Friday, November 22, 2013

24. Chiang Mai #3

One last report before I will leave Chiang Mai tomorrow, up again towards the mountains and the North, this time towards Thailand's northern border with Myanmar.

It seems that the older I get the more I like the mountains. I used to be a "beach bum", so to speak; I just liked everything "ocean", the shores, beaches, the water, the color and the smell, wherever it was. Nowadays I still enjoy the scenery of ocean shores, however nothing can keep me on a beach chair, or towel, for more than 15 minutes. My skin which had its full share of UV radiation already, is thankful for my reluctance. Mountainous terrain, on the other hand, fascinates me more and more. Anyway, I will head out tomorrow towards the mountains, destination "Golden Triangle", my most northern position in Thailand. From there it will be riding towards the South, until I leave the country on December 19th.

Today I wanted to get a last share of hi-end civilization, before going upcountry again; I went to a brand new, huge shopping mall here, and was again astounded by the amazing differences in this country. It isn't more than 10 ten days ago that I rode the motorcycle through the more remote corners of the Thailand, traversing rice growing areas, passing through scenic, yet very poor villages. Today when I went to the mall, a uniformed guard gestured to me that I should park in the covered VIP parking area, the parking for "Superbikes". It is directly next to the "Supercar" parking zone, directly adjacent to a glass pavilion where other uniformed personnel of the mall open the doors for those of you who park in these privileged quarters and salute you. Of course the concrete floor in the Supercar/-bike parking zone are finished with some sort of a high-gloss paint, for the rest of the garage it is simply raw concrete. 

The regular scooters have to park on parking outside in the sun.

Parking directions at Central Festival Mall, Chiang Mai.

Soon its Christmas in this Buddhist country. Christmas is "in" and stylish in Asia, so are the decorated Christmas trees.

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