Renting our first motorbike
Trip Start Nov 20, 2010
173Trip End Dec 01, 2011
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Where I stayed
Night bus to Bangkok
After waiting for a bit for the bike to come we got everything sorted out and found our place on the map (double checking to ensure we KNEW where we were going!) and headed out. We were a bit nervous and wobbling to start but soon James got the hang of it and we were flying down the road on our way out of the city. The ride up the mountain side was nice and cool (literally it got cooler and felt amazing!), it was a little nerve racking with all the twists and turns and even a truck in the ditch but we finally made it to the temple and parked in the middle of the chaos of tourists surrounding us. We walked up a small flight of stairs only to find to our horror a huge set of stairs to the top (306 steps in total). After dominating those stupid steps we got up to the temple complex where we found a sign that said "foreigners this way, 30 baht" we chuckled a little and then went to pay the foriegner fee
Then we went to get our bikes and almost had a panic attack when a guy with a police vest on was sitting by our bikes telling us we had to go to the police station and saying something about being illegally parked and something about a u-turn; then we noticed the chains through our bike tire and the bikes next to ours. At first we thought he was saying that we were about to make an illegal u-turn and he could tell from how we were parked but then we clued in that we were parked in the designated area FOR u-turns and were blocking the path...if we had been over by about 30 cm's we would have been ok. After seeing the confused look on our faces and once we understood what was going on the officer asked where we were from and when we said Canada he shook our hands and smiled (things were maybe looking up?). Then we told him how the guy over by the parked vehicle in another vest told us to park here at the end of the row and after a few more "we're very sorry"'s he unlocked our bike and let us go
We quickly got out of there and made our way up to the Royal Palace, just a little ways up the road. When we saw the place through the entrance it didn't look very impressive and seeing the entrance fee we decided we didn't really want to pay to walk around the huge grounds and tire ourselves out even more, so we made our way back down the mountain to town.
Then we decided to check out the umbrella makers and silk factory on the other side of town that we had missed out a few days earlier. In true James and Jackie style we missed the turn onto the super highway that would have taken much less time and ended up having to navigate our way in and out of streets all the way through the centre of twn to the other side. We really need to improve our map reading skills and not second guess our instincts! haha.
We finally made it there and were given a tour of the umbrella making. They were very impressive and very beautiful; we very badly wanted to by a big patio umbrella and send it home but our budget definately wouldn't allow it. Next was the silk factory and it was very cool to see them spinning the thread together from a pot of about 30 boiling cacoons. We also saw sme ladies working on some silk fabrics, putting intricate patterns into it. Then we were taken into the store and again very badly wanted some silk clothing, but again our budget would not allow it
Since it was nearing supper and we were hunger we headed back to the old town square to eat and take the bike back to the hotel. When we got back to the alley by the hotel I (Jackie) wanted a turn at driving and so I waited till the alley was empty and got on the bike (alone cause James was too scared I would crash) and after a rocky start got the hang off it pretty quick. I turned around and insisted James get on; right away I felt his weight and after another rocky start I got the hang of it again and took us just around the corner to the guest house entrance (not far haha).
It wasn't quite time to give the bike back so James took it for a rip around the square on his own for a bit and apparently it was WAY better than having my fat butt on the back throwing off his balance! haha.
Eventually we got a ride to our night bus and headed out on our way back to Bangkok; goodbye Chiang Mai it's been a blast!
With our first stop of our trip done we are now pumped and our excitement renewed for the rest of this journey!