Khuen Mae Ngat reservoir in Chiang Mai

We were visiting Chiang Mai, where we spent some happy days. The timing of the trip had been chosen so that we'd miss the worst of the smog caused by open fires in the area of Chiang Mai. Fishing at Dream Lake Fishing Resort was also on the agenda, and about which we were very happy. Also, a trip the Mae Ngat Reservoir - Khuen Ngat Mae - was another day-out that promised us a wonderful time.

The short drive from our temporary home, located just outside of Chiang Mai, showed us that the smog problem was more pronounced at higher altitude. The journey through the mountains would have been very dangerous if the smog had been any worse. A dense, dark-gray haze hung over the entire area in the mountains. When we arrived at the nature reserve and national park Ngat Mae, there was a little better with the air, but the mountains around the lake were all almost invisible.

We had booked, over the phone, a boat to take us to one of the floating raft-restaurants, to spend the day. As a standby, we had packed our fishing

Khuen Mae Ngat Chiang Mai

At least the photos we saw on the houseboat hinted at what could be caught.

Fishing was not going to dominate our day - we wanted above all a relaxing time on a house boat with good food, and the journey there and back.

Life jackets were available but were not used by all. Sitting in the little boat with its gas powered engines, we were taken across the lake with quite some speed.

Due to the aforementioned smog all the shorelines appeared somewhat colorless and pale, even when you approached them closely.

Smaller than our boat, and even faster.

Except for these two boats coming towards us, it was pretty quiet on the lake. There were no jet-skis or water skiing - very nice!

The bank-sides hint at what this would be like during the rainy season. This towering tree sticking out of the water appears as a warning to pilots to avoid this bay.

We passed several rafts / houseboats,

some were brightly painted or otherwise decorated.

After about 15 minutes we finally approached "our" raft.

Our pilot swung round alongside the raft, so that we could crawl out of the boat.

What does one do on such a raft?

Swimming, fishing, eating and drinking, relaxing and feeling good! We decided, however, we wanted to take a further look at the rest of the lake and ordered our guide to take us to some good fishing spots. We were taken by boat to a small bay.

We had theoretically planned to catch wild sawai - Pangasius catfish. Theoretically, of course, because it proved to be beyond our patience to locate even a sign of a fish in the lake.

I was stung by a bee after 10 minutes into my foot, my friend sank deeper and deeper into the mud. It became clear that we wouldn't be staying long!

We packed our stuff after 30 minutes and gave our guide a signal that we wanted to return to the raft / houseboat, before we got too bogged down in the mud or eaten by bees. The short trip across the lake was still very nice.

After a few hours on the raft / houseboat, several drinks, some good food and fun, we got back on our boat taxi and returned to the main pier. It was a very nice day. For those interested in visiting the lake: the boat=taxi cost 500 baht - on the raft, the prices are moderate, the food delicious, and it is possible to rent a room to spend a night, or longer. Rooms cost from 550 baht / night upwards - that is all very straightforward and cheap!

posted on: 08.09.2012 - last update on: 19.10.2013

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Coordinates for your navigation device

Latitude: 19.174363
Longitude: 99.031529

Khuen Mae Ngat reservoir in Chiang Mai on Google Maps

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