Asia, Thailand, Travel

Cycling around Chiang Mai

We arrived at the airport nice and early and took our time eating some lunch and doing a bit of shopping before the first 16 hour flight to Bangkok. The flight was uneventful and we landed around midday the next day in Thailand. We’ve been here before, so we calmly made our way down to the airport rail link, to take the skytrain into the city centre.

I booked a small room at a hostel right next to the last sky train station in the city centre and we had a quick freshen up before our first day of the holiday. I took Pete to some of the places I went to on my very first few days in Bangkok 5 years ago around Rang Nam Road and Victory Monument, but we were so tired and hungry after the flight all we could think about was food. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a vegan option in sight, so we resorted to some crisps and some sticky rice! How glamorous!

It felt really great to be back in Thailand, a place which we both love. We have spent the last 3 months learning Thai too, so we took literally every opportunity to practice on the locals! Pete would literally say every sentence he knows in one go and completely impress them, but when they’d ask a question back he’d have to tell them in English that’s all he knew!

That evening we took the overnight sleeper train up to Chiang Mai. During our last Thailand Trip we visited places mainly to the South of Bangkok, so this trip was all about the Northern Mountains. We planned to hire a car and travel along the Mae Hong Son Loop to the West of Chaing Mai. The train was quite fun actually, but we noticed immediately that due to the time of year and temperature levels, there was a lot of haze so visibility was quite poor.

We arrived in Chiang Mai super early in the morning, and after a crappy food day the day before, headed straight to a top-rated HappyCow-favourity; Tien Sieng. I got the Khao Soi and Pete got some mixed thai buffet food. It was absolutely delicious and we said that THIS was the moment our holiday properly started 😀

Feeling full finally, we took the silly decision to walk from the restaurant to our hotel to check-in. It wasn’t far at all, and flat the whole way walking through the old town of Chiang Mai, but it was 40 degrees celcius and by the time we reached the hotel we were wet-through with sweat!

We had a much needed shower before taking out 2 of the guest houses free bicycles to explore the town. The heat was unbearable though and we could only manage 20 minutes or so riding before we had to stop to chill in the shade or find an air-conditioned room.

We rode over to the public park and a few temples, before scouting out a few of the car rental places. We managed to find a place which had a vintage little jeep that I set my heart on, despite Pete’s worries about it’s condition. I convinced him that it was “the one” and we arranged to pick it up from them at 9am the next day to start our Mae Hong Son loop through the mountains.

In the evening we went to a Muay Thai show at one of the big stadiums which was really great. We got to see lots of young up-and-coming thai fighters and a couple of really skilled KOs. The event finished late, but we managed to find a late night vegan fast food joint called Munchies to grab something before bed!

A great holiday so far!

View our GoPro Video of this blog post here:

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