When was your last self induced adrenaline fix?
After seeking advice from our awesome guesthouse owner we hired a motorbike/scooter. The purpose, to explore Bo Sang, outlying towns and ascend the mountain to Doi Suthep.
Others had told us to get a red taxi or a tuk tuk but the motorbike was a more attractive option. My girlfriend and I hired a bike for 600bht, it was a larger, 125 brand new Honda and included insurance - great option.
The map we had was not-to-scale but the street signage is fairly clear and friendly shopkeepers were happy to give directions. The markets in Bo Sang sell all manner of products from wooden decorative pieces, hand-painted umbrellas, clothing and gifts. The stall holders are relaxed and not in your face to buy their stuff. When asked, they even provided 101 Thai numeracy/counting lessons!
We visited a ceramic factory. It was great to have access to local people producing fine products. Although watching people do their work is a little condescending it was amazing to see how products came to life.
Back on the bike and onto a highway which took us to Doi Suthep. The road changed from a chaotic arterial to a winding hilltop climb. The views of the city on the way up were spectacular. After a steep ascent, we arrived at the base of the temple grounds. There were a lot of tourists as well as souvenir sellers. We left the bike and climbed the hundred or so steps to the gates of the golden Wat. Admission is 30baht and proceeds from this go towards its upkeep and maintenance.
After a few moments of reflection, we made our way back to the bike and descended the mountain at great speed! The traffic of the city was a shock to the system after having the road to ourselves. But we quickly adapted to the chaotic order.
The bike is resting back at the guesthouse and we've dusted off the day, now sitting in a cool little laneway bar enjoying a couple of drinks and laughing about our day, we both agree it's definitely a great way to explore Chiang Mai.
Cheers!Edited: 19 November 2011, 13:48