Chiang Mai, Thailand
The weekend 18-19th of February 2006 I went Chiang Mai with my buddies Casey Blair and Håkan Malros for some off road dirk bike riding.
We took a Tiger Airways flight from Singapore, TR 128 Friday 16:45 arrive 18:45 and back TR 129 19:25 arrive 23:30. Great for a weekend getaway without having to take time off. Unfortunately it seems like Tiger will change the schedule and fly only weekdays instead. I hope they will reconsider...
In Chiang Mai we stayed the night at the Diamond Riverside Hotel which was fair value and close to the night market and restaurants of downtown. We had a good dinner and a few drink at the charming Riverside Bar and Restaurant to round of the evening.
Next morning we picked up the rental bikes from the C&P Service shop, 51 Kotchasarn Rd. Chiang Mai 20100, tel (053) 273161. The guy gave us a fair deal for some Honda XR250 bikes in pretty good condition. The shops name pops up on on some other sites when you google, for example site1 site2.
Once on the bikes we headed up to the mountains We rode for about half a day over good winding mountain roads before checking in to the Botanic Resort in Mae Sa valley. The place was quite posh with good rooms and pool. Good setting up on the mountain side with a pleasant breeze. Good was ok, but very few people around when we were there and almost too quiet. On top ofthat they ripped us of bad for three simple drinks as well as breakfast surcharge even though we had breakfast coupons at checkin.
Once checked in we could head up in the hills for some more serious off road riding. Found some good tracks by trailing some ATV bikes that was on tour (I think they were Imac ATVs). Once back at the hotel we made the discovery of the day when we by chance noticed a little trail at the back of the compound heading up the hill. Turned out to be a great long track, the best so far!
After the exhorbitantly priced drink in the hotel we took the bikes down to Chiangmai-Maerim road and found a little restaurant with great food and live music. Hardly surprising the night ended with a death dash home in the night despite earlier agreement to ride home slowly and safely, boys will be boys...
The next day we drove around the area and then took the little mountain trail that starts behind the Huay Tung Tao recreational lake near the Seven Hundred Year Stadium and leads up to the peak of Doi Pui mountain. The track was good fun. Probably quite challenging in wet conditions but when dry it is just perfect.
We had a great time in Chiang-Mai and I sure hope I can get back there one day.
I found this site to have a lot of good info One Stop Chiang Mai