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Post-South Thailand, Motorbiking and Crashes

THAILAND | Friday, 24 June 2011 | Views [1755]

So on it was from Krabi and through Bangkok up to Chiang Mai. I didn't even stay a night in Bangkok - I really don't like that place! Maybe I should stay away from Ko San road though...

After taking the nightbus (and seemingly getting 180 quid stolen from right next to me while I was asleep), I spent the day chilling-out in my favourite guesthouse - Happy House Guesthouse!

One of the older women working there saw I was tired and said I could use the area just up the stairs to lay down. I was ok there though. Not giving up, she tried to flirt with me a bit more and offered me her room to sleep in while she was working, "when I finish work, you go". 'Yeah right!' I thought, 'she has a bit more than that in mind!'. Regardless of whether or not I would have to pay for her 'services' (I'm not into that kind of thing and I'm not about to start), she wasn't a great looker so I politely declined and dozed in my chair instead.

Before I left I grabbed a shower and returned my towel to the desk before putting on my t-shirt. The gorgeous girl behind reception seemed to like this and her brother later told me she liked me. With great regret I had to leave straight away to catch my train but left them my facebook so she could get in touch. I left Happy House feeling quite happy with myself.

The sleeper train was a real experience - what a way to travel! I spent alot of time chatting with a british couple who were in the same room as me. Settling into Julie's guesthouse was harder than I thought though. Everyone there seemed really young, which isn't usually a problem for me, but I've come to realise that just a couple of years over 21 really does make a difference. I got trapped into a conversation with a bunch of folk who I clearly didn't click with. I was not a happy bunny. However, after a couple of days, some motorbiking and one bungee jump later I was heading off on a massive motorbiking tour with an irish companion called Niall.

This trip was absolutely awesome, despite even the fact that Niall couldn't seem to understand anything I said first time. I'm not sure if it was just a bit of a habit for him, but pretty-much EVERY time I said something to him, he would say, "say again?". This was REALLY irritating when I was tired. However, I managed to get through the trip without losing my rag.

The route went roughly from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, via Phayao, next day taking a clockwise loop going north east from Chiang Rai to start with, then down south to Pong and round up to Phayao. Last day north-west to Phrao and down to Chiang Mai. We covered a total of 1400km! 2nd day we spent 12 hours in the saddle!

Second evening was the evening of my crash. Caught in a sudden downpour I lost it on a bend and went headfirst into the jungle with my bike. It was only a slow-speed crash so me and the bike got off pretty lightly really. It didn't even hurt particularly! I just have some sore ribs. The bike had a bent gear-lever, a dent in the fuel tank and some scratches. Someone must have called the emergency services because the cops and an ambulance turned up. They were awesomely helpful. We'd already got the bike out of the jungle using Niall's offroad skills, riding it up a wet and muddy bank. We just had to bend the gear lever out, which was difficult. The highlight was definitely when the Thais brought over a huge piece of bamboo with a piece of metal on the end to use as a lever.

Got some great photos from that episode, including me in the jungle with my bike and a shot with all the Thais. Luckily the bike was fully ride-able so we just headed back to Phayao and watched an awesome sunset over the beautiful lake there. Laying on the warm concrete with all our stuff laid out to dry was a great feeling!

The hotel we stayed in had a kind of road going through the lobby to the carpark out the back. Just like riding INTO the Julie's Guesthouse on a Kawasaki Ninja 250R was awesome, so was riding out of the hotel lobby on a motorbike in the morning.

Another awesome ride back to Chiang Mai and that was the end of the trip. I had to pay 280 pounds for the damage to the bike. Fortunately I'd opted for their extra insurance when I took out the bike, so it could have been ALOT more! He would have charged me for another 7 days bike hire if it wasn't for the insurance, for lost hire-time while it was getting repaired.

One of the highlights of the trip for me was the riding on the 2nd morning through a huge valley through paddy-fields. The scenery was just stunning and it had a lovely dawn light cast over it. The mountain loop we did that day was awesome too, especially the long section of brand new asphalt. The mountains in the east aren't covered with tall trees, so you get fantastic views everywhere, unlike closer to Chiang Mai. Another highlight was generally being a novelty to people in the remote villages. Finally an area with no tourists! One petrol station we pulled up in we felt like rockstars - the staff were all wanting to talk to us and I shared some amazing eye contact with a beautiful girl there. The look she gave me was definitely one of the highlights of the trip!

I was so knackered when we got back to Chiang Mai that all I wanted to do was go to bed. I got a private room in J J's Guesthouse and in the evening I went out onto the terrace just to have a quick cigarette before going to bed (for some reason I'm smoking the occasional cigarette at the moment!). Some french guys started talking to me and I ended up being persuaded to go out with them to a Thai nightclub. What an experience that was! Being the only white people in there was alot of fun and the thai's were very friendly. In a similar way to being in the remote villages, we were often surrounded by beautiful Thai girls. However, our western approach to chatting-up women was a little too much for them I think and none of us had much success in that department! Alot of fun was had by all. Unfortunately the french guys have gone up to Laos. I'm tempted to follow them but I may choose to actually head down south and go to Cambodia instead and catch up with my dutch friend.

At the moment I'm enjoying doing not a great deal and having quite a chilled-out time to myself. Feels good to be doing nothing! Also, I've overspent MASSIVELY in my first month here so I'm taking a cheap approach to everything now.

Tags: backpacking, chiang mai, chiang rai, hostel, hostels, motorbike touring, northern thailand, phayao, phrao, pong



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