Camping North Thailand – Phrae to Doi Samer Dao

After a few perfectly relaxing days (aside from the all-morning roosters) we drove north again to Phrae for a hotel stay, a decent shower, some laundry, and to restock on camping supplies. Most Thai provincial towns are homogenous, once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all, and Phrae was no different. By 8pm everything was closed and it was a struggle to find a restaurant open for some dinner. 

It was time to get out of town after just one night and head to our next campsite but on the way was a seldom-visited cave that had been illuminated with different lighting to provide some great photo opportunities. There was no entrance fee and we were the only people in Pha Nang Koi cave. 

Tonight we were camping at Doi Samer Dao in Nan province, a famous spot for Thai stargazers due to its elevation and clear skies. There was a 100 baht farang park fee to pay even though the campsite was outside of the national park but I wasn’t going to argue considering the drive we’d just done, the last few kilometers on very hairy dirt roads best suited for a 4WD. 

As before, the campsite was desolated and we were the only ones there, even the staff had disappeared with it being midweek. We picked a spot overlooking the Nan River and the mountains forming the Laos border and tied the tent down as it was a little breezy up on the summit at almost a kilometer high. A fire kept us warm and the bugs away as the temperature dropped and the moon rose over the spectacular valley below.


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