Cycling in Northern Thailand: Day 10 – Flying down some Epic Hills towards Chiang Mai

Waking up in the beautiful wild camping spot we found the night before, just a couple of meters from the road was a great way to start the day. We packed the camping stuff away and it was time to hit the road towards Chiang Mai.

After the long climbs the day before we continued to climb up some hills of low to medium difficulty before reaching the peak.

The views from the peak were Amazing and the road continued along the top so we could take them all in after the long accent. After a short while the downhill rollercoaster🎢 began with lots of twists and turns, it’s estimated that there are around 700 turns on the journey between Pai and Chiang Mai. We’d fly down a stretch of road, slow down and glide round some sharp bends taking in the Epic scenery around every bend before we speeded down the next stretch. This was one of my highlights of the whole trip, the winding bends and how the panoramas came into view of Northern Thailand’s rolling hills and countryside.

Half way down the hills is a coffee shop with a nice grassy terrace overlooking the region below, it was a great place for breakfast and to just stop and take in the views.

After a nice little break we continued down through continuously winding roads until we reached “The Witches House” which is another nice coffee shop which sold drinks and snacks. The Witches House is decorated with statues of Witches and Pumpkins 🎃 a great stop for a few pictures too.

The day quickly went by and as it started to get late we stopped off at the Thai Restaurant in Pa Pae, Mae Taeng District and got some dinner before scouting out a camping spot for the night.

We headed down a road which looked to lead to a green patch on google Maps but after venturing down it turned out to be a little village. Continuing on the road as it started to get dark we found a small grassy patch on the side of a quiet road near the Mae Tang Watershed Research Station. After quickly pitching the tent and pumping up the air bed the rain started and a few minutes later a motorcycle parked up next to our tent ⛺.

A young local lad called us and said we could move to another site down the road, we told him we’d rather stay and he left on his bike. Another few minutes went by and this time 3 motorbikes turned up a different younger lad this time explained the pilons near the tent weren’t safe and that there is a place where we can stay down the road for free. After packing everything up and heading down a small hill for less than 5 minutes we reached the Mae Tang Watershed Research Station site. Which is composed of a number of buildings, one of the buildings had a bathroom and bedroom, we were given the building to ourselves and also given clean bedding, we were made to feel very welcome, the guys even checked that we were ok for food.

What first appeared to be a daunting encounter turned out to be a blessing. The Thai hospitality we experienced that day and on other occasions on this cycling trip in Thailand is truly humbling.

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