Along the Canals
Monday, 14 Jan, 2019
Chiang Mai to Mae Taeng
We knew we had 50 km to cover today with check in at 2pm at Phutuwan Pundao. We were on the road just before 8am and merged into the peak hour Chiang Mai traffic at the end of our little street. It soon became apparent that bicycles were subject to the same rules as motorbikes. We weren't meant to queue behind the cars but rather make our way down the "bike" lane, a space made available to the left of the cars.
Ready to start the journey
We kept pace with the traffic and the cars gave us plenty of space. Jonno took off with clear instructions as to where to wait for us. With location sharing in google and a complete sets of maps for each of us, we could easily track our location and his. After about 5kms the traffic eased and by 10kms we were beginning to feel like we were in the countryside.
We stayed close to the river and a few kilometres later we turned off the main road to follow a canal. This route would take us to Mae Taeng which was close to the turnoff to our accommodation.
We made our way past fields of corn and other vegetables keeping the canal on our left. The road was very quiet though we did pass a few coffee shops. The idea was to stop for coffee after about 20kms but we made the unfortunate discovery that these little cafes didn't open until 10am. We had one last marked coffee shop before we were really on the backroads. Fortunately Wake Cup cafe was open and serving excellent coffees and iced cocoas.
From there we continued along the quiet, scenic canal roads till we reached a bridge specially constructed for pedestrians.
We stopped for some morning tea and enjoyed the view. We then wheeled our bikes down and up some steep stairs and then had to lift them over the bar designed to stop any motorised vehicles crossing the bridge.
I'm OK, I don't need any help
We cycled past the Chiang Mai prison and up to the main road at Mae Taeng. We found a place for lunch and had the best chicken and cashew nut dish yet. We made the most of having parking for the bikes, and left Jonno in charge in a comfortable chair whilst we went to the nearby Seven Eleven to pick up drinking water, Thai icecreams and biscuits for afternoon tea.
It was a short cycle to the accommodation and we made quick time. There was noone at reception so we wandered off to look at the grounds. There were cabins set in a lovely park like setting. Soon enough the manager found us and checked us into our cabins right near the swimming pool. The ideal way to cool off after a bike ride! Afterwards we relaxed on our balconies before heading to the restaurant for dinner.
Our two cabins