02 July 2012

Motorcycle Diaries: Chiang Mai Edition

View from my little restaurant
Soooo, I had myself a little adventure again via motorcycle.  This time outside of Chiang Mai.  Thing is, that after I rented my motorcycle I started to head out of town to go to a national park an hour and half outside of town, and once I was 10 minutes outside of town, I notice big, dark clouds in the sky promising heavy rain within the hour so I decide to take a little journey closer to Chaing Mai.  I made a right towards some closer mountains instead.  I had no idea where I was going but I just knew that I wanted to be out and about on a bike in the mountains.  This little adventure without a map (I still have no idea where I was at!) ended up being such a great experience.  For two hours I wandered through he misty mountains that were just so beautiful with a bunch of small towns and those small, twisty, windy roads I love, big views, and hidden waterfalls.  To try and find those great views, I of course had to come upon some serious dirt roads that challenged my little bike while trying to safely make it up the muddy and now river-like roads, but the views once I got to the top were so worth that drive.  The day ended with me meeting a cool British expat at a little mom & pop restaurant on the side of the road while waiting for the rain to clear up.  We sat and talked for hours about everything under the sun and enjoyed some beers while looking out at the views from the restaurant (see picture above).  Such a good day!  What started as one of those days where I expected to do one thing, it turned out to be totally different and even better than I could have ever planned.  Don't you just love it when days turn out like that?

While on my adventure up a dirt and rocky road I probably shouldn't have been on
while in the pouring rain.  But I just had to see this view!
Love the rainbow effect on the field

Pictured below are trees that have been blessed by a Buddhist monks in order to prevent deforestation.  Since the population of Thailand is growing, forests are cut down.  Most Thai people are Buddhist, so to cut down a tree that has been blessed by monks (who are highly respected and considered holy), would have bad karma either in this life or the next.  So monks have blessed these saffron colored fabric strips (same color as their robes) then the fabric is tied around the trees to gorgeous effect of all of the fabric on the trees gives this place a sense of serenity.

Trees blessed by monks

My new favorite flower in Asia, the Champai/Champa/Champaca (I've hear all these names)
It smells just like jasmine but better and grows on trees all over Thailand and Laos.
The scent is so strong that it fills entire streets.  LOVE!

So many cats all over Asia , often laying under the table where you eat.
This one at the restaurant I was resting at.

This is what happiness looks like.  Enjoying a beer with my new friend...


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