Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bike Ride to Hang Dong 1

Yesterday, we took a leisurely bike ride to Hang Dong south of Chiang Mai about 15 km if you go directly on the main road. I've driven by there a few times on trips with work to villages, but never had a chance to stop. The weather's gotten warmer in the last week and so we decided to go before it gets too hot at all. I don't think we achieved the second goal. The weather was in the mid 90s yesterday. My inernal thermostat seems to have adjusted well. We weren't totally sure how to get there - the maps are a little vague unless you take the main highway. We wanted to start along the canal road which is near us and has much less traffic. So, it was a time of discovery.

We helped an Israeli, who stopped us near my office, to get to the main road where he could catch a song thaew, then rode on past Wat Ramphoeng which is as far down that way I've been.

We passed through a little village, where we stopped for some bottles of cold water, then past a huge sports field then found ourselves out on the canal road.

I've passed this strange building several times in a car. We were on the other side of he canal so we didn't have a chance to figure out what it was.

We made it down to the local neighborhood market where we took the opportunity to get in the shade. J got an iced tea at this stand and I chose a strawberry smoothie.

While waiting for my smoothie I snapped this shot of brown rice. The top price is per liter, the bottom price per kilo. One dollar equals almost 36 baht these days.

We'd been vaguely hoping to find the University of Chiang Mai's Agricultural Campus which I'd been told was a nice place to bike, but we ended up on the main road too soon. But we did find a part of it and went in to check out some of the animals. When I approached the ostriches, they all came over - thinking, I guess, I had food. The deer already had food so didn't pay attention to me. But the whole flock of sheep came over to see me from out in the field. You can see that the hazy season is back. You can barely make out the mountains in the background.

Biking limits how far you can go, but it also means you see a lot more in the places you do go by. This place was growing lots of different types of trees, presumably they are for sale.

And, of course, on a bike, it is much easier to stop at the ice cream stand - well this one was a side car on a motorcycle - and have some home made ice cream. The ice cream man told us we could cut over on the road over the bridge and get into Hang Dong on more rural roads, which we did. I'll post our adventure in Furniture World later.

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