31st May: a ride with teeth – Mae Salong to Fang

The route: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/186151447 (90km – total: 4951km) Good road, VERY steep (20% in parts) but mainly downhill – make sure your brakes are in good working order

The photo:

Coffee and maps, mmm…

The chat: Good Yunnanese noodles, great coffee, and a damp but exhilarating ride down from the ridge Mae Salong is perched on was the order of the morning.

Average, run of the mill, nondescript; superlatives fail me as I attempt to describe the sheer mediocrity of Fang, exceptional in name alone. A quick turn around at the friendly and clean Phumanee Home hotel (NB other cyclists – great food too), and off we cycled to the Ban Pin hot springs, a leisurely 10km spin out of town. Sulphurous, steamy and a little prehistoric, they brought back memories of my year in Rotorua, NZ. The park’s main attraction was a spectacular geyser that we were told would blow every half an hour for three minutes. The metronomic precision of this assurance prompted a little detective work. Risking third degree burns,  we captured never-seen-before photographic evidence of the truth behind this famous Thai attraction (see below) which has been sent to the Ministry of Domestic Tourism Fraud.

We rewarded our sleuthing with a soak in the purportedly medicinal outdoor spa – the single sex pools in a leafy garden cost us 20 baht (about 30pence) and until a monk joined the soak, we had the place to ourselves – the joys of travelling in the off season. Despite five years at a Catholic boys’ school, I’d never shared  bath with a monk before – and now I have. There was no monk-ey business – in fact he was a top geyser.

No you can’t have him for a Beng Beng bar*
*Thailand’s (poor) answer to Twix

An amazing natural phenomenon. And a geyser

The dark secret of Ban Pin hot springs

This entry was posted in Cute kids, Thailand, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 31st May: a ride with teeth – Mae Salong to Fang

  1. Alison says:

    Still reading – you’re both such excellent writers.
    At first I connected the detective work and photographic evidence with the photo immediately below. And literally laughed out loud. Also laughing about the real evidence.

  2. Brent says:

    You guys and detectives of the best order, love your style

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