The road to Mae SAI
Waking up early in the morning in Chiang Rai , we briefly ran through the nearby city attractions (sightseeing in Chiang Rai, described here), and, as had been previously planned, rented a motorbike and headed to go all over the province. When you rent immediately agreed for 3 days and bargain for 750 baht (250 baht per day) (the currency of Thailand, the exchange rate), but I suspect that could be a little bargain. Left in pledge a Russian passport and no contract is concluded.
Looking ahead to say that during our trips on steep mountain roads of the province, we double dropped and slightly damaged the bike, seriously inserting three plastic parts and a bit of turning mirror), so the cost of rent had to add another 500 baht to repair. We bike not repaired, but simply when returned to its owner, in all honestly, sincerely apologized and gave the money to him. He, in General, portrayed a little upset but the money was very pleased. And yet, gasoline dashed off for about 500 baht, because on the mountain roads and then the petrol bike is not enough, and the gasoline is expensive, at 38-46 baht per liter. But it's all worth it, even twice!!!
From the city we left late, about an hour of the day.
To describe my delight of our trip by motorbike across the province of Chiang Rai, and subsequently a little and Chiang Mai, I just don't have words. "It was all great!" in no way expresses my feelings. The Northern provinces of Thailand have now become one of my favorite places that I visited. As nice and fun to drive on the highway, then saw far from the road, for example, a beautiful Church off the road and examine it in solitude, without the crowds of tourists and even without a single local resident. But such places are abound.
The first stage of our route through the province, we had planned to go on highway No. 1 and finish at the town of Mae SAI, on the border with Myanmar. Of course, along the way we stopped to see the Saami interesting sights, the first of which was the mountain of Doi Tung with Mae Fa Luang garden and the temple on it.
But until we got there, we visited several are not marked in the guidebooks places. This was our way on highway 1.
Met another temple on the hill:
Riding on highway 1 2 hours, we turned onto the road leading to the top of mount Doi Tung, where we had intended to visit the Botanical garden of Mae Fa Luang and Doi Tung pagoda, on the top of the mountain.
After wandering a bit on the roads where at times we saw signs indicating our goals are absolutely in opposite directions, we finally reached the Botanical garden of Mae Fa Luang Royal Villa and Doi Tung. Read more about them you can read the link here but I will say that for those who are of little interest to the life of the Royal family, and you miss the Royal Villa. Inside the Villa, even it is impossible to photograph. But the garden is very worthy of a visit. Here are just a few photos, the rest can watch in the description of the garden of Mae Fa Luang
After visiting the garden we are still looking into the Hall of Inspirations (Hall of inspiration), in which Thai kings got their inspiration (interesting multimedia place, you can look back and jog for 15 minutes). At the exit of the Hall of Inspiration we've been waiting for a nasty surprise: the clouds quickly thickened and rain was approaching.
We took a chance, and leaving the "asylum" from hinged roof near Mae Fa Luang moved on. But in vain...
Not after five minutes we got hit with a downpour that no raincoats and backpacks we are not saved. We got soaked along with our cameras and all things. To move forward on the bike was not possible, to hide was also nowhere. We turned onto some dirt road and hid under a tree, which saved us a little from the rain. Had to stand under a tree for about forty minutes until the rain stops. Then when the rain stopped and we looked in the backpacks, the water there had to literally pour out. A sealed bag with a cover (case) for the camera was also water, though really to understand how she got there. Fortunately, the instrument is not affected.
Thai weather at the peak of the rainy season paid off and showed in all its glory. Fortunately, as expected, the rain was even "mad", but short. So time lost is not too much.
The next item was the temple of DOI Tung. A great and beautiful place, highly recommend. Here are a few pictures:
This photo is another from the temple, that is a little lower:
Let me remind you that we were moving in the town of Mae SAI, where he intended to spend the night. From DOI Tung to Mae SAI can be reached in two ways: one is highway No. 1, which we had to travel back from the mountains and on the highway. Another, just down the road along the border with Myanmar. The road along the border seemed more interesting than the dull broad highway, we chose. Adventure it was back then. First, we had to do a lap length of 40 kilometers on the road around the top. In this case, we again drove past Mae FAH Luang and DOI Tung temple. And all because of a pointer turning on the road in the course of our movement was not. It is set just on the other side, and we slipped. To ask was not one, the road deserted. So while we made a circle and found the right turn, already beginning to darken. But the adventure is not over, but just begun.
This incredibly steep road I have never seen. I thought it will be quite a wide road (at least so it looked on the map), and it was tortuous and constantly rising to the top then descending down the strip of broken asphalt width for the passage of one car. In some places the ascents were so steep that I thought the bike won't take us to the top. Speed I had to reduce the speed of the pedestrian, otherwise sharp turns and hills we would just not overpowered. If anyone will go this way, I advise you to go very very slowly. And there's generally better not to go.
Many kilometers of the road went along the Myanmar border, and from another country, we were separated only by a barbed wire on the mound. On the way, we got the checkpoint. There is on duty soldier who never understood English and did not miss us. I already thought that we won't miss and have to go back, but fortunately came from an officer who knew something about English and realizing that we were eating at Mae SAI, we missed.
Next we twice stopped and unfolded positions, apparently we turned the wrong way and went directly to Myanmar. Nowhere because there was no sign, and we went all the time on the main road. I already thought we were sleeping in the woods because the strength to go on such a road was already on the wane, until finally we got to some village and saw the mountain lights of the city. Here we took the main road again and after 10 kilometers we launched back. It turns out that the road to Mae SAI led us straight through this village right between the houses. Of course no there was no sign, the road was cobblestones instead of asphalt, and the inhabitants were already asleep. Don't understand how, but by some miracle from the village we went, where the path gradually widened and became paved again. In 20 minutes drive we were in Mae SAI.
During the trip we have not met neither motorcycle or car, so what happen, for example promise motorcycle, we had to spend the night in the middle of nowhere right on the roadside.
A sequel to "the night and the day in Mae SAI"...
We spent in Chiang Mai four wonderful and very interesting day. I really wanted to stay there longer, but the road was waiting for us. The next stop on our journey was Cambodia, namely Angkor. This was our first visit there, but not the first in Cambodia.
The road from Chiang Mai to Siem reap, turned out to be eventful, I decided to write about it separately and in detail. To get decided through Bangkok, as it is the most reliable and Mature route. Practical information about how to get to Siem reap, I set out here.
To Bangkok from Chiang Mai the day before dispatch we bought the tickets at the station, bus station Arcade, to contact the travel agents did not. For tickets to the first class bus (night) gave 538 baht. Here are prices:
The next day we arrived at the station an hour before departure of the bus to once again be well versed with transportation and schedules. About all this I wrote in "How to get to Chiang Mai and Transport to Chiang Mai". At the same time decided to eat the road. Near the station a lot of institutions, we decided to choose the "local". For 70 baht ate to satiety and drank a bottle of lemonade. If you are in those places to wait for the bus, I recommend to eat there, very tasty.
Loaded on the bus when it was already dark. To the credit of the carrier it should say that and went and arrived in Bangkok we are on schedule. And the trip was quite comfortable. In the path of the conventionally-fed (gave the bread and the water in the morning serving coffee), a night for the goal ...
So we are in Siem reap. If anyone still does not understand why we came here, is in order to explore the temples of Angkor.
Here we planned to stay for 4 days, which settled in the hotel Aliance Villa. The hotel is great, especially when you consider that we booked it for stock with 50% discount and paid for the room a little less than $ 15 per day.
Here, according to tradition, photos of hotel
Everything you need in room: air conditioning, TV, hot water shower, window and even Breakfast. The hotel staff is just super friendly and very helpful. Was so pleased by their helpfulness that I felt even slightly awkward. The hotel was always quiet and we never saw any of the guests, while all accommodation was occupied. That all the rooms were occupied, we learned when I arrived. Our new fellow traveler with whom we were going to get a taxi from the border, but came on the van, also went with us to the hotel, but places for them was not. Was free only single room but for $ 20!
The only downside of the hotel was just what before him had led the asphalted road and after a rain with the main street, had to walk about 100 meters through the puddles. But in General, the position of the hotel is great, very near the night market and pub street, and, at the same time, very quiet.
But, of course, we arrived in Siem reap not to stay in the hotel, so we immediately went to explore the city and at the same time and decide as we would for three days to visit all these temples. Nothing izobretal ...
I know brother Bob....(The Golden calf)
A generally good, well done!!!! And great pictures, clear. Very love it. Direct memories of Cambodia came flooding back, thoughts povilioniene.... Thank you! ...
And our guide in Cambodia told me that baby strollers in Cambodia, a tremendous luxury and not all of them can afford it. She has a little daughter and she doesn't like rice likes milk and bread. And it is very expensive. How to complain about us.
Our guide cost us$ 20 a day. For the money we were offered a minivan with driver and guide and a very professional story. Truth is correspondence with her I started from Moscow. ...
And now it's just a series of photos from Angkor. Describe what, where and how, I do not see sense. Will be ready in a guide to Angkor with a map (already started here), they think everything you need can be found.
Photos will be in several consecutive posts.
The next point of the trip was to Pattaya, where we planned to stop by in a few days to spend there. We were not in Pattaya for almost three years and it was very interesting to see how the city has changed over time. Changed dramatically, but more on that later. .While we waited for the road from Siem Reap to Pattaya. At first we planned to get there about the same route as I travelled here from Chiang Mai, only to go had in Chiang Mai and of course Pattaya. Ie from Siem Reap, transfer by taxi or minivan to the border crossing, and from there the bus to Pattaya.
But a devil pulled me to go to a local siemirowice a travel Agency and ask how much is the ticket for the tourist bus to Pattaya. Well, to be honest, hell this is the need to collect information about transport and ways of moving for the site, so it was planned.
Well, when I found out that moving from Siem Reap to Pattaya by tourist bus costs only 18 dollars, and at the same time leaving at 8 in the morning at 17 o'clock we will already in place, I couldn't resist. I knew it would be a trick, remember, that gave themselves earlier vow not to use more tourist buses in Thailand, but it was too great was the temptation. Yes, one would test the route, then to share with you, because on the chaise in this way we (there was another 6 hours, 10 and 12) already got (more on that here). So I bought two tickets for tomorrow at 8 o'clock in the morning, trying to figure out all the details (but I no one was able to explain where the bus arrives in Pattaya), and finally specify whether the bus will arrive in Pattaya in 17 hours, and received a solid affirmative answer. The company that organizes this ...
About Pattaya write somehow doesn't want to. But not to throw out this stage of the trip, because it took place. And no matter is that Pattaya is so bad. .No, actually it's a great place, it is no wonder it is the most popular resort in Thailand. But what can you do in Pattaya, I remember when his first meeting for more than seven years ago is very different. Then it was another city, mysterious and attractive. And now I know almost every street, all the shops and entertainment, etc. Nothing new in Pattaya, I this time have not found, though not been here for almost three years. We had originally planned to stay in Pattaya for seven days, to sunbathe and lie on the beach. But for three days all so tired that in the morning on the fourth day we weighed and went out.
But it is more likely my problem than Pattaya. For newcomers to Pattaya should stay the same interesting resort and entertainment city, and the center of the sex industry of Thailand.
Although, I'm deceiving you. Something in Pattaya very much changed even in four years, what is there to speak about the seven years. On changes will tell photos:
Russian faces and speech in the streets has become much more the impression that every second tourist, walking on second street and beach road – Russian. All shops crammed with Russian tourists, every 50 meters a Russian travel Agency or office real estate, restaurant menus in Russian, signs in Russian hotels. That is strange, if you go to other streets, there ...
From Pattaya to Ayutthaya accessed directly only by taxi, at least to us of any direct bus unknown. By taxi the ride is not a budget, so we decided to get on the chaise through Bangkok. To bother with the big bus and the bus station in Pattaya we did not, of Luggage we've a very little, only a couple of backpacks, and so we went the simple way: go to the minibase through victory Monument. Total, leaving the hotel at 6 a.m. at 12 moved to pre booked hotel in Ayutthaya, Grandparent's Home. He spent 160 baht.
A little more paint about the road, suddenly someone come in handy, though, information on how to get to Auctau here already written enough. In General, from Pattaya to the bus stop Victoria Monument from different places travel mini-bus services approximately every hour. Rather, it is in theory, they depart approximately every hour, and in fact, if passengers there, they can delay sending for half an hour and even an hour until they get enough passengers. In a way, they slightly more than an hour, cost 100 baht or so. To find the nearest location you can send them by asking at the hotel reception or simply finding a place while exploring Patati. Near to our Guesthouse, the location was near the Central Festival, came to him on foot. When it arrives to the Victoria Monument, we will have to find another mini bus to Ayutthaya already. To explain where to find it, it makes no sense, just better for the Mets to ask passers-by or drivers. He is already about 60 baht in the way too about an hour. Travel often. Well, to Auctau they arrive right in the heart of the tourist district of Ayutthaya in the North-Eastern part of the STA ...