Hiking Sun Nhok Wua, Roof of Kanchanaburi – A Pictorial Journey

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When people think of trekking in Thailand they have the northern part of the country in mind. But so many people overlook Kanchanaburi in Western Thailand close to the border with Burma. With peaks like Sun Nhok Wua and the famous Khao Laem National park, this part of Thailand is an excellent place to go trekking and escape the crowds.

Sun Nhok Wua is located in the heart of Khao Laem National Park which is best known for the Kroeng Krawia waterfall. Most people just come here for the cascades but there’s a lot more once you get off the beaten track. The area is renowned for its spectacular sunsets too, and one of the best places to base yourself to see the lakeside at sundown is Pom Pee. There are some great campsites here and most are within easy reach of those sunset views. For most people the journey begins in Bangkok with a long drive to Kanchanaburi and on to Pom Pee. [Read more…]

Hiking at Doi Luang Chiang Dao – A Pictorial Journey

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One of the oldest and most important of the protective spirits in Chiang Mai is a being known as Phor Luang Kam Daeng. It is widely believed that he dwells in the Chiang Dao Mountain, along with his spirit-wife, Nang In Lao. Largely by virtue of the marriage to his indigenous partner, the Lanna people believe him to be Lord of the Spirits of the region. His name always invoked first in local ceremonies.

Stories about his human existence, when he was a prince of Payao, are found in the famous local chronicles: the dumnarn and pongsawadan. According to these written and oral sources, the young ruler made the pledge to capture an elusive deer, but was exiled because he failed to do so. Having continued to follow the deer, he eventually reached Chiang Dao, where it turned into a bewitching beauty with whom he fell in love. Not realising how he had been beguiled, Phor Luang Kam Daeng later continued on the trail of the deer down to where Chiang Mai now stands, following the advice of a reusi, or hermit, there that this was a particularly auspicious location for settlement. [Read more…]

Trek For Hope: The Little Trees of Light in Chiang Mai

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Christmas is a time of joy today, but it did not start that way. The story of Christmas is birthed out of a tale of desperation. A journey which began over 2,000 years ago is one we are still struggling to apply in our own unique way to this day. Even those who attempt to change the world for the better face the issue of criticism.

It is simply impossible to please everyone in this world all of the time. Even when you give your utmost to the cause, there will be a voice from the crowd who demands you to give even more. This can cause one to doubt themselves, doubt their actions, and even doubt their personal faith.

The holiday season has meaning for all. It is one of the few moments in time when humanity truly becomes one even though we each celebrate the holidays in our own unique way.

This was my goal for Trek For Hope this year: to extend this holiday oneness beyond just a few weeks out of the year. [Read more…]

The Family Is All In At Grandma’s Thai Recipes – Cooking School in Chiang Mai

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A transformation moment came to this blog when someone from my hike once asked me about the Filipino cuisine. She knows that I have been to hiking in many places in the Philippines.

“So what’s the distinctive taste about Filipino food?”

I tried my best to recall the type of food I had during my travels, and I realized that almost all the time, after a hike, I will be so deadbeat in my hotel room that I couldn’t remember what I’d eaten. The choice of food would be mostly limited to hotel room service at best or Jollibee, which is the Philippines’ fast food answer to McDonalds.

I couldn’t answer my hiker friend’s question and that conversation bothered me for quite a while. [Read more…]

The First Time Cook at Asia Scenic Thai Cooking School

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Let me let you on a secret: I am never allowed inside my home’s kitchen ALONE for more than 10 minutes. With an intuitive time clock built into her system, the missus of the family will come check on me to see if I have something up my sleeves when the time is up.

I have never burnt down a kitchen before. It’s just that I never had the habit of cleaning up the kitchen after a meal. One cook, the other cleans up? The universal law of the home kitchen, no?  In the missus’ book, you cook, you clean up.

So in my recent trip to Chiang Mai, I found myself with some time on my hands and decided it was time to jump in head first to an idea I’d been thinking about: Including culinary journeys on my blog. Hence I did a search for a cooking school that in the vicinity and decided to check out Asia Scenic Cooking School, located only a few minutes walk from Tha Pae Gate in the old city of Chiang Mai. [Read more…]

Doi Sutheap National Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand

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It is quite impossible to miss Doi Sutheap when you are in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

You see it when the moment you arrive at Chiang Mai International Airport. You see it when you take the public transport to just about everywhere you go. And you can even see it when you are droppin a deuce in a throne room at Central Shopping Mall off Huay Kaew Road. [Read more…]

Exploring Doi Inthanon National Park – Love Shall Pave Thy Way

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I must admit that when the idea of visiting Doi, (“Mountain” in Thai) Inthanon, was presented to me, I was less than enthusiastic about the trip.

“Very easy, no worries, sir” said the tour coordinator, in halting English. “One road straight up and our vehicle will bring you to the top in about one hour.”

Every summit I have ever attempted since the beginning of Travelled Paths was achieved on foot. The idea of reaching a summit by vehicle seemed more like a tourism ploy than an adventure. The satisfaction of achieving a summit is to get there by your own effort.

Riding in a vehicle while someone else drives me to a summit? Maybe it would be a chance to relax. The thought of standing on Thailand’s highest point swayed me. Still – I was hesitant. [Read more…]

Light Up a Smile at Light For Kids Foundation, Chiang Mai

386950_426754754038003_911334530_nNipon Chaocharernpon spent some of his childhood in an orphanage and always felt called to help children in a similar situation as he grew up and eventually had a family of his own. The four different orphanages he previously helped started, have provided education to children whom society might leave behind otherwise. Sometimes there wasn’t any financial support to begin a program, but that didn’t stop Chaocharernpon.

Light For Kids does more than just providing children with shelter from the elements. Every aspect of their well-being is addressed at this facility so that every child has the chance to grow up and choose to make a difference. This includes spiritual education where children can begin to embrace who they are on the inside as they develop the life skills they will need to make an impact in their adult years. [Read more…]

Through the Valley – Nikki’s Place, Agape Home for HIV/AIDS Children in Chiang Mai

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A Heart Full of Love for Children in Chang Mai

Compassion comes in different shapes and sizes. Some people are able to donate money to a good cause. Others feel led to provide helping hands. Some choose to make a one-time donation and others dedicate their entire life to the cause. At Nikki’s Place, everyone comes together to help mothers and their children who have been diagnosed with HIV be able to find a new life.

Our recent visit gave us a glimpse of how Nikki’s Place serves Chang Mai. The organization was founded in 1996 to help meet the needs of local children who were impacted by the devastating AIDS virus. Many of the children who are served have already been orphaned because of this virus and have nowhere else to go. [Read more…]