IndoChina Trip - Chiang Mai

Trip Start Jul 30, 2010
Trip End May 29, 2011

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Friday, October 22, 2010

“You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen, it said 'Parking Fine.'”

Tommy Cooper

Up early. This time to go to the temple of Doi Suthep which was about 30 mins outside of Chiang Mai. Wandered around taking photos like a typical tourist and then headed back to the hotel via a flower market. 

A quick lunch with the guide and Alex (one of the group) and then we set off for a 5hr drive north to Chiang Kong which sits on the Mekong River – the border between Thailand and Laos. 

Other than the expected reckless driving – let's overtake 3 lorries on a blind corner – my interest was mostly in the similarities and the differences in driving thru' Thailand’s rural areas compared to Malaysia. Certainly the roads tended to be better in Thailand, houses (in villages at least) were the familiar wooden shacks on stilts but with a Thai-flourish on the apex of the roof.

As we drove north we went thru’ jungle to more agricultural lands and this was where the main difference lay. Land that in Malaysia would be used for Palm Oil in Thailand is used to grow rice or corn. It may be that this is little bit further north from the equator the yield isn’t commercially viable or it may be that Thailand just needs rice and corn more. Whatever the reason fields of rice are more visually appealing than palms.

At around 6.30 pm the light had gone and at about the same time the quality of the roads also went, turning from 'A’ roads to pock-marked dirt tracks. The bumpy ride for the last 30mins into Chiang Kong woke everyone so we were all awake when we reached our guesthouse to discover we’d been bumped down to another rather grotty little guesthouse just down the road from where we spent the night in preparation for the trip across the Mekong into Laos.
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