Category 2015 Cycling South East Asia

Chaing Dao to Chai Prakan (60 km)

We climbed another mountain today (all on highway 107). It was very doable and we enjoyed the views. As always the best views cost the most energy to get to. It is just the way it is. 

There are a lot of dogs in Thailand. There are pets, strays and packs. We will update a blog later on dog strategy in Thailand. You have to have one to survive. It is worse than the ride out to Douro on the back roads. 

We met Johnathon. We believe he is fm France and decided riding the mini vp buses was not for him. He bought a bike on a whim and is now starting a cycle tour. 

Below is his spanking new bike, not a scratch o dent on it. All new panniers and a new found spirit for cycle touring. 

Jonathan’s new bike

We spent about an hour and discussed various route for him to follow...

Read More

Chaing Mai to Chaing Dao (80 km)

Well we were back on the bikes today and it felt good. We left before 7am and beat the traffic. It was smooth sailing out of Chaing Mai. We basically got on the hwy 1001 for a few hours and than joined the busy hwy 107 into Chaing Dao. 

We came across this road sign. 

 

We were ready by none showed up

 

We came across a magical little town just before joining up to why 107. 

          Ride in Northern Thailand

 

A large Buddha

 

Bye for now.  

 

Read More

End of our first stage – A few days in Chiang Mai

We completed the first leg of our Trip from Nakhon Sawan to Chiang Mai. This was 535 km riding north through Thailand. 

The last time we only rode a few days in Thailand and had a few issues. We didn’t expect much from this leg of our trip but we’re pleasantly surprised. The people were very warm and we were encouraged all along the way. We saw almost no tourists until we reached the outskirts of Chiang Mai. 

The roads were in excellent shape. A few very busy spots and some good shoulders most of the way. Accomodations were great and food/water were accessible. We averaged about $68 per day, including Internet access and all other expenses. 

Chiang Mai use to be a walled city with a moat around it. Remnants of this still exist and the old city is defined by these...

Read More

Ban Hong to Chiang Mai (75 km)

It was a 75 km day. The rain appears to be behind us. 

Ready to go

Along the way, we stopped at a significant temple in Lanphun.

Lanphun Temple

The traffic picked up the closer we got to Chiang Mai (population 1,000,000).  

Below is a little video of our ride into Chiang Mai. 

          Ride into Chiang Mai

The city is in a bowl and in February and March when the field burns are on, the pollution is unbearable. 

The whole area is surrounded by Hill tribes. Below is a link to a summary of the tribes.  Thailand has not been colonized and appear to have not done the residential school approach and some of the hill tribes have kept some of their traditions. 

          Article on the Hill Tribes

Bye for now.

Read More

Li to Ban Hong (65 km)

We started out expecting a 55 km day (several blogs suggested that).  It ended up being 65 km of mostly rolling hills. Very doable.

Just when we needed it, a specialty coffee shop appeared and we had all of this for $5.   

 

Latte Surprise

 A little latte video.   Enjoying a Latte

 

Every few Km’s there is another temple. We quickly realized that when people honk (cars or motor cycles) they are honking in respect to the temple and not saying hello to us. 

 

Temple 

 

Bye for now.

 

 

Read More

Thoen to Li (55 km)

It was a rainy day in Pizzaville. The first 13 km were relatively flat and then we went into a 17 km ascent. It was a beautiful ride up the mountain. The grade was acceptable with only a few small sections with a difficult pitch. 

There was little wind and the rain kept the heat down. Still a lot of energy climbing. Below is a link to a little video of our mountain climb. 

          Our first ascent 

There were temples along the ascent and decent. Below is a photo of a mini temple where people offered up drinks and even party dresses to Buddha. 

Buddha offering

On the way into Li we stopped at an Outdoor resteraunt (the one in the video) and we were offered a free noodle meal with ice cream desert. They were celebrating the students on this day...

Read More

Sam Ngao to Thoen. (72 km)

So it rains all day. We had our rain gear on so we were not cold but like camping eventually everything gets wet. Janis’s saddle bags kept her stuff dry. Mine let water in, but I had clothing etc in inner dry bags so all was ok. 

We try to be as visible as possible. As you can see below we wear reflective clothing and have reflective tape on bikes. Also we run with a flashing tail light and a blinking 700 lumens front light. 

Glow

Part way through the day my rear tire went flat. We changed it in the rain. We could not find an object in the tire or tube so assumed it was a bad valve. Ten km up the road another flat. Now we know it is a foreign object in the tire, but still can’t find it...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

Khanu Woralaksaburi to Kamphaeng Phet (68 km)

Another great day of cycling. Flat terrain with great shoulders and traffic was not an issue. We start cycling around 7:30 and the temperature is a bearable 22c.  By noon it is 37c and a difficult slog when you are not use to the heat. 

One of the things that has to happen is you need to toughen up your sits bones. The bike seats are quite hard and this can be an issue the first week. Nothing a little steroid cream won’t help. 

Saw our first elephant today, riding along route 1084. 

Baby Elephant on our route

We are getting closer to the Thai / Burma border. Kamphaeng Phet was a walled city in the past to protect themselves from attacks from Burma. There are still ruins of these walls evident. 

Walls around old Kamphaeng Phet

There are 100’s of Buddhist temples in South East As...

Read More