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  1. #1
    Northern Hermit
    friscofrankie's Avatar
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    Chiang Mai Backroad ~ San Kampaeng Hot Springs

    Since turning 55 or so, the aches and pains of past adventures come up to haunt me all to damned often. Some adventures may not be so distantly past. It seems the more I move the more I hurt. Knees that don't bend so easily, or unbend once bent. Past surgical repairs not quite fitting as they used to.

    I litany of Motorcycle & auto accidents, Skiing mishaps, Bar fights and sport injuries come back to plague an other wise fit body. I get sick of it. A line from a Rolling Stones song is often on my mind; "What a drag it is getting old." We all do it and has been said in so many eloquent ways; "It beat the alternative."

    With the recent cold snap here in Chiangmai I was eating Ibuprofen and paracetamol like candy, and was missing the ubiquitous "Hot Tubs" of California.

    The San Kampaeng Hot Springs sounded like a decent substitue, we took off for San Kampaeng about a week ago Saturday. We headed out 1006 through BoSang and then San Kampaeng, it was shortly after this I realized I had maybe 400 baht in my pocket, "No problem it is tourist place they will have ATM."

    After driving through San Kampaeng we came to Highway 1317 and turned left. about 20 kilometers or so later, as we left Amphur San Kampaeng and entered Amphur Mae On, we passed "Tam Mueang On" or Mueang On cave. We stopped for a minute.

    Some of the following pics are fromteh ol lady using the Fuji, some from me using the Sony DSLR.

    They seem to building somethign up near the top of the stairs going up to the cave. Pick up a bag of sand or bricks and lug 'em up there willya?




    just dump rightchere OK?


    The view was worth the walk


    The cave wasn't


    There is nothing at the top of the stairs to eat, drink or buy. Get a bottle of water from this lady.

    The cave is marked with a sign on the side of the highway, in Thai. There is small but interesting wat between the highway and the cave. Worth a few mnutes of your time.

    After climbing those stairs and then coming down (it's the coming down that's hard on the knee), I was ready for a good hot soak. The Springs are only a few kilometers beyond the cave But they had no ATM, anywhere.

    The ol' lady's in trouble but not too much, there's always tomorrow.
    When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty -- T. Jefferson


  2. #2
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    Sunday A hot bath and a peacful day

    after moseying around the grounds a bit, checking out the facilities we decided to go home, come back the next day getting an earlier start even. Having found the place we decided to take less busy route cutting about half the time required to get there. To get to the springs, take Mahidol rd. East Mahidol rd becomes Highway 1317. you can stay on the same road until the turn off for the springs. There are no towns, and very little traffic to deal with. THe Springs are 41 kilometers from the Chiang Mai Airport.

    The turn off is well Marked:


    You can stop here for barbequed chicken, sticky rice and beer as we did or head into teh srpings and find a bite up there, as we also did.
    Two kilometers after the turn off:


    Teh price of admission is 20 baht ofr adults 10 baht for kids written in Thai, and 40 baht for adults, written in English. I saw one guy send his wife to get two tickets. I walked up read teh sign to her, and asked he if I was "Poo Yai," She smiled and gave me two tickets for 2o baht each. If you can;t charm the lady into a real price, pay teh forty. it's worth it.

    If you've been in Thailand for any length of time you begin to associate any large gathering of thais with a cacophony of amplified voices battling with the beat of too-loud pop music strainig to rip the speakers from their mounts. On bath days we wondered around the grounds the place ws blissfully peacful, quiet. The sounds of a few kids splashing in the pool muted byt teh waterfall that tumbled into it.

    The grounds are meticulously maintained and the place lends itself to ambling through the gardens just to be ambling.

    I kind of liekd teh memorial to all the eggs boiled in the spring:


    Teh rates for a private room was 200 baht per hour or 1000 baht for an over night stay (noon til noon): Roms were clean airy and bright:


    The water is HOT


    The shower COLD. The room has a room service menu, but no telephone, there is always some one nearby to order from though. each bungalow has sattelite tv and a small porch for relaxing.

    Filling the tub fills the room wit the sulphur smell of rotten egs or old peoples farts but you hardly notice the entire park has hte sulphur smell. The tub fills quickly, with very hot water there is a convenient cold water tap, I had to adjust teh heat a bit and even after that teh Ol' lady took at least another fifteen minutes to get completely in the tub.

  3. #3
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    The view from the Bungalow porch:


    After my two hours were up we wandered around a bit. They had a sunflower field:


    Teh place appears to be popular with Thai and everyone there is quietly relaxing.



    One of the two (side by side) Geysers there:


    More garden:


    More people relaxing:

  4. #4
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    There is an artificial stream that run through one area of the park, this is the area where the bulk of the people congregate, there is an area to pitch a tent nearby they have tents for rent the price per person for camping is high in my opinion, 500 baht per person but tents are cheap, 50 baht per night.

    In this area there is a small kiosk selling drinks and snacks, Most people brng elaborate picnic fixins' speard out a bamboo mat and begin making Somtam, or opening plastic bags of goodies prepared at home, bought on the way in.

    There is a restaurant that server decent Thai food, and has a limited selection of beers, Chaang, Sing, Leo and Hieneken.

    We opted for a restaurant meal, the rstaurant sit at a small elevation above teh rest of the park is is nice for people watching.

    The restaurant:


    Some people we watched:


    Tourists everywhere just gotta stand infront of shit and take a picture, never more so than in Asia


    The food was good, the service unobtrusive but prompt:


    No bathroom shots, my apologies to those that fidn that stuff interesting.

    The meal above was a bit high at 400baht, but the quality was a fair nothch above street or market food. Good enough value at 400 baht when you consider you've got little choice.

  5. #5
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    There was a large swimming pool, I didn't take a picture of, and teh free kiddies pool I did:


    I enjoyed my time and even if the hot bath did little to add flxibility to my aching joints, the day was one of het most relaxing days I've spent in a long time. I'll be going back, often.


    This is th stream that meanders through the back side of the park.



    I've already mentioned how to get there. I'll try to be a bit more clear.
    Head east out of Amphur Mueang on Mahidol Rd. whe out of town the Rd becomes Highway 1317 stay on this road through San Kampaeng and into Mae On until you see the sign pointing left to San Kampaeng Hot Springs. Yes, that's right San Kampaeng Hot Springs is in Mae On. No San Kampaeng. Don;at ask I don't know.

    Camping is available:

  6. #6
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    Interesting place FF. Nice shots with lots of peole content. Thanks.

    BTW, you can't be too buggered and worn out if you can tackle the walk up to the top. Also I was thinking maybe those monks are a special order of bricklaying monk.

  7. #7
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    I've been up there in my day. Lovely area - Nice collection of photos Frankie, thanks

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    Thanks for all the work of putting the pictures on the forum. It is beautiful and peaceful there and now I know how to get there.

  9. #9
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    xlnt pics and post Frisco!!!

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    You missed one of the best signs found anywhere on the planet....

    Found at the first bathing house as you walk down to the main pool.



    I wonder how they tell the temperature in the girls shower...

  11. #11
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    nice pics frankie

  12. #12
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    Great pix. But didn't you get one of the "Cripples Only" sign outside the handicapped hawng naam, it's a shining example of LOS political correctness. I would post the pic I have but not enough posts yet
    Celtic

  13. #13
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    I just now read this thread. Will have to visit!

    Nice shots FF.

  14. #14
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    boy the list of places worth visiting is getting longer and longer by the day

    Some really nice shots mate, cheers for sharing!

  15. #15
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    Thanks FF another must see along with c/mai/Noons Taweechon gardens next time we are in town, both just down the road from us.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by friscofrankie View Post
    Since turning 55 or so, the aches and pains of past adventures come up to haunt me all to damned often. Some adventures may not be so distantly past. It seems the more I move the more I hurt. Knees that don't bend so easily, or unbend once bent. Past surgical repairs not quite fitting as they used to.

    I litany of Motorcycle & auto accidents, Skiing mishaps, Bar fights and sport injuries come back to plague an other wise fit body. I get sick of it. A line from a Rolling Stones song is often on my mind; "What a drag it is getting old." We all do it and has been said in so many eloquent ways; "It beat the alternative."

    With the recent cold snap here in Chiangmai I was eating Ibuprofen and paracetamol like candy, and was missing the ubiquitous "Hot Tubs" of California.

    The San Kampaeng Hot Springs sounded like a decent substitue, we took off for San Kampaeng about a week ago Saturday. We headed out 1006 through BoSang and then San Kampaeng, it was shortly after this I realized I had maybe 400 baht in my pocket, "No problem it is tourist place they will have ATM."

    After driving through San Kampaeng we came to Highway 1317 and turned left. about 20 kilometers or so later, as we left Amphur San Kampaeng and entered Amphur Mae On, we passed "Tam Mueang On" or Mueang On cave. We stopped for a minute.

    Some of the following pics are fromteh ol lady using the Fuji, some from me using the Sony DSLR.

    They seem to building somethign up near the top of the stairs going up to the cave. Pick up a bag of sand or bricks and lug 'em up there willya?




    just dump rightchere OK?


    The view was worth the walk


    The cave wasn't


    There is nothing at the top of the stairs to eat, drink or buy. Get a bottle of water from this lady.

    The cave is marked with a sign on the side of the highway, in Thai. There is small but interesting wat between the highway and the cave. Worth a few mnutes of your time.

    After climbing those stairs and then coming down (it's the coming down that's hard on the knee), I was ready for a good hot soak. The Springs are only a few kilometers beyond the cave But they had no ATM, anywhere.

    The ol' lady's in trouble but not too much, there's always tomorrow.
    Oh my god climbing that wasnt easy.But as said the view was worth the climb

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