2 nights 3 days. Sat 20 June - Sun 21st - Monday 22nd June 2009. Route 118 & Route 1 (exciting eh?) The weather tropical "dry" - heavy overcast but no rain whilst riding. Unbelievably good luck. Why: to test out the trusty AT's electrics before Dan Sai (& Laos again.) The result: all systems go. Now for a few happy snaps & quick comments Route 118 the way & weather ahead. The time a mere 5.30PM & a bit of late start you might say; & you'd be right! But the weather held out beautifully. My one-stop en route was Black Canyon at Mae Kachan to book my room at the Nimseeseng Hotel in Chiang Rai. Now I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the run down the mountain & into Mae Kachan as I hooked up with a Honda Civic car driver who was an extremely good smooth fast driver. Usually you encounter some jerk who wants to run you off the road somewhere along the way, but not today. This guy was good, almost no braking, just rolling on & off the throttle / accelerator to very neatly but incisively carve his way through the traffic. I caught up to him & overtook him in traffic, but never got away from him. Even at 160 on the dual carriageway into Mae Kachan he sat nicely behind me in the other lane. It was an absolute pleasure to ride / drive with someone so smooth & sensible on 4-wheels. I was disappointed then in Mae Kachan when he turned off into the PTT gas station as I’d thought of buying him a coffee at the BC / Shell in Mae Kachan should he go in there! Whoever you are sir – 3 cheers. You were good, fast & s-m-o-o-t-h! 15 minutes after arriving in Chiang Rai the rain came down, so it was a quiet night dining at the Nim rooftop. The next day..nice cool weather yet again Breakfast was a hearty one at the ABC Cafe In Chiang Rai they have almost finished the new "highway" road leaving the centre of town North, but they still have a way to go on the new bridge across the Kok River. If you're interested in the level of the Kok River, well here she is looking upstream towards the super & the main bridge. After a special early afternoon photographic detour I reached Mae Sai around 3.30PM, rested for an hr or so, My preferred place of stay in Mae Sai is the Umporn Resort. Here’s what you get for 500 baht in the low season After checking in it was time to hit Wat Doi Wao for some late afternoon light under heavy cloud cover. To get to Doi Wao you have to ride through the Doi Wao market, if there are not too many people around, or use the side sois to come out at the top of the market & the road at the bottom of the temple. The start of the road up the hill The Thai frontier & temple are protected by a fighting crab, Plus a couple of other noble heroes The panoramic views from Wat Doi Wao are stupendous. Mae Sai is so closely cluttered together, that when you're down at street level it is hard gauge how large & spread out it is….. If you've not been up to the temple overlooking Mae Sai, then check it out next time you're there. Tachilek side The bridge & the border Whilst I was playing tourist admiring the view, the locals were admiring the trusty Africa Twin Including a monk Back at ground level here's the Ruak River & the Thai - Myanmar border. From Mae Sai back to Chiang Mai it's a fast easy ride.