Escape to Chiang Mai

The air is surprisingly clear, the mountain is in full crystal view. It’s normally this time of year the haze appears from a combination of road pollution and the burning of the fields in the mountains, but it’s not started yet. We decided to go up and over the mountain. The road is beautifully smooth with outrageous cambers and jaw dropping turns. We dodged sleeping dogs on the roads swaying on the little bike beside eye watering, boulder lined vertical drops. Fortunately the road is still quiet, not many tourists or their demonic vehicles, tour buses and local taxis. It’s exhilarating. We pass our once favourite temple half way up

and drive past the blingy main temple on the top. We have visited this temple many times.

Suddenly feeling the chill on the sunless roads, the trees like green giants cutting out any light lining the route up to Bhuping Palace, the Kings residence in CM.

The roads narrow on the approach as we pass the Kings helicopter pad and we stop for a hot coffee outside the palace and let the full adrenaline rush of the journey dissipate. We avoid the palace which we have also visited often and go to the lookout over the city. We are at 1676 metres.

There is a Hmong village a few miles further on. A sign says something in Thai on the road, which we ignore and end up after a short while on a dirt track, they are redoing the road surface. I hate off roading with a passion, Chris is in his element dodging big wagons and road workers with inches to spare, ridged wet craters, no barriers on this road just endless drops to oblivion, AARGH. This road seems suddenly busy with cars, tyres perilously near the edge overtaking concrete mixers and other vehicles on a narrowing road. The turns in the road so sharp there are signs to sound your horn before continuing. Getting too old for this……We arrived at a coffee shop in the village overlooking coffee plants and cherry blossom in a deep valley, trying to drum up the enthusiasm for the journey back. AC/DC springs to mind..Highway to Hell.

The trip back was much easier, hallelujah

The sky is very clear at night. The alignment of the planets, a once in our lifetime occurrence is in full clear view. The next time this happens is in 130 years. Chris took a few pictures. Here are a few shots of the moon and some of the planets. Jupiter with some of its moons all in a line and Saturn. Fabulous to see.

Jupiter and 4 of it’s moons

It gets to this point in our travels when we both get a bit a bit bored with standard Thai food twice a day. We were invited with friends to a new Japanese restaurant. It had everything on its menu. Sushi, sashimi and an endless list of foods I had never heard of. It was exquisite.

Now the New Year holidays are over it feels safe to travel further afield on the roads again. The road deaths over the holidays are shocking mostly from drink driving. We are planning a road trip and an overnight stay in Lampang province to see a spectacular temple high in the mountains and enjoy the amazing scenery and roads Northern Thailand has to offer. To be continued…

4 thoughts on “Escape to Chiang Mai

  1. Happy new year to you both. I’m enjoying your blogs so much, I can’t tell you. I’ve been quite poorly over Christmas and new year, Christmas was a washout, reading about your adventures in Thailand is a real pick me up. Hope you are both well, sounds like it, gosh how I wish I was there again. Keep up the good work, and enjoy yourselves, while you can. Best wishes to you both Love jean❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  2. How wonderful. I didn’t even know about the planet alignments, so that was an extra treat. It all sounds fabulous – apart from the sheer drops – and the food looks amazing. Enjoy! x x

    Liked by 1 person

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