26 May - Trat – Klaeng - 136 kilometres
It rained and it rained, at least it was
nice and cool so I pushed on to Klaeng. There were a few
interesting looking places along the way but with the rain I was
not going to stop. Every day has a story and this day I wished
for toilets spaced at regular intervals along the road. I was
happy to reach Klaeng and found a good hotel right at the
27 May - Klaeng – Chon Buri - 108
It was a much shorter day, which I was
happy about. The rain abated and it was back to the hot weather.
It is amazing just how quickly an accident can happen.
Yesterday, a truck overturned seconds in front of me. Imagine
being next to the truck when that happens - one will be
pancake-flat. Amazingly enough, the driver crawled out and
appeared to have no injuries.
This day I saw another accident; this time
a scooter and a vehicle. In the light of a cycle tourist killed
in Turkey I was, once again, acutely aware of how vulnerable I
was on the road. I always make the mistake of assuming that all
countries will have the same traffic rules as the ones back
home. Although traffic rules are mostly international, I must
remember that each country has its own interpretation of these
rules. The fact that the road has a good shoulder does not make
that shoulder is a cycle lane and I did my best to stick as
close to the edge of the road as possible.
28 May - Chon Buri – Samut Prakan - 85
I followed the new elevated highway for a
while and, fortunately, soon reached a turn-off and headed along
the coast on a smaller road. It turned out to be a bit of a
frustrating day as the intention was to find a room on the
outskirts of Bangkok and take a bus or taxi into town the
following day. I needed to buy a new pannier, which I
desperately needed, and I wanted to get out as soon as possible.
Once I got where I wanted to be, I could not find a cheap room
anywhere. There were plenty of hotels, but they were rather
expensive. Eventually, I found a love motel, complete with a
convenient chair and all, LOL. In the end, I think it might have
been better just to cycle right into Bangkok, do my business and
cycle out again.
29 May - Samut Prakan – Oena Resort, Khet
Bang Khun Thian - 40 kilometres
I found a taxi, negotiated a good price,
and set off into the city. I found the panniers (which they only
sold in pairs), so there I was with 2 brand new panniers. I also
found a new lens cap, which I desperately needed after loosing
my one on the boat trip (long story). It was after midday
before I got back to my love-motel, where I left the bike. My
plan of avoiding Bangkok did not work so well. As I rounded the
northern tip of the Gulf of Thailand, there was no avoiding the
city limits and I soon found myself in the heat of the day in
the worst traffic one can image. I decided to call it a day and
rather try again the next morning.
30 May - Oena Resort – Samut Songkhram - 85
It turned out to be quite an interesting
day. Firstly, I did not plan to go to Sumat Songkran but turned
down into the village in any case. I found a rather nice hotel
and then set off to the well-known Railway Market.
The market is quite an amazing place as at
first glance it looked like an ordinary market, sheltered by
low-hanging awnings/umbrellas, but if you look closely, you
noticed that you were actually walking on train rails. Every
time a train came, stallholders needed to pack up and make space
for the train to pass. Unfortunately, no trains came and I
understood that they were working on the line.
It was the weekend, so off I went to the
weekend floating market and was pleasantly surprised by what I
saw. The market is very popular for people from the city and I
never saw a single westerner. The food was excellent and served
directly from the boats.
For 50 Bhat I went on a boat tour to some
of the interesting temples along the river. Although everything
was in Thai, the Thai people are so kind and friendly and were
eager to translate and tell me what the various temples were all
about. It was after 6 p.m. by the time we got back and the
market was a hive of activity.
31 May 2015 - Samut Songkram – Cha-Am - 95
Although I have cycled this route twice
before, it was nice to follow the coastal/scenic route south.
The road was pan-flat, past numerous salt farms and fishing
villages. The road even had a cycle lane!!! I reached Cha-Am
just as the weather came in and it was a good excuse to find a
1 June Cha-Am
In fact, it was so
beautiful I stayed another day and went for a long walk, and
even a short (very short) jog. I had my laundry done, did my
hair and even got a manicure, as well as a pedicure. I was
ready to go again.
2-3 June -
Cha-Am – Prachuap Khiri Khan - 125 km
It was a flat and
easy day on the road past plenty of roadside stalls selling
fruit and colourful noodles. Just before Prachuap the weather
came in, and although I was going as fast as I could there was
no escaping the rain. In Prachuap it was easy to find a room as
there were plenty of places to stay. Again, I decided to stay
another night; it was so good to be right on the beach.
4 June -
Prahuap Kiri Khan – Bang Saphan (Nipa beach bungalows) - 93 km
It was an
especially scenic stretch and I took my time before heading
further south. For the first time in many months I met another
cyclist on the road - an Italian guy who lived in Cambodia for a
while and is now cycling back to Italy. Thailand is so very
famous for its beaches that I could hardly believe that one
could still find long stretches of snow white beaches without a
single person. Even the “resorts” were low key and tucked away
behind bougainvillea’s and frangipanis with just a few hammocks
strung up between palm trees. By the time I spotted Nipa Beach
Bungalows right across the beach, I was ready to call it a day.
What a stunning stretch of coastline this is.
5 -7 June -
Bang Saphan – Sea Beach Bungalows - 99 km
Again, it was a
most glorious day; this time a little more hilly than the
previous days. The idea was to head for Chumphon as I was
running out of time on my visa and needed to get out the
Chumphon I reached a coastal village with beautiful
accommodation. Just as I stopped to enquire, I spotted another
cyclist also looking for a place to stay. Peter Yoong from
Malaysia was a lovely, friendly guy and we both decided to rent
rooms at Sea Beach Bungalows. As we sat chatting on the little
veranda, I spotted the Italian guy also looking for a place. At
first he did not recognize me with my clothes on (LOL).
That evening the
three of us went for a bite to eat and it was really nice to
chat to other cyclists. It turned out that Peter was a
Warmshowers host and he kindly invited me to stay at his place
when I got to Malaysia.
morning was a stunning day again and I decided to stay one more
day and had a long walk and a swim before going for breakfast.