Wednesday, November 20, 2013

22. Chiang Mai

The city is major tourist destination in the North; groups from China, Thai tourists, and many young folks from the West come here. I saw also a strong contingent of French tourists who seem to like the city. There is an old part, entirely square in footprint, surrounded on all for sides by a wide moat, and newer parts to the West, towards the airport, and East towards the river Ping.

I had reserved the better part of the day to visit the Customs office near the Chiang Mai airport to request -and get - an extension of my Temporary Import documents for the motorcycle. The import permit is limited to 30 days, however I will stay another month in Thailand. Yes, it is unbelievable, since I was issued the import documents in Bangkok and rode off to explore the land one full month has already gone by! It feels just like a couple of days!

At the main Customs office I was told to drive to the Cargo Terminal and see the office there. It was just around the corner, a short ride along the relatively new Chiang Mai airport (CNX). All the airfreight merchandise which comes in from international destinations has to be funneled through this building. On the large loading ramp, a customs officer seemed to have waited for me. With good English capabilities he looked at the paperwork, inspected the parked bike, asked me to follow him upstairs to the office, a young Customs lady fabricated a few photocopies, and he signed the papers. He didn't want to let me leave, though, without asking about the trip, what I liked so far, the future destinations and my plans in general. All in all it took about 30 minutes, I had the approved papers and was off back to Chiang Mai. Very smooth.

Can somebody please explain WHY he is picking me up?

Wat Chiang Man, built in 1297 (Four images above)

I have to bite her in her black ear to get her to stop attacking me!

This I haven't seen before:
The engine housing of this (rental) BMW F650GS, manufactured by Rotax in Austria, and possibly assembled by Aprilia in Italy, (before BMW ended this convoluted manufacturing setup and returned everything home) is covered by small "chicken-pox" blisters. Due to over-heating?

Nice, peaceful setting on the banks of the river Ping.

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