When we arrived in Uttaradit this afternoon, Stray said he felt like a Labradoodle, the way everyone would do a double take when they saw us. But first, I’ll go back to this morning, when we left Chiang Mai.
We’d being weighing up our mode of transport for quite some time before going to Laos for my Visa and decided to hire a bike...not a road bike, more like a scooter, a 125 cc Honda Wave.
We’re not happy at this point and throw around different ideas and combinations/solutions: Put me on a bus, garage the scooter and both take a bus, hire a pick up and put the bike on the back.
|A main street leading into Uttaradit|
As we near our destination, we ride through ‘The City of Safe Fruits’, which conjures up all sorts of smart alec thoughts in my head. The highway is lined with hundreds of fruit stalls.
Only a few main streets into Uttaradit we pull over for directions to a hotel...any hotel. Some Uttraraditites have a tendency to giggle and run when they see a farang heading their way armed with a Thai phrase book. Within 25 minutes (Stray making a couple of enquiries and only understanding the word ‘red’ from an old dear giving directions in lightening speed Thai) we check into the R∞M Hotel...yes, that’s an infinity symbol.
At 350 Baht per night, the hotel room is great value. The building is only a few months new, simple, clean, spacious and with minimum street noise. One of the girls at reception and her cousin speak English very well and give us the thumbs up for riding all the way from Chiang Mai and are dumbfounded that we’re continuing on, to Nong Khai. They point us in the direction of the Tree House Restaurant, only 50 metres away, for dinner.
...did I mention my hair? I forgot to tie it up for the day and after a ton of conditioner and 15 minutes of finger combing, it was finally free of tangles and wind knots.
We take a stroll after dinner and are greeted with wide eyes, closely followed by big smiles. Nearby the hotel are a couple of bars and we stop for a beer or two...after all it would be Stray’s ‘Friday Night’ drink with the boys if he were back in Australia. A group of young blokes are sitting at the adjacent table and a lengthy chat ensues. They’re downing shots of some type of tequila tasting beverage and the lip, suck of salt and lemon has been replaced with cubes of vegetable? dipped in spices. We’re not sure about the spirit they’re drinking; it’s pinkish, heavy in sediment and appears on various tables in different recycled liquor bottles. Moonshine of sorts?
We call it a night and I politely/very firmly refuse the offer of a double sized ‘shot for the road’. Thoughts of lead lined distilleries up in them thar hills creep into my head and the idea of being sick on the back of a bike all day tomorrow, isn’t appealing.
Snap's other blog Chiang Mai Thai