Monday, 22 October 2007

Thailand's best? Pong Duet?

My family and I have quite some experience on hot springs worldwide ( Nepal, Thailand, NZ). Our best experience in Southeast Asia until now was Chiang Mai province's Pong Duet. It is also known as Pon Dueat or Pon Duat, basically sounding the same but written differently.

The springs' geysers themselves are in the middle of a forested area, high up on a north facing mountain side. The springs are in a national park (Huai Nam Dang NP), so admission (400 THB per person!) limits the number of visitors. However don't let this deter you, it certainly is worthwhile. From the parking area, it's a 20-minute walk to the boiling cauldrons. The water jumps continuously, half meter high; you bet it's hot!

Boiling hot

The water then starts flowing downhill. There's a path that follows the river downhill for about 15 minutes, which ends at a bridge, near the soaks. You can use the river for soaking (for free) before the bridge, but it is still very hot. For a small amount (20B?) you can use the public pools which you can see in the picture below. There are also private cubicles, but though you can bathe 'au naturel' you are stuck looking at the four concrete walls. Better though are the outside pools, you have beautiful views and the baths are huge, the water is also appreciable, but not private. Let's hope these newly built 'tubs' can be maintained (we visited here in November 2006). If the amount of visitors are anything to go by, that might turn out to be difficult.

The 'tubs', with a natural look and greenish water

To get here, you would need your own means of transport, it's about 10 minutes drive off the Ciang Mai - Pai - Mae Hong Son Highway. There is a small restaurant with only Thai food. There are also some cabins and some structure that resembles a hotel.

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1 comment:

  1. hi iv had to re-register! what a pain-heres that link again pm me if you get stuck
    p beartil


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