There are very few things that can get me up at 4am. Well, 2, to be exact; Christmas and incredible sunrises (the latter only on special occasions). And one particular morning, in northern Thailand, it was such an occasion. We had heard about this place where you could climb up to watch the sunrise above the clouds and say "good morning" to Laos across a border of seemingly endless mountain tops. We were intrigued to say the least. Enough so to wake up at 4am to make the journey...on a motorbike, of course.
We rode in the cold, damp morning air for 2 hours, our ponchos flying in the wind, trying to forget the previous day, where we had ridden through a rainstorm and were soaked to the bones before finally deciding to cut our losses and go back to the guesthouse. We thought we had planned it right, to be on top of the mountain just as the sun was coming up, but as with most things, it took longer than expected and before we got to the top, it started to get lighter and lighter and we began to see the most magnificent views.
I wondered at the mysterious beauty of the heavy fog, gently masking the tree-dotted hills, revealing just a glimpse of what we had come to see. We continued on, a little disappointed that we had missed the sunrise at the top, but with high hopes nonetheless.
We rode the last half hour yelling "PHUU CHIIIII FAAAA" at every turn, anxious to see what had pulled us out of bed at such a disgusting hour. We hiked up the short trail in no time, and along with several other tourists, peered out, astonished at what we found...
Nothing. Nothing at all.
The fog had created a thick, impenetrable wall, completely consuming any hopes for a view. We watched as the other tourists took awkward photos of themselves against the white backdrop, obviously disappointed at the waste of their morning. One by one they returned back down the trail, defeated. Max and I weren't about to give up so fast. We walked down the path a little further, out of the sight of the few other tourists who remained and did some yoga, checking the view every couple seconds so as not to miss anything.
We did this for almost an hour and hadn't seen a single break in the fog. But just as we were about to head back down, we saw it.
It was as if the heavens were opening and we could look them in the eyes. The fog was no longer able to withstand the sun's piercing rays, and yielded to it's majesty, revealing a tiny glimpse of the mountains below. Then, just as quickly as it had come, it was gone. But this time we weren't going anywhere. And thank heavens we didn't.
There we were, the only ones left at the top, watching the ribbons of fog rush like waves of water over the land, revealing a world totally hidden only moments before. It was better than Christmas.
Good morning, Laos. Thanks for the show.