When spending significant time in Southeast Asia most people find themselves renting a motorbike to get around, assuming that they grew tired of Tuk Tuk (mini- taxis) drivers overcharging. The hardest thing for me to understand was that the motorbike rental shops hold on to your passport for collateral until the motorbike is returned. Terrifying to put that control in the hands of a total stranger!
However, I quickly learned that karma was something these Buddhist societies live by. So, after about 4 months, I began trusting…a task much more difficult in the west!
The Thai man at the shop handed me a helmet that couldn’t have survived a hail storm, the keys to the bike and I was off to the Golden Triangle (where Thailand, Laos and Burma meet ). I headed North form Chiang Mai passing beautiful farmland, poppy fields and the Queen’s Gardens. After a few days of travel I had finally arrived! The streets were packed with tourists, food vendors, and merchants buying and selling goods of all sorts.
From where I was standing I could see all three countries in perfect form, despite their extreme political differences. I will never forget the large buddha that sits at the Thailand shore looking out over the water. What a magnificent sight! I spent the night at the triangle in a little local bungalow. Thousands of images passing through my mind as I drifted off to sleep…