Thailand motorcycle tour - day 2: pool time, precipitation and preparation

It's all great until someone loses an eye.

Hot chili woman goes rogue.

Ready. Set. Ride!

I woke up feeling like all the liquid in my body had been sucked out through my eyeballs. It was 5am, pitch black and all I could hear was the sound of the air conditioner. Waking up in the dark in a different country is a little surreal. At this time on the Gold Coast, the sun is burning your retinas even with your eyes closed. I shuffled around in bed trying to wake Andy up. He stirred, then excitedly asked if he was awake. Knowing full well that he was, of course. 

We had 8 hours blissful sleep and my body was telling me it needed to stretch, so I opened the double doors and stopped to drink in the still, pre sunrise beauty.

This was our first and only full day in Chiang Mai before heading off on our journey, so starting with brekky sounded perfect. Real coffee and a huge spread of options to choose from at the Smile Lanna Hotel. Being Halloween, all the staff were dressed in Halloween costumes. Makeup and all. Very cool,


During brekky we were approached by some fellow riders who had just returned from a trip to Vietnam. They loved it and talked with passion about the amazing food, scenery and people. The only negative were the potholes up in Laos, but those roads weren't on our agenda thankfully. Besides, the Gold Coast Hinterland is littered with them, so its not my first rodeo.

After stuffing my face, off we trotted to familarise ourselves with Chiang Mai.The focus for the morning was making memories - of the good kind. Where nothing goes wrong and we laugh and joke, eat and drink weird stuff and immerse ourselves into the culture.......

It started well. we relished in the fact there were almost as many character figures around as there were scooters, so started happy snapping. Then, as we approached the markets I could see these amazing trees in the distance. Shining like a beacon, calling me for a pic. So I gathered my photographer Fi and we headed to find the perfect spot.

As I admired the amazing bark on the trees, waiting for Fi to find a spot to stand, I heard a squeal, followed by a thud.

It all happened so quickly and its the thing we all dread on the day before a huge ride. As Fi settled herself and her claw ready for a photo, she slipped on the beautiful, uneven, muddy and moist tree roots, sliding in slow motion, but like a bag of potatoes, to the ground.

This is the tree... isn't she lovely!?!


We all stood there for a second, motionless. The look of Fiona in a cast flashed past my eyes. We all rushed over to help her up and assess the damage.

We hot footed it back to the hotel (well after stopping for beer), with Fiona receiving care from the hotel staff. We all crossed our fingers in the hope she would ride tomorrow. A stark and scary reminder that bad juju can happen anywhere.

At 4pm the sound of Tigers could be faintly heard over the buzzy buzz buzz of the scooters. It was time.

Time to meet the beasts we will be riding through this amazing north Thailand region. 


There was excitement all round as Scott and the team from Bike Tour Asia parked the bikes, one by one at the entry to the Smile Lanna Hotel, Each bike is named, so there's no confusion. I was advised I was riding a Tiger 850, which was totally amazing. Much to my surprise, when I looked for the name on my bike, I had been given the brand new bike in the fleet, the Tiger 900. I'm grateful to be able to share my journey with you on this motorcycle. 

I've spend a huge amount of time and money to get my body in a good state for this ride. Having had ridiculously bad neck issues and the most debilitating elbow inflammation, I am thankful for 8 days of good suspension, a comfy seat and the odd section where cruise control could be needed. 

Bike Tour Asia have it all sorted on this trip, including a welcome dinner at Samsen Villa. A 20 minute taxi ride had us a the river, where we were greeted with the coldest beer in history. The dishes kept coming and OMG they were amazing.

Three deep in, I was presented with the most delicious coconut soup. As I'm chowing down with delight I bit into something that gives off a little heat. NECK MINUTE my mouth is having a chilli party. That cold beer got chugged at a rate as the chilli stoked the coals at the back of my tongue and throat. After 3 minutes and 27 seconds it subsided and I continued to sip the soup. Was it worth it? HELL YEAH!

Crepes for dessert and out I rolled back into the Taxi for our ride home and a solid sleep in readiness for RIDE DAAAAAAAAAAY! 


riverbridgeseated ladiespool timemarketsthe gang

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  • Donna T. 01:08 AM

    Loved meeting you all and watching you take off on your adventure! Love love love BTA!!

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