At the Top of Thailand

When Thai people find out where we’re from, they often ask “Is it cold there, with snow?” Thinking of recent reports from our friends back home, we answer an emphatic “yes.” Such is Thais’ fascination with the idea of cold weather that in January they’ll drive to the top of the country’s highest mountain, 2,565 meter (8,415 foot) Doi Inthanon, for the opportunity to maybe view some frost on the ground and see their breath in the air.

Melissa and I recently took a day trip to Doi Inthanon—not for frost but for a quiet, green escape from the city noise and traffic of Chiang Mai. It was cool but not cold at the top (brisk enough for windbreakers, scarves, and socks). The sky was clear blue, the air was pure and pine-scented, and the summit was full of interesting shrines, mossy forest trails, and twittering birds. Farther down the mountain, which is part of a national park, we saw a profusion of colorful flowers and a thundering waterfall. I’m not much good at conveying any of that in writing, so we’ll let Melissa’s pictures tell the story.

One fun fact we learned while we were there: Doi Inthanon is at the southern end of the Himalayan mountain range. So although it’s a far cry from massive snow-covered peaks like Mount Everest and K2, we can now technically say that we’ve seen the Himalayas!

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