Riding around mountains
Chiang mai Province. Navigating the city’s morass of gentle lanes on cool summer nights can make this one of urban Thailand’s most enjoyable riding experiences. The route has been chosen from an interminable range of others for its flexibility to both novices and experts and its extremely convenient location just outside of Chiang Mai, at the crack between Huai Tueng Thao and Doi Suthep National Park.The route itself makes for a gloriously amiable shotgun-wedding between the area’s mountainous forests and lychee fields, and a number of more urbane amenities and activities with which to fill itinerary and stomach.
A bit further down the road
Starting from one of the bike rental shops on Sam Lan Road which runs past Wat Phra Sing, leave the city walls from the west, following the northbound quadrant of the moat up until the intersection at its corner before turning left down Huai Kaeo Road Pass Chiang Mai’s oldest shopping mall and keep going until the second large intersection, there, take a northward righturn. 1 km in, you can get off the main road and follow the dirt path running along the parallel canal, following the signs for the 700-Year Stadium, where you turn left at after 5 km. Huai Tueng Thao, actually a reservoir, is just a bit further down the road.
But instead of heading straight there, make for the trails and go behind the Stadium, crossing the dam wall into the forest. Follow the lovely, blue and red-marked mixed terrain routes that leave you at Huai Tueng Thao after 10 km. Otherwise, circling the lake is fulfilling in itself and either way you can reward yourself at one of the many cheap and breezy lakeside restaurants before returning to Chiang Mai.
H ow T o G e t T h e r e
Getting there is very easy from Chiang Mai city center. Just drive up Canal Road, past the 700-Year Stadium, drive another 2 km. and follow the signs. The lake is in a lovely area with mountain views.