The “Sticky Falls” and Crashing My Motorbike

Sticky FallsI thought driving a motorbike would be easy.

After all, thousands of Thai people drive them everyday, weaving recklessly in and out of traffic, without a problem. So, I got on my bike and within…oh, maybe 65 seconds, I had fallen on my ass. I was so nervous taking a turn that I wouldn’t lean into it, so I just toppled over and proceeded to scratch up my leg and humiliate myself in front of dozens of onlookers. Four Thai men ran out of a convenience store to help me up even after I insisted I was fine.

It was…highly embarrassing.

Now, I have to give myself some credit–I have not driven in a long time. I have lived in New York City for the past three years. On top of that, I have never driven a motorbike and have never driven on the left side of the road. And here I was, on my second day in Chiang Mai, jumping on a bike with a helmet that barely fit my head. (My head is huge. I guess Thai heads are tiny.)

Besides my dignity, I was mostly unscathed.

But I was terrified to get back on the bike. I was shaking. On the other hand, I was eager to get away from all of the people that had watched me fall and were giving me pitying looks. I got back on the bike reluctantly and drove away as fast as I could.

It took me 15 minutes of driving around the city to for me to feel comfortable. Then it was time to head up to the Bua Tong waterfall, an hourlong journey northwest of Chiang Mai. Thank goodness my friend led the way because I was still pretty unsteady on the bike and I wasn’t sure I could navigate and drive at the same time. Going straight was not a problem. Turning was…a little more difficult.

We made it to the waterfall without anymore incidents. And the trip was well worth it.

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Bua Tong is called “sticky falls” because it is made of porous limestone that makes the rocks easy to climb. Even for a klutz like me, it was easy to make it up to the top of the falls. My bare feet and hands could get a grip on the rocks even with the water flowing down them.

The falls and the surrounding park were quiet and well kept. We only ran into about a dozen people in our entire time there.

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The ride to and from the falls was beautiful. In the distance were the hazy mountains and on either side of the road were small markets, clusters of houses, and rice paddies.

I hope to explore more parks in my time here and (yes!) rent another motorbike now that I have mastered my turning skills. 

8 thoughts on “The “Sticky Falls” and Crashing My Motorbike

  1. Grandpa

    Hi Kendra nice to hear from you. We saw your 40 some odd picture on you facebook acc’t and made a comment. comments on this website are really down to earth. Your humility is very touching and it is a good character trait. You are going through a great learning experience that will greatly benefit you in years to to come. Enjoy yourself and let it all hangout. We al love you and wish you the best. We have joined this site and look forward to further postings…………………..Grandpa & Theresa

  2. Veronica

    Bless you, you crazy escapologist! I’m sure the next time you get on that bike you’re gonna rule the world!! Jealous of your adventures 🙂

  3. Agness

    Wow, what an awesome experience! I really wish I was there! Adding it to my bucket list so fingers crossed I can make it there soon… :*

  4. Karyn Jane

    Awwwww! I know it was embarressing but good news is, you have now passed the test and are qualified to live in Thailand for a while. (Falling off a motorbike is simply essential for being a resident, did you know that? lol).

    And those falls – omg! My ex took me there on Valentines Day 2006, just past 9 years ago to the day! I’d forgotten about them. Good thing you went on a quiet day, it can get quite popular especially with young couples sometimes (it’s a whole big thing).

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