Like birds in the sky

Trip Start Jun 01, 2010
Trip End Mar 11, 2011

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Sunday, January 23, 2011

Seven o'clock, and our alarm buzzes again. This time we are off for a short but very exciting adventure. Pongsri made us a croissant to go and we hop on our transport. A short drive took us out to the airfield. No not the airport, we were not leaving yet. This is the microlight airfield of Chiang Mai Sky Adventures. Today we will take a microlight airplane for a spin around the morning glory of Chiang Mai. A microlight is a little airplane, with a triangular kite as its wing. There is a little engine in the back with a push propeller that has the job of pushing the little airplane in to the sky. When we arrive there are two little planes waiting for us on the runway. This runway is not much more than a couple of hundred meters of grass. This is all the little planes need to get up and down. We meet our instructor / pilots and get geared up with the necessary equipment. A helmet with intercom and an extra jacket. No parachutes on this plane, no airbags, wing slides or floating devices under the seat in front of you. Just us, the pilots, the engine and a wing. We get seated on the back seat of the plane, the instructor sits in front.

 Linda is first to take off for the skies. And within a few seconds the little airplane accelerates to about 50 miles per hour and takes off. Next it is my turn. It is amazing to see how much acceleration the little propeller gives. And soon I am up in the sky with Linda. The flights are in the early morning as the air is stable then, not too much turbulence. Actually there was no turbulence and the little plane glides smoothly through the cold air. Yes it is cold, it is about ten degrees celsius up were. Here the extra jacket comes in handy.

We first fly towards the town over the little villages and newly developed communities surrounding Chiang Mai. Then we turn around to the south as we cannot get too close to the town and the commercial airport. To the south lies the hill of Doi Suthep with the sacred temples of Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep aon top. We circle around the temple as it is not proper to fly directly over a sacred place. Then we turn left towards the hills to find the lake. From here it is already time to head back to the airstrip. Although it was freezing cold, I wish we could fly longer and maybe go over the rain forests and valleys between the mountains. But later on the ground, whilst enjoying a cup of nice warm coffee the pilot told us that the air is very unstable above the forests, making flying there a tad uncomfortable for first time microlight passengers. But what an experience this has been, something I would definitively do again. And who knows, maybe we return to Chiang Mai some day and learn to fly these planes ourselves.

 Back at the hotel we have our breakfast and lie around the pool for the rest of the day. We have a somewhat of an internet connection so we manage to book our flights back to Hong Kong from Cambodia. In that afternoon we top our relax session off with a heavenly spa session at the Oasis spa. We opt in for the daily special, a three hour treatment - one hour of body scrub, and two hours of massage. After our treat (ments) we head out into the Sunday market of Chiang Mai.


 Most of the old town has been closed off from cars and bikes for this weekly event. The streets are filled with handcrafts, souvenirs and more such. It is quite a nice event, but for me the umbrellas and tents covering the market could be about ten centimeters higher so I don't walk in to these every ten meters. We see a little girl performing some Thai dance. It is a nice sight to see her and her sister perform this gracious dance. After roaming the market for a bit we sit down at the Writers Cafe. Here Linda finds an almost perfect spaghetti bolognese for dinner. I indulge on a few whiskey sprites and a more classic Thai curry. We make our way back to the hotel by tuk tuk where we were surprised with a wonderful bottle of bubbles to celebrate our honeymoon, what a wonderful day.


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