Despite the You Tube videos we've seen of the traffic in SE Asia, particularily Vietnam, and the many backpackers covered in bandages from accidents, we still really wanted to try riding motorbikes. So when we got to Pai and saw how little traffic there was, we decided to give it a try. Our hotel owner suggested we take classes first and since we figured our lives were worth the $3, we marched down the hill into town to sign up.
Our driving instructor, Alan, was awesome. He drove us to a back road and taught us how to stop, go, turn and start from a complete stop on a hill. After an hour he deemed us good drivers and sent us off to explore Pai.
|Smartest $3 we ever spent.|
|Passing the turn signal test.|
There is nothing as wonderful as being on a motorbike with the wind in your face. The closest thing I can think of is being on a jet ski. Getting motorbikes opened up a whole new world of exploration as we could drive out into the mountainside without relying on a tour or tuk tuk.
|These helmets kept making me think of Strongbad and Trogdor.|
We drove to a waterfall, through hilly resorts, past fields of cows, to some hot springs, the Pai Canyon, a Chinese village and allllll over town. We even drove if we only had to go one block because we loved it so much. The only thing we didn't like was riding at night. We tried to take a night trip to the hot springs but after 10 minutes of swallowing bugs we decided to wait until the next day.
|Just trying not to die tonight.|
After several days of riding we had become really comfortable on our bikes. We were at dinner with Neil, Hannah and William when we heard a loud crash and we all went running outside to see what had happened. Two Thai men had had a head on collision in the middle of an intersection because one of the men had been texting while driving. This is when Neil gave us the best advice we'd received yet. Do not get too comfortable on a motorbike. You may feel like a good driver but you always, always have to watch out for other people. So we spent the next few days riding around always on full alert but still having the times of our lives.
|Steering three people on a motorbike is easy once you master it on an elephant.|