(0km - 1days)
10 May 2018 - Pattaya – Bangkok – Nong Khai – By train
At last, I was on the move again. Emiel and I set off at midday and cycled the short six kilometres to Pattaya Station, where we caught a train to Bangkok, leaving us with just enough time to board the train to the border town of Nong Khai.
First, let me introduce you to my cycling companion. Emiel hails from the Netherlands and was in Thailand for a Muay Thai boxing course. His course had ended, but as he was flying out on 20 June, and both of us had to do a visa run, it made sense to catch a train to Lao and cycle back. I hoped he would enjoy it.
It was an eventful start. Loading the bikes onto the train via a rather narrow door, in the process blocking two carriages, was only the beginning. The poor conductor had to climb over two bicycles to do his job.
Upon our arrival at Bangkok station, I noticed that Emiel’s bicycle was about to slide out the door; as the doors did not close, and the bikes were jammed into a narrow alley, sliding out was a real possibility. Fortunately, that did not happen. Then, it was on to the next leg of our journey, which was catching the train from Bangkok to Nong Khai. We had already bought tickets for the trip when we discovered that the train did not take bicycles! Give me strength! We were instead pointed in the direction of Platform 10, and with the help of hand signals, we came to understand that the bikes had to go on a different train, which would arrive two hours after us in Nong Khai. I was not particularly happy about the situation, but there was nothing that could be done about it.
We bought a few snacks and a few beers for the journey, then boarded the very comfortable and new-looking train. It was indeed a lovely train, with sleeping beds, which the staff came to make up as soon as we left Bangkok. We soon discovered that drinking alcohol on the train was not permitted, and we were like two school kids, trying to hide our beer from the train staff. We nearly got caught a few times. (LOL). As we had bought second-class tickets, we had no door to close, only a curtain that we could draw, and we had to drink our beer behind the curtain.