We can't find any decent used bikes, only a 16 year-old Honda 250 for 150000 Baht (about 3000 Euro!). When Kawasaki start selling a new KLX250 with fuel injection for only 1000B more we don't need to think about it for long. I make several trips to Ayutthaya, from where we take a bus or train to Bangkok to buy bike gear for Su. She quits her job as accounts and transport manager with a Japanese firm.
The big problem turns out to be her new car. Just before we met she had signed a hire purchase agreement for a new GM Optra. HP in Thailand is legalised robbery: you pay a low interest rate, but you pay it on the whole amount over the entire loan period. If you want to repay the loan early you still have to pay the entire amount of interest. So, after owning the car for 6 months Su still owes more money than the total amount she borrowed. Unfortunately for us, right at this moment the world economy crashes and the car is now almost unsellable. 3 people agree to take over the car with the repayments, but all back out, because they can't afford it. So Su still owns the car and has to continue making repayments, even as we leave on our trip around Nothern Thailand. Advertising brought no response. In Thailand, such transactions go through the social network.
The first time I spotted this guy in Mae Sot he was wearing what seemed to be a genuine German Wehrmacht helmet.
Not a Buddha statue, but a monk operating ...
... the cable car to access the island temple in Bang Pa-in.
Not a church, but a Buddhist temple.
Inside the same.
Buddha Park near Vientiane, Laos.
The new ordination hall of Wat Tha Sung.
Some parts of this temple complex resemble more a factory.
The bike shop opposite Phannu House often has interesting bikes for repair.
Even customers from Burma.
Another reservoir near Mae Sot. The hills are in Burma.
Return to Namtok Pha Charoen.
And this is what the place sounds like: Click here.
A Japanese man takes residence in Phannu House. He not only owns this old Kawa 350 2-stroke in beautiful condition, but also buys other bikes in Burma and does them up to sell in Japan, where they are apparently sought after.