An unexpected day today. This morning I left my spot at the same time as every day. I’ve done the first 17km and stopped for a break. This is when I met first two young girls who came to me. They could not speak English so their father joined them. Five minutes later, I was at his home where I met his wife, brother, father and most of the members of his family even friends. We spent the rest of the day together.
Wow, I don’t know what happened today. I felt I was in Singapore again. The haze was very thick, I saw lots of people wearing masks. Today the road was much easier than yesterday certainly because I’ve stayed on the main road which is in the valley. This evening I wanted to sleep under the roof of a huge open hangar but the woman I asked the permission to offered me a room with a bed for the night. Thanks!
Last step towards Laos. In few days I will be cycling across the Mekong. I repeat myself I know, but I’m still waiting for these famous hills situated on the north of Thailand where I’m now. Effectively, today was definitely not flat but that’s because I chose purposely a little road that goes through the hills (see the map). I could have been straight to the north an avoid that but it would not be interesting. I don’t like when it too easy ;-)
Today we finally reached Chiang Mai after 21 days cycling. We have done 51 km per day in average and stopped 3 days on the way. For this last day, we joined the Ping river again and followed it until the entrance of the city. The landscape did not change very much today. In fact, we avoid one more time the big roads which leads to the centre. Ours did the same but the road was nearly trafficless.
Mmmh, delicious day today :-) The last night at the temple was pretty quiet. After breakfast we cycled few kilometres before we stopped to visit a temple. There was another gigantic statue of one of the three famous monk from that province. After that, we kept on cycling until we reached a very nice coffee shop. We stopped there maybe 3 or 4 hours :-) Later this afternoon we travelled a bit further expecting to find a temple I’ve spotted on Maps but that time it did not work. The people from the place where we ate told us that temple doesn’t accept people to stay overnight. We had to find another place then and it was not easy…
Today we cycled only until midday but still did 47km :-) We done the first 20km until we reached a temple called Wat Phra Borommathat. After the visit we had breakfast and then continued travelling north. Then we kept on going until we arrived in Sam Ngao, a village very close to the Bhumibol artificial lake. In fact, in the 50’s the government started the construction of the Bhumibol Dam, named after the King. They needed 6 years to build it and another 6 years to fill it! Once we got to temple of the village, after a hot rest, we cycled and visit that famous dam. The way to reach it is far to be flat. That’s the most hilly place I’ve been to in Thailand until now.
Today is another step towards Chiang Mai. The nights become slightly more fresh but that’s still not enough to use my 5°C sleeping bag :-) We have spent most of the day along the Ping river and visited a religious place when we arrived in Tak. This one as the particularity to have a huge collections of animals, mainly elephants and roosters.