I have to be honest: it wasn’t as romantic as I pictured it. When in Northern Thailand, I rented a decent mountainbike from Mae Hong Son and ventured out for a couple of days. I pictured myself cycling through the mountaineous countryside, carrying only a small backpack and spending nights in homestays in remote villages.
The truth was, the first day I was fighting the steep slopes like a maniac. Even though I took off 6 am in the morning to avoid the heat (April is the hottest month of the year in Thailand, being right before the rainy season), I found myself around 10 am nearly melting while pushing my bike up the slopes for about 12 km.
Finally I got to the first village, Ban Na Pa Paek, where I took a nap and a lunch. After lunch I continued the last 6 km to Ban Rak Tai, a charming Chinese village right next to a beautiful lake. Yunnan refugees settled here years ago and cultivate green tea here.
When I sat down in front of my guesthouse on the lakeside, I did feel it was worth the struggle getting there!