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Kieng Doi Fishing Park
Where you can cast all your worries

 If you are in Chiang Rai and have time to spend but do not know where to go, why not try catching some really big fish the swimming kind that is? Many Chiang Rai residents go to public ponds and lakes like that beside the Rajabhat Institute or at the base of the Doi Khao Kwai not far from the old airport. My favorite haunt, however, is at Kieng Doi Fishing Park five kilometers from Chiang Rai along the road to Amphur Thoeng and Santi Buri Golf Club.

I moved to Chiang Rai four years ago, when Kieng Doi Fishing Park was only starting its operations. The owners of the establishment is a commercial fish pond operator and his wife, a retired bank employee. The whole family helps in running the business, which now includes a lovely restaurant and four cottages that are for rent.

My sons Nat and Ahim aged nine and seven, love coming to this place because they always manage to get the big fish. It seems I will never be able to get fish bigger than theirs because I spend most of the time putting bait on their hooks. I really should teach them to bait their own hooks so I can some fun as well and enjoy my ice-cold beer.

 Most of the time, we get Pla Sawai (Pangasius sutchi) which is like a catfish without whiskers. This fighter always puts up a good fight and always a thrill to land. Usually though, we throw the fish back into the pond because we only want to have some fun with the fish and not kill it. I just hope I am not reincarnated as a Pla Sawai.

Other people specialize in catching Tilapia. It takes more skill and requires slightly different equipment to catch Tilapia, which by the way is really good to eat.

I have seen people land Pla Chin, Pla Nai (carp) Pla Nuanchan and another kind of fish which I cannot identify. The park management says that they also have Pla Beuk (Pangasinadon gigas) or Giant Mekong Catfish although I still have to see it with my own eyes.

The park management has a policy of not allowing fish heavier that two kilograms from being taken away. These fish are considered as spawners and should be preserved.

Fishing rods can be rented at the park. Fish bait (usually old loaf bread) is available at the park's office. They also have cottages, which you can rent for the night and a really nice restaurant where you can have a cold beer to go along with your catch of the day.

If you are interested in visiting this place call them at the following direct numbers 053-701701, or 053-701110. Alternatively, you may inquire from the PDA Tour Office or Hilltribe Museum and Education Center located at downtown Chiang Rai.

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