As a result of spontaneous adventuring we sometimes run out of time at our favorite discoveries. We had decided to take the scooter over Doi Suthep to see the other side of the mountain inviting along a couple new friends from Paris. The drive was incredible; we’d never been to that elevation on the mountain. The air gets cooler, driving through clouds becomes the norm, and the precipitation in the air turns everything to a vibrant green. The view was unimaginable; we’ve never seen the mountainside quite like this before. The cityscape was replaced with a limitless horizon of clouds, rolling mountains and small villages in the distance. It was breathtaking. We continued our climb on scooter up the narrow, zigzagging, pot-hole filled road and came across some ruins engulfed by moss and vegetation. They were the remains of a wat constructed in the 13th century and excavated in 1983. Some fresh embers lie close suggesting a previous visitor, we were happy with the opportunity to warm up a little before continuing.
Several kilometers later we saw a sign for a village…we were now racing daylight. We journeyed over even rougher roads and found Doi Pui Hmung Village…a village of dirt roads, houses made of tin, and kids playing in the street. It was unlike anything I have ever seen. A group of little boys play with a blow dart gun, shooting it straight up in the air and racing to recover the dart, cheering if it landed perpendicular. Two young girls played a game of hopscotch as the others play near by. Boys raced on bikes. Had we more time I would have joined right in for a quick game of hopscotch or dart racing but with 30 kilometers to go over unkept roads with a scooter...it was wise to move on. The laughter and happiness that filled these streets was a great reminder that joy can be found even in the most simple of settings.