bike-around-chiang-mai

Bike around Chiang Mai and cool off with a fresh coconut!


FUN FOR A FIVER. 

Cycling is a great way to investigate a town and get a different perspective than you would from flying around it in a tuc-tuc. 
In older parts of the world, unlike countries like the USA and Australia, city centres are normally quite compact, everything is easily reachable by bicycle.
Its a cheap and fun option that will lead you to new discoveries, and possibly to a thirst quenching coconut too!

Our hotel (Charcoa House) rented out bikes for about 50baht per day (pretty standard from what I could tell for a lot of hotels in the area). We set off with no specific intentions but to potter about. We ran into a temple straight away – there are a few!!! a lot of the main temples in Chiang Mai are close together and easy to reach on bike, most are free entry too



After cycling half of the backstreets in less than an hour, we realised that Chiang Mai central really isn’t that big (its probably about 1500M across), so we bravely decided to venture out onto the main roads and head out towards the ping river to the east. From sitting in the back of a Tuk-Tuk you feel that the roads are best left to Thai drivers to negotiate, seemingly a lack of any rules make them a danger zone for inexperienced westerners… Not so! the rules are really very easy, if you are going to go, go! don’t hesitate, and people will let you in. 


When people beep there horn it is to let you know they are there and not to pull in front of them – there are no road rage issues! The driving is hectic, but the drivers are calm and generally considerate.


We headed out through some less touristy areas, and eventually stopped up in a nice riverside bar that was huge! We were the only customers, there was band equipment set up in the corner and it seemed clear that this was more of an evening venue. After finishing up my whole coconut (well, just the milk straight from the coconut) for 60 baht, we took the scenic route back to the hotel to check out and grab some lunch. Of course, you can pick up a coconut from a roadside stall for 30 baht or less, which are scattered around, and then just sit down by the river in the park instead of at the pub!


FFAF COSTS:

Bicycle rental $1.70 (50baht)
Coconut $1-$2 (30-60baht)

TOTAL: $2.70/$3.70
If you need somewhere to stay in Chiang Mai I find these guys have a great selection of accommodation options: HotelsCombined
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