Farewell Thailand! Our last week in ‘The Land of Smiles’

Farewell Thailand! Our last week in ‘The Land of Smiles’

Day 88: Chiang Mai to Ban Pang Num Tu

Despite itching to get back on the bikes after two weeks rest in Chiang Mai, we found it hard to get up this morning as we went to bed too late last night. Rookie error! Eventually forcing ourselves out of our comfortable cocoon, we got ourselves packed up and ready to leave the hostel. This took us longer than normal due to organising the extra kit we have bought onto our bikes. We each have an extra holdall which we strap on top of the rear rack and panniers with two bungees. I have also inherited Adam’s old tire that still has life left but was replaced at the same time as his worn out tire. Giggling with nerves, I manoeuvred my bike out of the hostel for the first time with the extra weight: what a difference! This was going to take some getting used to.  Continue reading →

Posted by Lucia in Laos, Thailand, 4 comments
Two weeks rest in Chiang Mai – Applying for Chinese Visas and deciding on our route for the next 6 months

Two weeks rest in Chiang Mai – Applying for Chinese Visas and deciding on our route for the next 6 months

NOTICE: This journal blog post doesn’t include any details of us actually cycling, so if you read my journals for that purpose only, you may want to skip this one (I won’t judge you – honest!). This post is all about our 2 weeks off the bikes, resting, planning and plotting in Chiang Mai – the second biggest city in Thailand. Continue reading →

Posted by Lucia in Thailand, 5 comments
Cycling the Mae Hong Son Loop – Part 3 (Pai to Chiang Mai)

Cycling the Mae Hong Son Loop – Part 3 (Pai to Chiang Mai)

Day 70 and 71: Two rest days in Pai

Well, Pai is a whole other world compared to the rest of Thailand. It’s hard to sum it up concisely: touristy, trendy, busy, vibrant, colourful, hipsters and hippys. A huge variety of western tourists: Americans, Spanish, French, Dutch, Germans, Brits, Slovaks and Canadians are just some of the nationalities we’ve met so far. 

Continue reading →

Posted by Lucia in Thailand, 3 comments
Cycling the Mae Hong Son Loop – Part 2 (Mae Hong Son to Pai)

Cycling the Mae Hong Son Loop – Part 2 (Mae Hong Son to Pai)

Day 68: Mae Hong Son to Soppong

Small plot twist alert: we decided to enjoy another rest day in Mae Hong Son. I know – lazy right?! Now we’ve extended our Thai visa and have an extra 30 days in this wonderful country, we knew we could afford another day to rest our legs and do some laptop admin (video editing, visa planning etc). So after 3 much needed rest days in Mae Hong Son, we were definitely ready to get back on the bikes today. We cycled out of the town at 0730, after Adam had got some photos of the sunrise over the lake and, you guessed it, breakfast from 7/11 as usual.  Continue reading →

Posted by Lucia in Thailand, 6 comments
Cycling the Mae Hong Son Loop – Part 1 (Mae Sariang to Mae Hong Son)

Cycling the Mae Hong Son Loop – Part 1 (Mae Sariang to Mae Hong Son)

Day 61: Rest day in Mae Sariang

It’s been a peaceful rest day in this small, quiet town in north-west Thailand. We enjoyed a lazy lie in, fresh fruit juice from a small stall for breakfast, followed quickly by two lunches at two different cafes (because we were hungry and why not?!), a quick cycle around the small town – appreciating the Burmese style temples before checking into our swanky hotel (by our standards!) bang on 1400 so we could make the most of the luxuries! Continue reading →

Posted by Lucia in Thailand, 6 comments
Getting to the start of the Mae Hong Son Loop from Mae Sot

Getting to the start of the Mae Hong Son Loop from Mae Sot

Day 58: Tha Song Yang to Ban Tha Song Yang

We left the comforts of our log cabin quite late today, setting out at 1100. I had some issues with my brakes; they didn’t feel as responsive as they used to. Adam sorted them out so they felt a lot better – much needed for the downhills to come. We are very glad that we have disc breaks! Due to our route becoming much more rural from here, Adam also popped back to the small town we had come from (only 1.5km back down the road) and stocked up on some snacks, breakfast and much-needed suncream as we had run out, from 7/11. 

Again, the roads were absolutely stunning today: incredibly beautiful rolling green hills covered in lush forest and that impenetrable jungle continued. Every so often, the dense vegetation and hills would give way to a vibrant green paddy field or a sparkling, magical river flowing from the mountains and through a valley. I really couldn’t dream up a place as exquisite. Continue reading →

Posted by Lucia in Thailand, 8 comments
The Power of Social Media – Staying with the family of a friend and visiting a refugee camp

The Power of Social Media – Staying with the family of a friend and visiting a refugee camp

Day 55 and 56: Two rest days near Mae Sot

We have had the loveliest, most restful two days here at Adam B’s house within the grounds of Morning Glory school. As I type this, I am lying in the hammock outside his house. Chickens cluck and peck at the grass with their newborn chicks tweeting, following their every move. Surprisingly, country western music plays quietly from the other houses behind me, locals living opposite speak quietly in Thai (or possibly Burmese) from inside their basic home. Made from thatched wicker for the walls and corrugated iron roofs, the people living here take care of their homes, with neat cut grass out the front and plants prospering in pots and planted in old tyres.  Continue reading →

Posted by Lucia in Thailand, 5 comments
Eating Bugs and Climbing Mountains in Thailand

Eating Bugs and Climbing Mountains in Thailand

A post by Lucia

Day 50: Salokbat to Kamphaeng Phet

After cycling 216km in the past two days, we felt we deserved a mini lie in. Considering we only had 75km (compared to the previous two days), we had time to set off a little later and do some laptop admin. Eating grapes in bed for breakfast, we enjoyed a slow start to the day. 

We left out hotel at about 1100. It was extremely hot today; one of the hottest days we’ve had so far on the trip. No matter how much water we drank, it felt like we just couldn’t quench our thirst. Our first road led us towards the river. It was very wide and quiet – possibly because it was Sunday morning.

Continue reading →

Posted by Lucia in Thailand, 10 comments
Week 7: The Road to Chiang Mai

Week 7: The Road to Chiang Mai

Day 43: Hua Hin to Phetchaburi

So we have decided not to head into Bangkok. We are happiest in rural spaces, away from the manic hustle and bustle of big city traffic and more expensive meals. We like the smaller cities and towns for their vibrancy and life, but mega-cities are not our thing. We were planning to go to Bangkok for no other reason than it’s the capital and a ‘must-see’ on the tourist guides. But we’re not really tourists, we’re bicycle travellers and we have come to realise that we would much rather spend the extra days we’ll save by not going to Bangkok up in northern Thailand, hugging the Thailand/Myanmar border, experiencing the ultra-rural life in the highlands. It’s such a feeling of liberation carving our own unique route and not just heading to the places the guidebooks tell you to go.  Continue reading →

Posted by Lucia in Thailand, 1 comment
Week 6: Onwards to Bangkok?

Week 6: Onwards to Bangkok?

A post by Lucia

Day 36: Chumpon to Ban Fang Daeng

After staying in the cheapest hotel we could find in Chumpon, we were happy to get on the road that morning. As we left the bustling town, we were on the lookout for somewhere for breakfast: we found the perfect place. A restaurant boasting ‘Traditional Thai Cuisine: A la Carte menu at reasonable prices’. We were a tad greedy! Ordering traditional chicken pad thai and roti with egg and banana (plus an iced coffee for me). Indulgent or what! But it filled our bellies and gave us loads of energy for the day of cycling ahead. It also made us incredibly happy as it was all so delicious! We both feel that eating the local food is one of the best ways to embrace and interact with the local culture. 

Continue reading →

Posted by Lucia in Thailand, 1 comment