We arrived in Chiangmai with the happy, somewhat surprise that our bikes had made it as well. Chiangmai is more what I had pictured Bangkok being: touristy and full of “backpackers”. We wheeled our bikes out of the station, loaded up and hit the road. Upon checking in at “Panda House” and showering, we ventured out in search of food; we succeeded with a wonderful Massaman.
After food and a nap we went on a quest for a bike shop to re-up on some needed supplies, including chamois cream which the humidity seems to eat up. We landed at a wonderful local shop called “Mong’s Cycles” which had everything we needed. In the spirit of taking care of stuff, we also ended up at “Big C”. Sam Walton would shit his pants at this place, a little mall, superstore & bazaar, a whole lot of everything: cars to KFC and everything in between.
When seeking out dinner we ran into Stu & Mong from the bike shop; they were finishing dinner at a place we were spying. She offered to guide us to one of her favorite spots and even ordered for us once we got there: such great hospitality!
On June 8th, we decided to cash in on a rest day with a cycling ride up to Doi Suthep. It started raining within 10 minutes of starting, after a brief discussion, we carry on. Start climbing, rain is picking up, coffee shop break. Rain is ongoing, but lighter, we roll out. Climbing in warm rain is relaxing, amazing, really. Get to the top, check out the Wat and descend in mostly dry conditions.
We begin the ride to Chiang Dao and don’t get out of town before a large nail in Nicole’s tire pauses progress. I’ve had great luck with Mondials in the past, but roadside debris here has it out for Nicole. The 107 proved to be an enjoyable ride once we got out of Chiangmai with gorgeous mountains, deceptive climbs and light to moderate rains.
Upon arrival in Chiang Dao we rented a bungalow in the jungle, grabbed dinner and ventured to a cave with a Buddha carving from 300 AD. Our night cap was at a nearby watering hole that had a local spiced whiskey special that we had to try!