This post follows Nan: Town and Temples.
After failing to organise a trek and finding the public transport lacking I hired a scooter from my guesthouse. With a quick practice around town and a few backroads (where I had to brake to let a snake cross the road) I was ready to head out the following day.
Na Noi is in the south of Nan province and around 65km from Nan town. The four-lane highway out of Nan quickly narrowed, eventually down to a single lane through fields and rice paddies.
Following the advice of my guest house owner Tom, I avoided part of the main highway by taking a shortcut through a village. Within minutes I was completly lost down small criss-crossing roads. Thankfully after about 20-minutes of hellos and hand gestures I was back on track.
My first stop was Sao Din Earth Pillars, a soil formation created by erosion over thousands of years. It was also a prehistoric settlement; I viewed the basic tools, axes and stones that were discovered here at the Nan National Museum.
I had a chat with a park ranger of some sort, but he left once some locals had finished filming. That left me with the place to myself - and absolute silence.
Though Sao Din is part of Sri Nan National Park the main entrance and viewing point is another 25km away. The steep mountian road is worth the trip though for the view at the top.
The view really was great, and a small taster of what's to come given that Laos is only another 50 miles or so in that direction.
There was plenty more to see in the National Park and with some planning it would make sense to camp there as many were doing to make the most of it. Tents are available to rent from the park and are already pitched.
As I hadn't planned on staying I headed back to Nan town. Not stopping for pictures like I had been on the way, it took just under two hours from the view point back to the guest house.
Both Sao Din and the National Park were great but as usual with these things, getting there was half the fun.
More Nan photos on Flickr.