Category 2012 Cycling South East Asia

Tak to Sam Ngao (70 km)

To help beat the heat we are leaving in the dark and biking at sunrise. 

Early morning start

We started to climb a bit today. This lead to a change in the landscape. Less farm land and more forest. Still lots of rice fields and bananas. 

The people along this route are amazing. There is a hello or thumbs up or a friendly honk every 5 minutes. A real warm and friendly welcome. We stopped to buy water at a small town and the shop owner insisted we have a bite to eat. We sat down to a rice dish only to find out the store owner paid the street vendor for our meal. We are getting just that kind of reception. 

Free Breakfast

Yummy

About 2 km before Sam Ngao we found a sheep farm/mushroom farm resort...

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Kamphaeng Phet to Tak (68 km)

The temperature rose to 38 degrees today and the last hour of cycling was not easy. 

Again, lots of wonderful agriculture along the way. We saw one of these birds with a big frog in it’s mouth, caught in a rice paddy. 

Bird in a rice paddiy

 They work very hard in the hot sun in the rice fields. Today, Thailand is under Marshal Law (run by the military). One of the reasons is the way rice farmers were treated and how they refused to back the previous government. Below is a link to a story earlier about their struggle. 

        Story about the rice farmers struggle

Below is a man preparing a field for rice planting.  

Working the rice fields

Once in Tak we enjoyed the riverfront and night market for $1 pad Thai dinners...

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Chaco to Ancud (32 km)

Biking is meditative
Even in rain
Thoughts come, go
Inner voice calming

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We got up to a lovely breakfast with Marcel
It was raining cats and dogs and he insisted on giving us a lift to the end of the now muddy gravel road. We accepted and loaded our bikes and gear in huis truck and away we went.

We arrived at the ferry at Parqua and bid Marcel farewell. It was a 30 minute ferry ride on a smallish ferry with no place to get out of the wind and rain. Others stayed in cars and trucks.

Once landed we stopped for a coffee and toast while we got warm.

We noticed that the ripio had jarred one of Janises rack bolts off. We were not sure if this was stripped or not. I carry spares and was able to replace this important bolt...

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Touring – The Journey Is The Destination

We are done the cycling portion of our trip and are enjoying a little beach time before returning to Canada on April 02nd.

In the past, we have commented on how we tour. Now a brief summary on why we tour. The reasons are many, and they change day by day.

It is an amazing way of slowing things down that are being presented to you. From there your senses take over and digest what is in front of you, the sights, the sounds, the smells and the cornucopia of other snip it’s of a culture right before your eyes.

One could look at travel and see an evolution of methods of travel. All are good and serve a different purpose. In the past we have flown to a country, done the all inclusive thing and flown home with a new sense of understanding of that nation.

Next one graduates to flying to a nation...

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Pong to Song

This was a hot and hilly day. We did 95 km to Song. We had lunch there and then took a taxi tuk tuk to Phrae. The road was great with little traffic but lots and lots of aggressive dogs. We have been chased three times in three days. We didn’t encounter aggressive dogs in Vietnam (they eat most of them), Cambodia (too hot for them to bother running) or Laos (too sickly and scrawny to run).Read More

Massages In South East Asia – Lessons Learned

Well, we have had about 10 massages so far. Some include hot towels, hot stones, hot oil, hot glass jars and even one that had something like A535 rub.

And then there was the massage in central Vietnam. After a long hot day of biking, I booked us each a massage. This was not unusual, but what happened next was. We were at a relatively expensive hotel (the only one we could find). In the basement was a Karaoke /spa massage. We were taken to our perspective rooms. Part way through Janis’s massage, the young lady asked Janis to open here eyes. From there she gently touched Janis’s nose and asked “was yer name”. In a motherly stern voice Janis cut off the advance and the massage was finished.

Meanwhile, in my room, the young lady asked if she could crawl into the bed with me...

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Top 10 Foods We Encountered So Far

Here we have a wonderful internal organ soup.Read More

Chiang Khong Thailand

We had to give up the three day ride from Luang Namtha to the Thai border as neither of us were feeling well for about a week. We got a van ride to the border. It looked like we missed a good but difficult three days of riding. The border crossing included a 5 minute boat ride across the Mekong and a 15 minute visa acceptance process.Read More

Farewell Laos

It is time to say goodbye to our most favorite country to cycle in. As we may have mentioned before, if the meek shall inherit the earth, then Laos is due. It is a developing nation, with lots of poverty, poor healthcare, schools without book, high illiteracy rate, no freedom of religion and a communist government, yet the families are intact and strong. The people are kind and genuine.Read More

Thoeng to Pong

We cycled about 75 km today. It would be more like 82 but we started 7 km out of town We climbed 460 meters and had 535 meter decent. Again good road condition and little traffic. Not much to see along this leg. Whenever we see people along the way they are friendly.Read More