25. Chiang Mai - Fang
After a rather light breakfast with fresh papaya, two yogurts and orange juice (the freshly squeezed Thai orange juice has a different taste than OJ from Florida, or concentrate from Brasil, almost as if it would have been mixed with another fruit, but hasn't), I packed, mounted up, and said good bye to the nice river Ping and a city, I haven't made up my mind about just yet. But I was happy to get going again.
The ride turns beautiful after about 40 minutes, after getting out of the Chiang Mai suburbs with all the industrial crap our U.S. or European cities feature equally, like a persons "life-saver" around the belly, not nice but reality.
Soon one is back in mountainous terrain. Very beautiful. Traffic is light, some largere trucks, many pickups, and the unavoidable mini busses. Driving in Thailand almost is a routine now, after some 2,500 miles so far. You have to stay alert though, especially for oncoming traffic in your lane, parked vehicles on highways, standing vehicles on the passing lane waiting for a U-turn on divided highways, but nobody really reacts erratic, or surprises with unexpected maneuvers.
|Mountains near Highway 107|
|Steep ascend to Wat|
|The Golden pagoda|
|Very unusual crystal stupa inside the pagoda|
I had planned to stay three nights in Fang, but after wandering around town (and seeing the inside of this Lahu-tribe operated hotel-/bath room, $18/night) I decided to leave tomorrow morning already for my final northern destination, the Golden Triangle and Chiang Saen, on the Mekong river, overlooking Thailand, Myanmar and Laos from one vestige point. I will be staying at Chiang Saen Lake at a place run by another world motorcycle tourer and his Thai wife.
For today I say good bye with a few evening impressions of Fang.
|The Burmese sausage shop cat.|
|The "Hi-Speed Restaurant" is unfortunately boarded up.|
|This is actually quiet an unusual picture: |
Look closely at two things: The Rolleiflex 6x6 in the vitrine, Francke & Heidecke, Braunschweig, Germany (1960), and the shop lady's blue eyes! (I asked her: Contact lenses, of course)