Thursday, 22 July 2010
Lamphang to Chiang Mai -- The Final Stretch
This stretch of road is a delight, watching the hills that ring Chiang Mai turn from hazy blue in the distance into sharper focus and green in close up.
One of northern Thailand's most popular attractions lies here, in the form of Lampang Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (not to be confused with the Elephant Conversation Centre just up the road). You can also sign up for a mahout course there, but by this stage we were bum-sore beyond belief -- we'd clocked up 2500km on this wonderful motorcycle odyssey and I really didn't want anything else between my legs for a while. (Um, let me rephrase that, it doesn't read quite right, does it?)
And so it was home to Chiang Mai, where so many exotic delights await in the form of funky boutique hotels, an eternal supply of spas and massages and wellness centres, cool music clubs, restaurants that ought to be world famous but are only half-full and only half-priced to what they would be in any other major city. And of course, that unmistakably gentle northern Lanna hospitality.
The next several blogs will be on the charms of Chiang Mai. But first I'll do one on the road rules of driving or riding in Thailand. Because in the 2500kms we covered I reckon I saw and experienced just about everything it's possible to see in terms of road behaviour. Jing Jing!
Check back for that one soon ... I'm still shaking my head in disbelief.