Pattaya City Thailand, Jaesorn National Park

An introduction to Chiang Mai - Rose of the North

Jaesorn National Park

Jaesorn National Park.
If you've been working hard recently, never getting a chance to leave the city. And much as you love your home town, it's also nice to get into the country once in a while - to have a refreshing trip through the terrific landscape that lies all round it.

So when you have time I suggest you  make a quick dash for the Jaesorn National Park.

It can be a quick trip. If you are working the next  morning / or visiting somewhere else.. Start on a  week-end afternoon, head south from the city in the direction - first - of the ancient city of Kelang Nakorn...better known these days as Lampang.

Jaesorn National Park is one of the really small parks  only 593 sq. kilometres in area, but it makes up for that in its impressive waterfalls and lovely scenery, as well as spectacular cliffs, rising as it does to some 2,000 metres. And then there are its hot springs...

As I said, start out at about one p.m., driving fast on the superhighway to Lampang, which is pretty safe. May comes from Mae Sariang and anyone who drives on those curvy roads had better be good, or they won't survive. Little bit of a problem in Lampang itself, looking for the turn off to the town of Chaehom, but that located you  sprint north and at getting on for four-thirty you pass the small district of Muang Pan and  follow the signs to the National Park.

And what a sight for tired eyes that turns out to be, the sunlight slanting on the verdant greenery, the country rising all round. First go for the Jaesorn waterfall, with its six tiers and all round full-force flow, located just about a kilometre from the park's headquarters. You are on foot by this time, and not far away from the falls you come to the hot spring area, covering about 3 Rai, nine different vents, with water temperatures around 70 - 80 C.

I always get a kick out visiting hot springs, something to do with the thought that under the inoffensive surface of our earth are some pretty terrific forces, of which these streams are a gentle reminder. Also that we get quakes once in a while, not really serious like they have over in Burma and up in Yunnan, but still strong enough to give you a pretty brisk shake from time to time. Nothing more dramatic right here than some tourists boiling - well, cooking - some eggs in a basket. The waters are all kinds of weird colours, from brown and orange to a murky grey, depending on the chemicals they have in them. And there's one place where the hot and cool waters from different sources mingle, and it's possible to swim. Next time,  promise yourselves - because with evening already closing in, you have to think of getting on your way. But next time, start early and stay overnight. Then your have a chance to visit some of the huts where you're invited to dunk yourself in the healing waters.

Before leaving if you have  a chance to chat with a couple of the kindly and helpful park officials at their office. They suggest instead of going the long way back to Lampang, you try the short cut instead. That's why when you leave the park,  turn north for Wang Nua and Mae Kachan on the Chiang Rai road, aim to make a circuit of your journey.

Well, ok, the sun is going down behind the forested mountains and it's a romantic sight indeed, but a little bit lonely. And to add to your slight anxiety, do not  pass Wang Nua without tanking up and  discover you are   low - very low - on petrol.
road to the town of Chaehom   jaesorn-3.jpg
 Oh! Oh! A night on the open road...not quite what you are looking for. But if you do,  it can  turn out for the best, as it happens. You just might make it to  Mae Kachan on the last drops of the precious liquid, and discover that there is a petrol station there: quite a relief!

Celebrate with coffee and some kanoms'. and buy a couple of items from the stalls selling  baskets, brooms and furniture for which this little spot is quite well known for.

Then  hit the road again, darkness falling, tick off the eighty or so kilometres back to the Rose of the North, getting there just in time for dinner.

A trip to remember - but a better, longer one in the offing.

[There are guesthouses at Jaesorn National Park which can be reserved up to a month in advance - THB.600 - THB.3,000 per unit, depending on size. Alternatively, you can take your own tent and camp for a charge of THB. 30, or hire a tent at THB.50 per night. For more info contact Jaesorn National Park Head Office ( 054-229000 )].

Jaesorn National Park.   
Pattaya City Thailand, Jaesorn National Park