Wandering in the Sea of Fog Pha Tang Phu Chi Fa Chiang Rai

| March 3, 2016

Starting from the city of Chiang Rai, after paying respect to the statue of King Mengrai on Highway No.1, continue to the intersection and turn into Highway No.1016 towards Chiang Saen District., a distance of 59 kilometers. You find yourself in an ancient city within ruins of the old city wall. Once known as Hiran Nakhon Ngoen Yang City, Chiang Saen is today a small district on the Mekong. at the strategy point where the Ruak River from Myanmar runs into the Mekong between Thailand and People’s Democratic Republic of Laos, forming a triangle, long known around the world for its notoriety as the Golden Triangle. The Golden Triangle, once a no man’s land is now a major tourist attraction, with shops lining the narrow path along the Mekong on the Thai side, and diverse accommodations for discerning tourists.
From Chiang Saen, take Highway No.1129 for about 55 kilometers to Chiang Khong, another small town on the Mekong. A stop at Ban Hat Bai along the way affords visitors a chance to visit a Tai Lue community and buy their famous hand-woven textile as souvenirs. Chiang Khong is frequented by foreign travelers heading for Luang Prabang by passenger boats or crossing the Mekong to Ban Houei Xai using shuttle long-tailed boats at Bug’s Pier. Border passes can be obtained at almost tall guesthouses in Chiang Khong. Small guesthouses mushroom in the area, such as Ban Tammila and Cham Kong are popular among rucksack travelers for their unpretentious and friendly services. Food shops are abundant. mostly a la carte. Recommended are Nong Khwan Shop In Soi Sukhaphiban 2 (Soi Community Radio) and delicious chicken rice at the entrance to Sol Sukhaphiban 1. Not to be missed Is the food bazaar along the main road of the town every day at sunset, especially Friday evening in winter. For relaxation on the bank of the Mekong, try the fresh-brewed coffee at Nakha Shop, taken with freshly-baked cakes and cookies from Ban Tammila Guesthouse in the same area.
From Chiang Khong, travel further on Highway 1129 for about 6 kilometers, turn right into Highway t 174 to find Ban Sathan Community specialized in hand-woven textile, one of the 20 cottage industry villages selected by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Department of Industrial Promotion, with the support of JBIC of Japan. In the same area is Ban Si Don Chai, another cottage industry village of distinction, with Tai Lue weaving group demonstrating the craft.

The entrance to Doi Pha Tang is on the left, a climbing asphalted road of 15 kilometers. Great precaution must be taken throughout the trip. The view is stunning, with green hills and resplendent natural surroundings. Small communities and rice-fields are interspersed with deep gorges. After climbing for over an hour, Pha Tang Village appears before your eyes, distinctive with large brick buildings. They belong to the remnants of the Nationalist Army, Division 93 who seMied down in Northern Thailand for decades. They and their descendants took up agriculture, trading, and also hospitality industry, catering to visitors who flock to the hill during winter. Recommended is Pha Tang Hill, with clean rooms costing only 500 baht per night. The camping ground is also available.
Once on Doi Pha Tang, watching the sunrise over the sea of fog is a must. Before that, spectacles can be observed from the hill – top pavilion, or to pay respect to the sitting Buddha on top of the hill. A trek of t kilometer is rewarding. The sea of fog can be watched any time of the year, with the Mekong River traversing the valley down below. Not far from the Viewpoints is the gap, known as The Gate of Siam, as a narrow gap dividing Thailand and Laos.
Next, follow Highway 1155 and 1093 to Phu Chi Fa, another superb site to observe the sea of fog, existing alongside Doi Pha Tang, as twin attractions. The route is winding and narrow. In the morning and the evening, the veil of white fog covers the area. Phu Chi Fa lies about 20 kilometers from Doi Pha Tang. From the parking area, climb up for about 1 kilometer to the vantage point, a meadow of about one square kilometer, as a jutting top of the hill overlooking Laos.

As in the case of Doi Pha Tang, Phu Chi Fa is resplendent in the flowering time from December to January. There is also accommodations and camping site available Warm bedding materials should be prepared, along with coffee makers.
Coming down from Phu Chi Fa, continue on Highway 1093 to Phu Sang Sub-District, Phayao Province, the site of the hot waterfall, a natural wonder, one of the Unseen Thailand site. Before reaching the waterfall, the office of Doi Pha Man Highland Agriculture Office is located on the left. Here one finds wondrous flower beds, especially tulips, in bloom during December to February.
Another Unseen Thailand site on this route is the presiding Buddha at Wat Phra Nang Din in Chiang Kham District. The Buddha is enshrined without the base for over a century. A legend was told about how people failed to lift the Buddha onto the base and had to let the image where it was.
From Chiang Kham District, take Highway 1021 into Thoeng District, Chiang Rai Province, and further to Highway 1020 back into Chiang Rai city, concluding the tour filled with natural beauty and the wonder of Unseen Thailand sites.

Chiang Rai Map Thailand

Category: Chiang Rai