Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Open Road

For our last adventure in Chiang Mai, we decided to follow a friends advice and take a motorbike ride around the mountains surrounding the city. Renting a motorbike in general was one of the best decisions we made during our stay in Chiang Mai. For just 200 baht a day (roughly $7.00) we could rent a motorbike, versus taking taxis or tuk tuks which often came in around the same price per day if not higher. The advantage of the motorbike was that we saved money and we also saved the hassle of having to track down transportation and then haggle with them about a fair price.
Samoeng Loop
We left early in the morning and planned to spend the whole day making our way around the Samoeng Loop and also making pit stops along the way at local attractions. Along the trip we:

Saw elephants! Ok, this was my favorite moment by far. You know how much I love elephants. Well, when we were riding along, I looked over and spotted elephants from a distance. I may or may not have yelled in hubs ears that I saw elephants and that we should pull over. I blame the road noise, I had to yell. It seemed like we had stumbled upon the back entrance to one of the elephant conservation parks where they kept the momma elephants and new babies.
We made sure to keep our distance but the curious little one kept getting closer and closer. As tempted as I was to see how close he would get, I did not want to see how fast the momma elephant could rip through her chain, so we left. 
We headed back up towards the road to sit and watch as one of the workers hosed down both mom and baby. 
Enjoyed the gorgeous roadside views.
Found a pumpkin house. I'm slightly jealous of whoever lives here. 
Played in the Mae Sa Waterfalls. This place was awesome to spend a few hours hiking and swimming in some of the waterfall pools. There are a series of around 10 different waterfalls, all on the same inclined hiking path. The lower ones are safe for families to swim in while the higher ones just offer great views but faster moving water. Notice how hubs shorts are wet? Yea, that's what happens when you're not careful on slippery rocks.
Found some choice words at local temples
Saw old and new collide. TIP: the red truck is a mix between a taxi and bus. In the back there are just two long benches where people pile in and it makes pit stops along the route dropping people off. It can take longer depending on who else is in there with you and where they are going but can save money.
We're so glad that we rented a bike for our stay in Chiang Mai. We loved the ease of it (even though there were times when the driving and traffic were a little scary!) and also being able to see so much more of the city and the country side. It was the perfect end to our favorite city.
Linking up with MollyMegLeannLoganCarissaRachel