Thursday, January 8, 2015

We've Arrived

We've Arrived

After a 2 hour delay at Heathrow due to engineering works we were on our way to Chiang Mai. a 11 and a half hour flight (of which I luckily managed to sleep 6/7 hours of) we arrived in Bangkok. Because of the delay, we had missed our internal flight to Chiang Mai but for the sum of 800THB (about £16) we were able to get on a later flight with Bangkok Airways. 

For the really bored few of you here is a video of the takeoff/landing on the uneventful flight PG262. 

Day 1 - Rain Stops Play

Normally January in Chiang Mai is one of the driest months of the year, very rarely seeing rain. Our presence is so great that it seems we are able to change the climate and have brought the English weather with us. We arrived on Thursday evening but since it has been raining and looking forward to the next few days it appears to be more of the same. Still at least we are not at work, and it will give us a few days to sort out logistics of the bikes and plan our initial routes.

Accommodation in Chiang Mai

While we are here in Chiang Mai we are staying at the Basic Line Hotel. It has a bar, two pool tables and is located a short walk from the moat. The rooms are clean and simple and it cost us £65 for the week which is very reasonable. The welcome was friendly and the beers are cold.

They have recently teamed up with the restaurant across the road to provide food which I hear is extremely tasty and good value for money.

Bike Rental

Since we've been here we have been investigating bike rentals and it appears there's two places in town that rent Honda CRF250L's which would be our bike of choice out here.

The first option is the shop next to Pop Cafe but after speaking to them appears they can't rent us the bikes for the amount of time we need as they already have bookings for them.

The second option is Pop's cafe/bike rental. After speaking to a few people rumour has it that these bikes aren't very well maintained which could be a concern for the distance/duration we are looking to hire the bikes. We have had a quick chat with Pop and he is willing to give us the require paperwork to take the bike out of the country (which is basically a latter giving us permission along with the registration of the bike and a copy of his ID).

We've briefly negotiated a price for 3 months of 50,000THB which is about £1000 but I'm sure we can get this cheaper but we need to shop around to get the best deal. For some reason he wants to charge us double the price for the days that we'll be in Laos but I think something was lost in translation as he doesn't speak the best English, but then again it's a thousand times better than my Thai.

GPS Maps

While out getting some dinner last night we stopped off at Riders Corner. We met Phil who was very welcoming and we picked up a copy of their Northern Thailand GPS maps and have loaded this into the GPS. You can buy this over the bar for 900THB (about £18) and is a micro SD card with adapter. The map is in an IMG format which works perfectly with the Garmin Montana 600 that we have, the only problem is that you cant use this natively with Garmin's Basecamp application and you have to use the device connected to the Mac to allow Basecamp to see this. I'll post if I find a way of importing this into basecamp with the device offline.

I can't wait for the weather to clear a bit so we can get on the bikes and get out there and get some pictures to share with you.

RideAsia have a meeting this weekend at Riders Corner with a BBQ and a few people giving speeches about riding in Asia so we'll be popping along to get some tips and advice.


Sorry for posting pictures of food but I had to share them as for £7 we got 4 portions of Minced Shrimp Dim Sum (sorry had already eaten some), 2 Spicy Roast Chicken and 2 Sprites got to love Thai food.

Minced Shrimp Dim Sum

Spicy Roast Chicken with Sticky Rice

The Moat at night

Chiang Mai at night


  1. Finding your bearings quickly - that spicy chicken looks tasty!

  2. Few weeks ago we returned from Chiang Mai! It was colorful journey. Colorful because of their food and their landscapes of course. First that we visit was the hill of Doi Ang Khang. For see that view we rented a motorbike here, for advice my friend, which was in Chang Mai half a year ago, its a good rental service. I want to add, that in mountain was very cold, so if you will decide to trip there, you should take warm clothes with you.