We arrived in Nan City (capital of Nan Province) before six in the morning last Friday, after traveling for ten hours on an overnight bus. We then boarded a rickety old bus to the town of Pua, an hour away. While waiting for the songthaew to bring us to the mountains, we checked the town's market where we found roasted frogs. Kin kao!
The songthaew ride took another hour. We soon found ourselves on a narrow highway that winded through the mountains. We were supposed to stay at the Bamboo Hut, which we found in Lonely Planet, but alas it closed two years ago. We asked the passengers of the songthaew on which resort we can stay in (thank God Bubbles speaks Thai) and they recommended the Boklua View Resort (www.bokluaview.com).
We were quite lucky with that resort coz the place is truly amazing. Composed of six bungalows that has stupendous views of the mountain and the nearby river, it has been operating for only a year now, managed by Toum who used to be a chef in a major hotel in BKK. The resort also has small terraces where they grow rice and vegetables, which they serve in the restaurant. Goodness, where do I start about their food? It's unbelievable that one can find such marvelous food far into the mountains.
Now back to the accommodations... There were no available bungalows because of the holiday. Just like my recent trip to Umphang, we were then offered a tent. The prospect of sleeping in yet another tent alarmed me, not to mention that the temperature in the area dropped to zero degrees a few days before. But the nearest resort was like 12 kilometers away and songthaews are infrequent. So we had to stick with the resort anyway.
After a scrumptious lunch, the Australian business partner of the resort drove us to Sapan Nam Tok (or Sapan Water Falls) seven kilometers away. We went inside the forest, crossed several small bridges, hopped on rocks on a stream, and clambered over moss-covered rocks to reach the water falls. It was only about three in the afternoon but it was quite nippy under the shadows of the enormous trees.
Back to the resort, we found our tent pitched under a small tree. The tent was big enough for probably six people and we can even stand inside it. Just perfect! We were also provided with some warm blankets that pretty much saved our asses from freezing later that evening.
After dinner, we sat in front of a fire while drinking cheap whiskey and smoking. I was freaked out by how cold it was that night. I was wearing a pair of shorts under my jogging pants, two socks, shoes, a shirt, a sweater, a jacket, a scarf, and a bleeding hat. Whereas Bubbles was only wearing a shirt, a thin scarf, jogging pants, and sandals. Fat = insulation, no? Hahahaha. Fortunately it was relatively warm inside the tent.
The next day, we explored the small village famous for its salt pits. We saw a man getting water from a well and the same water was used to extract salt through a distillation process. I honestly don't have any idea what I'm talking about here coz I'm not a freaking salt expert, no?
We also wandered in the village where Bubbles found his kids. Cute, aren't they?
Just before lunch, we headed back to Nan, a trip that took over two hours. Again, we did not have any reservations in Nan. We found a certain hotel in Lonely Planet and checked-in. Thank heavens we were not in a bloody tent anymore. (Goodness, I haven't showered for two days until we were in the hotel.)
We explored Nan town just as the sun had already set. We found the city rather empty, perhaps because of the holiday. We pretty much allowed ourselves to get lost in the city, until we stumbled into a number of temples, which were all closed by then.
We also found a beautiful cafe cum art gallery called Milk Club.From there we went to the direction of the Nan River where we found a number of drinking places. We met a few locals at a bar. They barely spoke English and Bubbles acted as our interpreter. Gotta love Bubbles for his language skills, among others. Choz! The shop beside the bar sold some of them balloon lanterns commonly used in Loy Krathong. It was my first time to actually release one.
Oh, and we even had some chance to do some jumping shots in the deserted streets of Nan.
The next day, we only had a few minutes to check the local market not far from our hotel. We were then back to the hotel and packed our stuff.
At around eight in the morning we were boarding a bus back to Bangkok.
Aha, and y ou thought I would finish this post without the highly-demanded faggotry shots? Not really coz I fucking werqed Nan, baby!