AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Chiang Mai: Hike & Bike

There is one annoying thing about Chiang Mai, and Thailand as a whole. You can’t just go for a hike on your own. A hike is usually a multi day activity which you have to book, possibly a private tour but usually in a group. Single day treks will usually consist of maybe a couple of hours walking and then visit an elephant sanctuary, do some rafting and visit a hill tribe or two. Almost all the hikes do the same stuff.

We finally accepted this fact and booked a tour which consisted of walking in the morning and mountain biking in the afternoon. The pictures looked good so we hoped it would be worth the extortionate amount of cash they were asking for.

Morning

We were picked up from the hostel around 9am and driven for one hour up to the national park just north of Chiang Mai. This gave us time to chat to the other couple we would be spending the day with, a couple from Auckland, New Zealand. This was interesting as we plan to end the trip maybe living and working in New Zealand and Auckland will be the most likely place we will find work and settle down.

We walked for a couple of hours through the forest whilst our guide pointed out the flora and fauna of the forest. Quite interesting, his knowledge and love of the woods was obvious. He didn’t like people coming and cutting down the trees for firewood and building material. “Thailand Beaver” he calls the illegal loggers.

The walk wasn’t that great, maybe 4 miles in total (I forgot to start recording the walk when we set off) and took a little over 2 hours. But, it was OK and we learnt some interesting forest knowledge.

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Our route through the forest

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Lunch

We had lunch by a waterfall on the edge of the park.

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Afternoon

After lunch we were given our mountain bikes and after a bit of practice and adjusting to get used to gears, plus making sure the brakes worked we set off. We rode on roads the whole way, some busier than others. The busy roads weren’t so good but the quiet back roads were pleasant. As we rode our guide would point out trees, temples and other interesting things in the landscape and tell us about them. We didn’t cycle that far, although realistically our level of fitness isn’t very good. On the whole it was enjoyable but it would have been better had we actually gone off road and if it had pushed us a little harder we’d have been happier.

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Our bike route

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Not a bad day but for the cost not great, half the price and I’d feel happier about what we got.

Posted from Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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