Last night we had the honeymoon bungalow at Malee’s Nature Lover’s Bungalows. The property has a beautiful garden that includes 700 different varieties of orchids. It is on a small road 5 km from the highway and nestled in the shadow of the third highest peak in Thailand. We visited the nearby Chiang Dao cave and a local woman talked me though some fairly small squeezes. I am not a spelunker by nature.
We are presently only about 20 km from the Burmese border, and the landscape has changed dramatically in the last two days. This region is covered with haystack shaped limestone mountains clothed in jungle and dotted with caves.
Today’s ride was spectacular. In spite of the huge mountains that pop out of the landscape our road was well graded and the climbs were not particularly difficult. This is not the case for all roads in Thailand. We have a map of this area produced by a motorcycle touring group that describes some segments as “very steep” or “extremely steep”. When someone with more than the 1/2 horsepower we are able to generate finds a hill “extremely steep” it is probably best avoided.