Bikepacking through Thailand – On our way to paradise

BreakfastWaking up in Mae Chan, I didn’t feel as good as I hoped for – stomach ache and feeling weak, well that was probably just from the tough day before in the scorching heat. I figured some breakfast and tea would do me good. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and I was confronted with severe TD afterwards. I won’t elaborate on this bit (or, should I say shit…) – but I can assure you it took several hours before we could try and get back on the road again.

After I had taken Imodium to last a couple of hours, we headed out towards the South. This ride, my heart rate averaged at 87bpm – I’ve never seen it being this low while cycling. Arriving in Chiang Rai, we wanted to check out some temples and have the ultimate local specialty, Khao Soi Gai, at the restaurant Phor Jai – as recommended by Bangkok Airways’ magazine. I didn’t feel too great so we skipped the temples for after lunch. Khao Soi Gai is a local dish, essentially a coconut-curry chicken soup with cut rice noodles. It was really great, though my stomach wasn’t quite ready for this so Sandra got to enjoy 1,5 portions. I wish I could go back there and get it again and finish it myself.

After lunch, it was clear. We were only about 30K into our 90K ride and this wasn’t going to be any fun at all for me. Again, we had to cheat, taking a taxi. We tried to negotiate a good price. The guy wanted to take us but then found out our bikes should also come – that made it 400 baht more. Figuring we were lucky enough to have found a taxi that could fit us and the bikes within a couple of minutes we decided to take it. Arriving at the resort, it seemed we were the only ones staying here. The room was nice – for me that day, nice meant it had a good toilet – and there was a huge swimming pool. During dinner, we sat in a semi-open room with place for about 100 persons – and we were the only ones having dinner. It was as if we had entered into Jurassic Park, beautifully in the jungle but no other people around.

d4-pool
The enormous pool at our private Jurassic Park resort
d5-depart
Departing the next morning, I was luckily feeling quite OK after breakfast – at least good enough to ride 110K

As we experienced in the preceding days, the elevation profile of Strava Routes wasn’t too reliable and there were a lot of 12%+ surprises on the smaller roads. So we decided change our route a bit and stay on the larger roads to avoid these steep gradients. The majority of the route was awesome, going through the jungle and coming across several temples and hot springs. And the best thing – I could even get some power on the pedals again! The ride went quite smooth and after two Coca Cola stops we arrived at our destination of the day, the Mai Siam resort. We were welcomed with a fresh juice at this great place to spend the rest day!

That evening we had a fantastic dinner (sorry, I didn’t take any pics!) and went to bed early to get on the scooter the next day and discover the paradise we arrived at.

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