Chiang Mai is a quiet city. It is large and spacious but it retains a small town feel. The historic city center is surrounded by a moat and two one-way ring roads. The corners sport the remains of the city walls. Inside, life is quiet and low key. Many colorful temples dot the landscape and one can also find an occasional colossal stone stupa.
Weronika and I dropped off our passports at the Chinese consulate to get our visas for future travel to the middle kingdom. We’ve spent the day casually strolling around. The sun was hot and it was paramount to walk slowly, concentrate on not sweating, and think cool thoughts. We lazily did the walking tour which normally takes three hours in about six. Our stroll was interspersed with stops for iced coffee, cheap eats, a haircut and a shave.
We were now getting close to the northern border of Thailand. Given our hectic pace of bus and train travel, we had not had a chance to really think about what we would do next. We flipped through the guidebook, did some brainstorming, bought a good map, and decided we would spend the next six days touring more remote reaches on the back of a bike.