At 8am a red truck was waiting outside the foyer of our hotel to pick us up and take us to the Spicy Roads headquarters.
Spicy Roads have a neat little set up in the centre of the city. From there we grabbed our bikes and helmets, met our new guide who’s name was Alex – just like our guide from Tour East.
There was a bit of traffic leaving the city on our bicycles, and it had been a whole year since I had ridden a bike – literally one year since I rode a bike through Hoi An’s countryside.
With my go pro mounted on the bike handles, I captured the bumpy streets and villages of the old city and outskirts of the town.
Our first stop was at the local market, where we saw early morning shoppers grabbing their delicious local produce.
Dogs were laying on driveways, hobbling down streets and standing next to their owners at the foot of small shops. Dad rode behind me, alex rode in front, and I zig-zagged over potholes and speed bumps.
We stopped at a temple where a small truck filled with school children waved at us and said, “Hello, hello,” until the vehicle passed. Alex took us over to say “Sa Wa Dee,” and try to speak Thai. But we were hopeless, and ended up standing there waving as they giggled.
About 10 minutes in, we were passing the main river on a semi-quiet road when I heard dad call out from behind, “I think your tyre needs some air,”
I thought it was just the bumpy road, but when we stopped, we poked by back tyre and watched Alex’s finger sink easily into the rubber.
We were lucky that Alex was an experienced tour guide – and within five minutes he had my tyre replaced and my bike back in top notch.
Standing on the side of the road, locals scooted past and laughed at us as we fixed it up. But again – what’s a bike ride in Asia without a little hiccup.
We rode our bicycles through the old hospital, where we stopped under a tree for Alex to tell us a little about the place. He told us that this old hospital is now used for rehabilitating and housing people with lepracy. The people have local handy craft factories to work in, and spend lots of time doing rehabilitative activities.
If you look in the picture, you’ll see lots of small cottages. These little cottages are home to lepracy patients, who can be visited by their families and taken care of in private.
At the end of the tour we pulled up to Chang Coffee and each had a complementary drink before heading back to Spicy Roads.
Tonight is our last night In Northern Thailand, and I really don’t look forward to leaving tomorrow afternoon.
Not that I expected anyone to guess – but if you have any clue where I am, please guess away before I tell you all the name of the city.