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Mae Wang national park lies some 50 km south west of Chiang Mai, the park has some interesting geological features such as the Pachor Canyon; carved out of the soft rock by thousands of years’ of erosion.

In the surrounding areas there are Elephant Parks and bamboo rafting opportunities. Further west is farm land, where strawberries grow in the Thai ‘Winter’.

See Chiang Mai: Driving Routes for directions and place markers.

Mae Wang National Park

Mae Wang National Park

Mae Wang National Park - Phachor

Mae Wang National Park – Phachor

Elephant home

Elephant home

Just south east of Chiang Mai old town lies the recently rediscovered ancient city of Wiang Kum Kam. Built in the 13th Century, the site was abandoned some 700 years ago – most likely due to flooding.

Today the site is mixed in with a residential suburb of Chiang Mai, you will need transport to explore the site as it quite spread out. The map posted below appears around the site and helps you to understand the layout and history.

Wiang Kum Kam

Wiang Kum Kam

Wiang Kum Kam - Map

Wiang Kum Kam – Map

Just south of Chiang Mai is what’s often referred to as the ‘Grand Canyon'; well it’s sandstone colour and looks a bit like the other one I guess… There is a restaurant (Tung Tong) overlooking the canyon, and otherwise you can enter the site from the other side.

See Chiang Mai: Driving Routes for directions.

Swimming is not advised and may actually be banned; this place has claimed several lives in recent years.

Tung Tong Canyon View

Tung Tong Canyon View

I’ve been to Hong Kong a few times but always stayed on the north side of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. This time we made it to the south side and… what a delight. Aberdeen (home of the floating Jumbo restaurant) is still pretty busy and built up, but by the time you get to Repulse Bay things are a lot quieter and calm. It’s hard to imagine that heart of Hong Kong is a only a few kilometers north over the mountains – its another world down here.

Stanley, at the end of the run has a small market and a pleasant promenade with cafes, bars and restaurants (inc Pizza Express) – you could easily spend a day down in the south.

The only problem we encountered was the same as with the rest of the trip; the food was awful and not cheap… Having opted for what looked like a simple cafe with smallish menu, I chose grilled Sole with potato and veg… the Sole was fried, the potato cold and the veg raw… to finish it off the while thing was drizzled with Balsamic Vinegar – vile… I think they have been watching too much Masterchef.

The easiest way to get t0 the south is the 973 bus, which runs along Canton Rd and then Connaught Rd before swinging to the south of the island, fares are very cheap (around $HK 6 – 14 depending where you start), upstairs on the right gives you the best view. Taxi back from Stanley to Central will cost about $HK 100 – £10 ish at todays rates.

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