DAY 2: Hot Springs, Emerald Pool + Tiger Cave
Hotel pick up for the tour package was at 8am.
First stop for the package: Hot Springs
The water was warm and not too hot, but there were too many people. We did manage to find a private spot once the crowd start to clear. Surprisingly, there was a lot of ‘locals’. Families were seen around gathering for the weekend.
Next stop: Emerald pools & Blue pool
This is no joke! This is a very tedious walk with very little time given. The route was slippery and muddy and uneven, making it hard to walk fast. The tour guide recommend that we walked straight to the Blue Pool first which was the highlight of this trip and only visit the emerald pools on the way back if we have time to spare.
The waters are crystal clear and the turquoise blue color of the pool was really unique and beautiful. We spent about 10 minutes for photo taking here. Note that swimming is not allowed here.
Thank god we listened to the guide. The Emerald pool was rather crowded with ‘Locals’. We did not take the swim in it as we were too tired and did not want to squeeze with the crowd. Honestly, there was nothing special about the Emerald Pools.
After filling our stomachs, time for our next stop: the Tiger Cave. This was a very tiring experience for us. Being on scared grounds, there are certain dress code to follow. Obviously no bikinis, sleeveless shirts, short pants. Well, coming from the Hot Springs and Emerald pools, most of us was directed to the station to collect a cloth to cover ourselves up. The in-charge will pass you a shawl that can be rented for 10 baht . The money was to be placed in the ‘donations’ box.
Pre-warning before you start your journey up. It is not an easy task. Steep and narrow steps awaits you. And then again, very limited time was given to us by the guide. In the end only two of us made it to the top and the rest decided to give up half way.
The views get better from the top. Our legs were already shaking by the time we get to the photo point for these views.
Finally we arrived at the top.
I would say we were just to tired to enjoy any of the views and of course, we had to immediately make our way down after taking few quick photosof the surrounding.
In summary, you would need at least an hour return to complete the whole trip up and down even though they said you could do it in 45 minutes. This is really no easy feat if you are physically challenged or unfit. However we did see an old man, probably around late 70s or 80s making his way down after collecting soft drink cans from the top! I am amazed. If we didn’t continue up, it would be rather embarrassing if we didn’t try to make it to the top right?
Time to return to our accommodation. I can’t feel my legs anymore.