In the latest edition of Keegan and Lauren do things…we did two things.
Our scooters had to be returned on the 17th and we flew to Bali on the 18th, so we wanted to take advantage of our last week. Our first adventure was the Samoeng Loop, which is a 60-mile loop through the mountains that takes 3 hours to complete. It’s a popular route for motorcycles and cyclists with hundreds of wonderful curves up and down mountains. It was a ton of fun. We ended up spending nearly 6 hours on the loop since there are plenty of hikes, viewpoints, and restaurants along the way. We also stopped at a local strawberry farm’s booth to buy some fresh strawberries and strawberry soda. There isn’t much more to say about this one but it was beautiful and really fun.
Doi Inthanon is the tallest mountain in Thailand and also a massive national park. We decided it would make a great last-minute trip before turning in the bikes so we packed a backpack and started riding with real plans. The entrance to the park is 1.5 hours from Chiang Mai and it takes another hour to get up the mountain. Along the way we stopped at a village for lunch, and it ended up being a very unique experience. The village sits alongside a river and the restaurant tables are on bamboo platforms that sit right on the water. The lady spoke no English and there was no menu, so she brought us an entire roasted chicken, sticky rice, and beers. Perfect.
After lunch we headed up the mountain and into the park, only to learn there were no tents available in the main campgrounds. They sent us up the hill where a few locals run small campgrounds that had some availability. For double the price of the nice campgrounds (we’re talking hot showers, clean bathrooms, ice chests, sleeping bags, etc.) we scored a tent with holes in it on a sloped, rocky hill and some old blankets. Needless to say we didn’t sleep too well.
We woke up at 5am to ride up to the summit to watch the sunrise, which is one of the main attractions. It was 48 degrees and misting, and we were wearing shorts and light rainjackets while riding at 30mph. It was freezing. I’d love to say it was all worth it, but dense fog completely blocked the sunrise. We saw nothing. On the bright side, we were officially the tallest people in Thailand for a brief period. As we headed down the mountain to hike the three main trails, the sun came out and it warmed up significantly. We spent the next 6 hours hiking and playing in waterfalls. It was a blast. Sadly, we had to head back to Chiang Mai to return our bikes and start packing for Bali.