Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Day 204 - The Road to Doi Angkhang

Despite me planning and trying to leave Chiang Mai early in the morning, by the time I was on my bike and heading out of town it was close to noon. While not ideal, the road was good and Doi Angkhang was not too far to comfortably make it there before sunset.

The first part of the road there was rather boring without much to see, it all got a lot more interesting once I turned off to visit the Chiang Dao cave.

The Chiang Dao mountain itself is quite nice as is the landscape around it, the main attraction however is the cave and temple inside it at the base of the mountain.
The cave and temple are free to visit, you get charged an 'electricity fee' however for the lights inside the cave.

Still, the cave itself is very nice and the temple built inside is very nice. If you head further inside the cave you can explore a few parts on your own if you have a flashlight (or mobile phone with a flashlight app in my case), despite the warnings not to or to do so at your own risk.

After visiting the cave it as time to head onward to Doi Angkhang, there were two different ways to choose from, a sorter and faster route via Fang and a slower, more winding and longer way via route 1178. You can guess which one I went for. :)

The road was great with lots of sharp corners, winding along the mountains next to the Myanmar border, passing by military checkpoints and through small towns. The Honda Wave I rented struggled with some of the climbs and I was not all that confident of the squeaky brakes but the views made it all worth it and the slow pace actually helped me enjoy and appreciate the scenery more.
If I would do a 'best roads in the world' series I would certainly put this one on the list. Online people seem to discourage self driving on these roads but unless you absolutely have to race through, it should pose no problem as there's very little traffic but it's a great journey.

I enjoyed the scenery too much and due to the slower pace on going uphill with the bike, I only just about managed to arrive in Doi Angkhang before sunset.
While I hoped to explore the town a bit, after I checked in and had dinner, everything was closed so I turned in for an early night.

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