June 10th began as a nice casual start which resulted in a beautiful 82km day to Fang. The riding through northern Thailand continues to be nicer than the central region. We got settled into our hotel and went out in search of much needed food.
We landed at a fine little establishment that specialized in Northern Thai cuisine and we decided on the fried curry. As we were wrapping up, we heard a hearty “hi, hello!” from the table behind us. He was from China, spoke a little bit of English and had a bottle of whiskey. And he was interested in sharing. After raising a few glasses with our new friend, we knew we must exit if we were to ride our bikes back to our hotel successfully.
Fang to Chiang Rai was not originally on the docket, but we awoke feeling good and decided to leapfrog another town that seemed pretty quiet. It turned out to be a great decision as we received a beautiful mountainous ride and even got a tailwind into Chiang Rai. The ride was once again enjoyable highway riding this time filled with higher farmland built into the sides of the hills and trucks stacked to the sky with their various goods.
Chiang Rai is a super enjoyable town, as we suspected it would be, so we opted to use the day we just earned straight away. We slept in, visited the ‘White Temple’ and explored about town and eventually had dinner at a western spot called “Hungry Wolf”.
June 13th is here, today we cross into Laos for the next leg of our trip. The ride was awesome, becoming more mountainous, but the riding still has very kind grades. One of our snack breaks included a ‘trinity’ of treats!
The border crossing itself was super easy and painless (though you do need to pay in USD, something I hadn’t touched in weeks). Cross into Laos and, wake-up call, we’re back to riding on the right side of the road!