A table summary of 3,700km around Thailand with distances, times and accommodation.
Very very flat. 408 then left onto 4013 to Pak Phanang, Hua Sai (77km) and Ranot. Mostly followed the coast closely. A stretch of about 35km without much food or water possibilities. Tippawan GH in Ranot (350B) is az good deal with nice garden and lake for mosquitoes.
I noticed the Wat outside my window was not completed. Perhaps the monks gave the money to the poor instead.
Had to stop at the famous Wat Phra Mahathat on the way out of town which looked better in the day light but not much. The wat is the largest in Southern Thailand. Founded by Queen Hem Chala over a thousand years ago. What does a queen become when reincarnated? A king? Her spirit looks after the town so not sure how she could be reincarnated. The gold spire weighs several 100kg but no one has weighted it.
After spending half the night on the internet trying to understand the various reasons for a slipping chain I decided to take advantage of the dry weather and cleaned the gears and chain with a screw driver and solved the problem. Perhaps I should put it on utube.
With straight flat roads averaged over 20km per hr. with little effort. Forecast is thunderstorms until July but only a little drizzle today until 7pm when it poured. More and more jilbabs and mosques. Strange seeing women due to conditioning, desire to conform or religious belief and covering up in contrast to Thais who are very free. For example a boy in kindergarten may show his sexual orientation and play with the girls. No pressure on him to conform. An Afghan friend of mine went with his wife to study in Japan. She then stopped wearing the jilbab.
Now lot of goats also. From what I understand God asked Abraham to kill his son Issac as a test and t the last moment told him to kill and eat a goat instead and Muslims have eaten goats ever since.
Thought I was cleaver having a guest house next to a nice looking restaurant which of course closed at 6pm so had to walk 2 km in rain to find food in a bar where the girls all wanted to tell me they loved me and stir fried veg cost three times the usual.
Flat 401 road all the way with places for food and water. Racer would be more effective on these roads in central and south Thailand.
Woke late due to phone alarm not working. Wanted to stay the day but the pile driver dissuaded me. I wanted to decide over breakfast which facilitated the decision. A kathoey (lady boy) walked up with the menu with an excessive swing of the hips and said,’ where you froom’. ‘Fried rice with pork’ I replied not in the mood to be chatted up before breakfast. He swung off and sat with the cook for a while and she then wandered off towards the kitchen. She returned after 10 minutes with a piece of meat in each hand asking staff to smell it. I left.
More mosques, jilbabs (head covering) and Malay faces as I go south.
I stopped at a 7/11 to demonstrate how to eat 4 choc bars in 2 min while dripping all over the floor. Then came a Tesco Lotus where I stocked up with porridge. As I walked in covered in mud, dripping with squelching shoes land saw a girl cleaning the floor. I smiled at the situation but she did not see the humour. I had lunch and wondered at the lack anything that was real in the store except the food that was once alive and some of the customers who seemed to be vaguely living.
Thai Hotel, Nakorn Sri Thammart 350B for fan room is good hotel with staff who let one put ones bike in the hotel office. No town looks good in the rain and this one is no exception. I found chicken soup to help my cold and went back through a dripping town.
119km/8hrs. Flat but some small ups that made it interesting. Highway a duel carriage way rather than motorway and tree shaded for lot fo the way. Also managed to get on the coast road and then lost it again. More on that later.
Day started well with a visit to the Ao Manao air force beach just south of town (not 6km as LP says). Take a bike as best beach is a few km past the check point. I signed in but then left at the south exit which did not seem to be manned. I doubt they will bother looking for me. Good beach, food, drink and accommodation available. Then found myself on the coast road for the first time and kept on it most of the way. Quiet, often close to beach and tree lined. Bit further is an aquarium which I didn’t visit.
Tip: dont park your bike on a red ant nest.
Saw a wat on a hill so to remind myself what it was like climbing a hill I visited it. A Disney array of turrets and spires with all the glitz but still impressive.
Lot of resorts on the beach road but more the western idea of resort rather than the simple places I have stayed in. These are plush with lots of style. Took a few dead ends but only lost a few km. Was happily on the coast road until Bang Saphan where I stopped for noodles and water. Always better to arrive fed and watered especially if the accommodation has a dog. Makes one more peaceful. I must have taken a wrong turning out of Saphan, on the way to some nice beach accommodation, because I ended up on the main highway again. Not so many resorts now. Nearly stopped at one resort but fumbling in my pocket for a stone, peddling hard and growling at an attacking dog made it impossible. Eventually found one as it was getting dark. Basic room with AC for 400B take it or leave it. I tried to ride down the wrong way on the hard shoulder but trucks coming straight at me and a pack of dogs changed my mind. But the owner had an old frozen packet of fried rice and no beer. It was horrible. The sink has a dranage hole at the side (see photo) so one can wash ones feet at the same time as ones hands.
Tip: don’t wear shoes when washing ones feet.
Not the way I intended to end the day but it was the most interesting days riding for a while.
Needed to write a job application so strayed but internet down most of the day.
Aussie in my GH told me, ‘I am thinking of going to NE Thailand as it is still supposed to be poor and that means easier to get a girl. That’s what I usually do.’
Bought gel cycling gloves. Didn’t want to spend the money but the $1.5 gardening gloves were not giving me padding and my right hand has lost some sensitivity and is weak.
Station staff were great. guarded my bike in Auyatthaya when i went for breakfast. First 3rd class carriage was fine (2hrs). Not much time in Bangkok to get the next train to Phetchaburi (4hrs) was cramped with Muslims returning 22 hours home after an event in Bangkok in 3rd class. I could have rung out my clothes before the train started. They speak Thai, Malay an own dialect of Malay which is faster and they cut the words. I chatted in Malay. They said that most people were not interested in independence or joining Malaysia but just wanted peace which is what I find is usually the case. They said there is some intimidation by the security forces especially of male youth but not too much and it was safe for me to cycle through the area. I will check further but it would be interesting.
Kao Wang Hotel in Phetchaburi (350B with AC, TV and bathroom) is best of the bunch and opposite the night market and has a pleasant cheap restaurant 3 min to the right. The others were with fan and rough.
One of the main problems in this leg of the trip will be avoiding the motorway and sticking to small roads. I had a look at the motorway tonight and looks horrible.
At this stage of the trip (2,483km) things are beginning to break or wear out. One pair of trousers is beyond repair leaving me with only one pair and shorts for cycling, the carrying handle of a pannier broke, a small bag is falling to pieces, and my sandals have holes in the soles.
Good sleep and back recovering and no allergy. Bit tired after the catching up in a bar with Pedro last night.
Everyone seems to speak English here. On the tourist trail.
Toured some wats and palaces by bike and got attacked by three dogs with another few ready to join in. I stopped to photograph a small quaint house and heard barking. Thinking it was just the usual I am doing my duty bark I cycled slowly off and then three dogs charged after me. I hadn’t got time to out run them so stopped to face them but in my haste to get off before they reached me I got my leg tangled in the handle bars and was hopping on on leg shouting at the dogs and remembering not fo fall. My aggression to them slowed them up. When disentangled I put the bike between me and them and threw stones at them. An old lady had come out of the quaint house and didn’t seem to think it was much of a big deal and just signaled for me to move on. Why the hell can’t people take responsibility for their bloody animals. Most should be killed.
Most people like the familiar. Ricky has taught English in Autthaya for 10 years (wonder if the students know they are learning Cockney English) and loves it here. ‘A nice little town’ he said. It’s a shitty, shabby, badly lit, boring provincial town plagued by vicious dogs. ‘Town’s a bit quiet’ I suggested. ‘Yes, but they had a good band next door last night’. ‘Is there much else at night except these three bars in this street?; ‘No, that’s about it but it is good meeting with other teachers here’ he replied. He and the other teachers seemed happy with this.
Now a lot of wat, chedi and monuments to great egos