculture, no industry. On the road to Loei is the Dan Sai Resort, a nice place from where the countryside can be explored. At Loei are also several good hotels and at every hotel, the first question is, you like a sensual massage? You know which one?
    Easily accessible by air, bus and car over very winding roads through a beautiful countryside create a good mood because it is easy to reach all places. The nearest great outdoor is Phu Rua national park on the way from Dan Sai to Loei town. The highest peak is 1,365 meters and in the “winter” month a chilly wind can bring the temperature down to below zero degrees centigrade.

    Usually, no chilly winds are around and a terraced campground under pine trees invites to get your tent up and explore the beautiful surrounding. You can get out for a hike along markers that contain information about the forest. The area is dotted with pine trees. A light breeze of early summer winds might tickle your nose with a fragrance of wildflowers.

    Pha Lee Rock Garden shows surrealistic rock formation

    The rocks are somehow like the limestone formations around Phang Nga in southern Thailand, further up is a so-called Stone Forest with more wild stone sculptures. In early summer wild orchids can be found around here. Up to Pha Loan Noi viewpoint people can drive with the car and do a short walk, it's worth it, the panorama is a breathtaking experience.

    Huai Phai waterfall 

    The waterfall is about 2.5 kilometers from the visitor center and carries enough water for an exceptional splash or –namtok- as Thai call a waterfall. The limestone formations of Suan Hin Pha Ngam stone forest have been formed to all kind of abstract shapes. Typical limestone caves like Orathai Cave and Broken Heart Cave could be explored. Four park lodges for around 300 baht per head for five persons a night over a very basic stay. Campgrounds with showers are near the visitor center, the best actually is to stay in a hotel in Loei town and do the short ride to the National Park, it prevents from a negative experience.

    At Loei city

    (Loei is spoken as Loi) take the road to the north to have a look for the Mekong River a large stream as you can see the pictures below. 

    The road runs along the river and opens up great panoramas when driving eastwards. The problem with the Mekong River is, the Chinese at the upper reaches have been and are still building several huge dams for power stations and using the water also for irrigation projects. The result is that almost no real ships can cross the river anymore because the river is too shallow, also fishes are gone etc.

    Since the Chinese destroyed most of their own nature in the past, they do it now on places where this affects other.That's the some in the high mountains of the Myanmar Himalayas where hordes of Chinese cut too many trees, they are not allowed to do so in Myanmar but they bribe the local administration, cut take the trees and run big profits are made since they even sell the coniferous trees in south Korea.

    A great tour I made was from Sukhothai to Phitsanulok after taking the 21 route to the northeast and to the Mekong best to be made by the end of autumn because at that time the river and waterfalls have enough water for a good optical feeling. Why? Rivers and waterfalls without liquid are not particularly interesting. The area in the north is slowly coming together although there is still a deep trench dividing north and south.

The Mekong is collecting water in the Tibetan Himalaya

    Including countless tributaries on the way to the delta in Vietnam that is the Mekong, the 12th-longest river in the world and the 7th-longest in Asia. 
    Its estimated length is 4,300 km. The stream collects lots of water from the Tibetan Plateau and China's Yunnan province plus Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. In 1995 these ASEAN countries established the Mekong River Commission to handle the resources. Because of the Monsoon, the seasonal flow varies a lot, but it is still is a major trade route between south China and Southeast Asia.
    At the moment (2017) the flow is in the greatest danger in its existence and the problem is China. The Chinese claim (illegally) not only the South China Sea for themselves they also block water for Myanmar Rivers, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. A few years ago the river was in most parts navigable with bigger ships today it has degenerated into a minimal flow through which one can wade through in many parts easy. 
    What happened? The Chinese had by 2016 seven big dams for electricity generation built and almost no water comes through since much is consumed in the agriculture industry, seeps and thereby disappears underground. The Chinese are a reckless power building on their military strength and only serve their own interests. Regrettably, the leaders of ASEAN countries have not the necessary self-esteem to defy the danger which the Chinese build up.
    Mekong at Loei