For many years most of my travels have been for necessity, getting another visa stamp, taking my wife home to her parents at Tha Ton, etc. I have recently started to realise just how awful some of this travel has become with loads of pushy pick-up drivers and their death defying maneuvers. So yesterday, after a visa run from Doi Saket to Mae Sai and an overnight stop at Tha Ton I got off the main road and found some of the country that inspired me to stay here. 10 ks out of Chai Prakan heading south is a signed turnoff to Phrao (44 ks) and fed up with all the main road traffic I gave it a go. Beautiful countyside, valley with orchards and rice, mountain covered in forest. Road surface quite good, some very tight bends and some steep inclines. Karen villages on the way. Almost no traffic but when something does come its right in the middle cus its expecting nothing coming the other way. Even Phrao to C Mai is a far nicer ride than the Chiang Dao- C Mai highway, its only busy when you get to Maejo. Once it was warm, 11am, it was a pleasure to be out there getting the full pleasure of being a biker in North Thailand. I'd almost forgot how good life could be here!