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. 

With our bellies full to the brim, we set off for our 80km day. From Chumpon, we knew we had a free place to stay 120km away with a ‘Warm Showers’ host, but we didn’t fancy beasting that out in one day. So last night, Adam booked some affordable accommodation 80km away from Chumpon, then the following day we will have a nice, short day cycling the final 40km to our free accommodation. 

The rural roads are usually our favourite. 

Our indulgent breakfast resulted in us being quite late setting off for the day – but we didn’t mind. We were happy! The majority of the day our route took us along a fairly ‘main’ road, but it wasn’t too busy with cars and we had a good, generous hard shoulder which is always a good thing. It is labelled the ‘Royal Coast Road’ and has signs saying it is the ‘Scenic Route’; we really enjoyed it. Although it wasn’t the usual quiet back road route we love, it was an enjoyable, smooth road to cycle along. We were both in high spirits, even when cycling through some major road works. The drivers were conscientious and gave us plenty of space; the folks working on the road works controlling the traffic gave us big smiles from behind their dust masks (we could tell from their eyes and thumbs up!)  

Hot sunshine and blue skies continued to bless us – no sign of this ‘monsoon season’ at all! As we were so full from breakfast, we continued cycling and skipped lunch. The Royal Coastal Road led us to the coast (surprise, surprise) and we cycled with the sparkling blue sea glittering on our right. We stopped for a rest in the shade in a little cove: we had a deserted, white sand beach all to ourselves. 

The day continued on, and continued to be very enjoyable. A little later, we stopped again for a much needed cold, fizzy beverage and some snacks (we were given some free bananas too – the Thai generosity continues every day!). We began to take some more off road routes as we got closer to our final destination. As we had had an easy day along a main road, I hadn’t had to worry at all about the possibility of dogs chasing us (we are much more likely to run into aggressive dogs on the back road routes than the main roads). So as we got onto the quieter roads, I began to be on a higher alert for a possibly chase. A stupid thought came into my head, ‘What if I have the worst ever encounter with an aggressive dog today?’ Picturing a huge dog sprinting after me and ravaging my leg… I consequently felt on edge, to the point where I almost couldn’t fully ‘be in the moment’ and appreciate my beautiful surroundings as I was always looking at the lone houses in case from within them, a bloodthirsty hound rapidly emerged with one thought in its mind.

So, when 4 or 5 dogs did decide to try their luck and chase us down a hill, my adrenaline exploded! I felt so scared. Even though we were about to fly down a hill and they would never catch us, my stupid instinct is to stop and freeze like a rabbit in headlights. Adam always tells me to, ‘keep pedalling!’ When we eventually got off the back roads onto the main road again I felt relieved. This irrational fear is still something I’m working on; the best way to do that is to keep encountering it, which we will continue to do for this whole trip. (Adam as you would expect is not in the least bit scared in these situations… I need to take a leaf out of his book!)

Despite my fearful encounter, I really enjoyed today’s ride. We arrived at our hotel just as the sun was setting. We stayed at a B&B called ‘Sananwan Beach’. As the name would suggest, it was right by the beach. Dropping our bags in our room, we walked down the short path to take a look at the beach: it was beautiful! Another quiet, white sand beach with just a few people swimming in the cooler air as dusk approached. It was such a shame that all along the shore was a line of plastic and rubbish that the tide had brought in. It ruined the beach. This is a sight we see every day along this coastline of Thailand, and it is so sad. 

As we walked from the beach back to the hotel, we enjoyed watching the sky light up with some lightning in the distance.

We got chatting to a couple who were also staying at the B&B, and we ended up eating dinner at the same time. It was lovely to chat to another couple about the world, travelling and other random things. This is another great thing about travelling – the interesting and fascinating people you meet. Although the food at the hotel was delicious and very filling, we have spent slightly more than we usually would today. We need to have some cheaper days. We have organised to stay at a ‘Warm Showers’ host for the next two nights which will keep our costs down. 

Day 37: Ban Fang Daeng to Ban Krut

As we had a nice, steady 42km day ahead, we didn’t rush off this morning. We had bought a pineapple the previous day when we had cycled through a spontaneous afternoon street market, so we devoured that for breakfast which was deliciously refreshing and sweet. 

It was a very straight forward, short cycle today. We stayed on another fairly ‘main’ road (compared to the undisturbed back road routes we have become accustomed to). It was busyish, but completely fine and safe. As the road brought us through a town, we cycled past some sort of religious festival parade; on the other side of the road, cars were driving slowly behind one another with rhythmic music playing emphatically. The people in attendance were all dressed in white, carrying different religious artefacts. One guy was even holding a knife through his cheek… another was setting off fire-crackers! It was a fascinating one-off experience.

As we had a short day, we didn’t really stop apart from a quick pause at 7/11. When we reached our final destination of Ban Krut, we were bowled over by just how beautiful it was. Miles of unspoiled, white sand beach stretched along the coast, with sporadic cafes, restaurants and small hotels dotting the roadside. It was absolutely the perfect place to spend a peaceful and restful day off the bikes: our own small piece of paradise.  

The Warm Showers accommodation was slightly different to normal: owned by two American men who live and work in Thailand, they have this space which they allow passing bicycle tourists to stay. They don’t live there, but give you instructions on how to enter through a coded key deposit. It is essentially a bare room with a small bookcase (for exchanging books) and a fan. There is no bed or other furniture, as most bicycle tourists bring their own sleeping kit, it’s expected you ‘camp’ indoors (just without the tent). There is a shower and toilet, as well as a tap outside to clean your bikes: free accommodation in paradise. It did get incredibly hot, but the fan was powerful and almost felt like I was sleeping in a wind tunnel. 

After a quick shower, we went for a stroll along the beach as dusk was approaching. It’s a lovely beach, made so by a local beach cleaning community called ‘Trash Heros’ who come together each week to litter pick along the coastline. After looking into the charity, I realised that their mission is to bring communities together to clean and reduce waste. They do this by: cleaning up litter (not just on beaches but inland too), educating children on environmental values through multilingual kids’ programs, providing long-term programs that help communities  to better manage their waste and motivating local people to become Trash Heroes in their everyday lives. This sort of charity and community is absolutely vital in this country, as we see the affects of pollution every day. The great thing is, Trash Heroes not only operates in Thailand, but in many countries: Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Singapore. It even extends into Europe, Africa and the USA. With a heartbreaking headline making the news almost daily about the trouble the world is in, in regards to climate change and pollution, it is charities like this who need support to continue their amazing work.

Only foot prints left in the sand at Ban Krut Beach.

ANYWAY! We treated ourselves to a pizza from the restaurant just outside where we were staying. Although we are absolutely loving the delectable Thai cuisine we have enjoyed so far in Thailand, it was nice for a change to have a good ol’ greasy pizza!

Day 38: Rest day in Ban Krut

After 7 solid days of cycling, we were due a nice rest. We spent all morning in a lovely cafe overlooking the sea. Whilst enjoying a selection of delicious, cold beverages, we caught up on some admin. I completed and published last weeks journal whilst Adam worked on the next youtube instalment (which you can watch here!) 

We had arranged to meet one of the gents who owned the Warm Showers accommodation at 1pm at the pizza restaurant, so we headed there. We ended up spending several hours enjoying chatting to John and his friend Chris who owns a company called The Tour de Asia Bicycle Touring Company. The company organises and manages charity biking events in Thailand and Southeast Asia. It was a great afternoon socialising, eating and drinking a fair few beers! As we will be staying with John again on Friday evening (as he has a second Warm Showers accommodation where he actually lives, further north up the coast), he ‘saved getting to know us until then’! Unbeknown to us, he secretly and generously paid our bill as he left. What can we say: homeless people with a bike get so much free stuff! (Bit of an ‘in joke’ there!)

Day 39: Ban Krut to Prachuap Khiri Khan

After our usual stop off at 7/11 for breakfast, we set off for another glorious day cycling in the Thailand sunshine. We don’t plan to have a rest day now until we reach Bangkok, so this week is officially, ‘The Road to Bangkok!’ The first road was delightful: right next to the beach, the heavenly ocean almost as still as a lake to our right as we headed north. 

Not long after we set off, we had a stop so Adam could fly the drone to an amazing temple ‘Wat Thang Sai’ at the top of a hill in Ban Krut. It is absolutely stunning. A German couple cycling on locally rented bikes were looking for the way to the temple and came across us. We chatted for a while and they were thoroughly impressed and interested in our story and our plan to cycle back to the UK. They told us about a local cycling club they’re a part of back in Germany. We made a mental note to see if we can cycle that way when we head through there (a very long distance from here!)

A photo taken on Adam’s drone of ‘Wat Thang Sai’ temple in Ban Krut.

As we continued, we were treated to more glorious, tranquil, picturesque roads (are you getting bored of reading about that yet?!) All the colours were so vibrant: the sky vivid blue with those coconut trees… yep I’m even boring myself just typing it!

Blue skies and coconut trees…❤

We (or should I say Adam 😜) got distracted as we were chatting, putting the world to rights, and so we cycled 2.5km along the wrong road after missing a turning. No big deal: we turned around and headed back. The Maps.Me app route wanted to take us on the very busy main highway 4. Wanting to try to avoid this at all costs, Adam spied an alternative ‘back road’ path through a national park. So we took it…

What can I say… it was a ‘character building’ experience for sure! The route wasn’t too bad at first; a narrow, gravelly path with the odd section of sand (as we were close to the coast). Adam instructed me to keep my handlebars straight and go slowly through the sand (turning whilst cycling through soft sand is a sure-fire way to hug the floor). However, the path became more and more over grown  as we pedalled further into the wood. I was enjoying it 5/10, Adam was at 8/10. Overhanging branches began snagging at my clothes and skin. Tall grasses whipped our legs.

Moments before I ‘lost it’…!

Eventually, after 20 minutes of this manageable path, the lawless forest unleashed itself and became unbearable. We realised that there was just no way we were getting any further as the path was, well, no longer a path but a fully fledged jungle. Resigned, sore and rather miffed, we turned our bikes around and started to head back through the relentless, hostile thicket. Getting off my bike to duck underneath a huge, thorny branch, I began to lose my cool. I had been trying really hard to control my stress and temper, but my stinging arms and legs had had enough. I became entangled; long, gnarly vines intertwined through my bike, capturing the pedals and cogs. Creeping twigs snarled my plaits, thorns grabbed hold of my t-shirt and tore at my skin: I was trapped. And I lost it. The bull inside me (I’m a Taurus) exploded, and I tried bulldozing my way out of my thorny, vine prison. Adam, realising my minor meltdown, came to my rescue, endeavouring to tame the wild bull that had appeared and release her from her confinement. 

An almost broken Lucia…

After stopping for a moment to just simmer down, we continued to wrestle our way free. Words of encouragement floated back to me as Adam attempted to keep the bull contained. Before not too long, (it’s always quicker on the way back, isn’t it? [or maybe not in our case… cycling back to the UK takes much longer than the 13 hour flight it took to get here!]) we made it back onto dry land (or a nice, tarmacked road). Splashing the blood off my scrapes and scratches, we pushed on, as we were aware that our devilish detour had taken 70 minutes. It was 4.30pm and we still had 20km to go before we reached our booked accommodation.

There was no way around it, we had to take the busy main highway 4. And actually, it wasn’t too awful! It was busy and there were huge lorries belching black smoke into our faces, but we had a generous hard shoulder to keep us away from the busy traffic. Podcasts on, we put our heads down and tried to make up the miles lost in the labyrinth. We stayed on that road for a little while, before escaping onto a side road which continued parallel to the main highway.

A good-sized hard shoulder to keep the traffic at a distance.

We arrived into the town of Prachuap Khiri Khan just as the sun was setting. The sky ahead of us was a beautiful pink/blue and the sun setting over our left shoulder was like a beautiful, ebbing, orange fire. Despite the fact it had been a testing day, I felt happy and content as I listened to some peaceful music through the speakers on my handlebars. Although it had seemed pretty horrible at the time, today’s ‘drama’ wasn’t so bad.

Later on that evening, after we had ventured out to a local night market for some well deserved, delicious Thai food, Adam gently reminded me that there will be much more difficult and testing situations to come in our trip. I know that unquestionably. But I have come from a place where I was hardly ever tested emotionally and physically. As a very organised and hard working person, I was usually prepared for challenges I would face at work, and the most emotionally stressed I became with my hobbies was when my yarn got tangled up whilst crocheting… So to come from that safe and manageable environment, into an environment where I am not only tested physically – cycling from 4 to 5 hours every day in searing temperatures, but mentally – coping with my fear of being chased by dogs, and emotionally – managing my temper in stressful circumstances. I listened to a podcast recently, an interview with an explorer called Ness Knight, who said, ‘When we challenge ourselves, and step out of our comfort zone, we grow.’ Well, it’s safe to say I was out of my comfort zone today! And this trip will continue to put me out of my comfort zone more and more, through more challenging situations than I could possibly imagine. But that’s OK, because I want to grow and develop: it is one of my main motivations for embarking on this adventure. And I couldn’t think of, and wouldn’t want to do this, with anyone else. ❤

Day 40: Prachuap Khiri Khan to Sam Phraya Beach

Adam and I have a ‘sort of’ rule: we don’t set an alarm. We feel that there’s no need to, unless we absolutely have to be somewhere for a specific time. Whatever time we leave wherever we have slept the previous evening, at some point during the day we will be cycling in extreme temperatures and high humidity. That being said, I still find it hard to shake the guilt for not getting up early; after so many years of setting an alarm to get up on time for school/uni/work, it is taking me a little time to get rid of some small feelings of remorse for still being in bed at 0900.

We tend to wake up anywhere between 0730 and 0830. We might lounge in bed for a few minutes (we might be guilty of checking our social media…!) before getting up, showered and packed ready for the day of cycling ahead. We will either have breakfast in our room or outside the tent if we have any supplies left over from the day before (e.g. bread and spreads or a fresh pineapple or two), or we’ll head straight out with our first task being to find somewhere for breakfast. Sometimes that will be finding a cafe to sit down in for a proper meal, or we’ll hit a 7/11 for sandwiches etc.

This morning as we left Prachuap Khiri Khan, we found one of our favourite meals we’re enjoying at the moment: pork with sticky rice. Adam made a huge error and poured both of our small bowls of spicy sauce over his meal (I hardly touch mine as it is SO spicy), resulting in a meal hotter than the sun! Well it certainly woke him up!

With the sun blazing down as ever, we headed out of the bustling town. It was a very pleasant day of cycling, with the most beautiful views we’ve had so far blessing us from the off. We decided to follow the coast out of Prachuap Khiri Khan, so we headed straight for the coastal road to start the day with a leisurely cycle next to the sea: we were not disappointed! Over-awed by the dazzling view in front of us, even though we had only been cycling for a matter of minutes, we dismounted the bikes to really soak in the vista. I would highly recommend visiting this beautiful coastal town and I would definitely come back here again.

Despite having cycled less than 5km, we just had to stop and admire this epic view.

I couldn’t think of  a better way to begin a day of cycling than with that view, shimmering away to the side of us. Stunning. Eventually, we had to leave the coast, but the views through the Thai countryside continued to make us very happy. Different from other rural routes, instead of towering coconut trees, the fields stretching out to our left and right were bursting with pineapple plantations. Some of the land was also taken up with fish farms, the small turbines spinning away. And some fields were more wild and overgrown, native plants and flowers releasing their heady aromas as we drifted past. The road was almost deserted, and we still caught glimpses of the turquoise sea glistening beyond the land to our right. 

As we continued down this delightful road, a group of people were loading a truck with freshly plucked pineapples. One of the women smiled broadly at me, holding out a pineapple, seemingly to suggest she wanted to gift one to us. Unable to turn down such a generous and delightful offer, we quickly spun back around – as we had whizzed past on a down hill – and gladly received four pineapples they handed to us! Generosity at its finest. 😊 Shortly afterwards, we stopped at a roadside shop for our usual ‘cool pops’ and some snacks, deciding to save the pineapple until we had somewhere more suitable to chop up the inevitable, juicy mess. I loved the fact that the owner of the shop was watching a Harry Potter film, with Thai actors taking over the voices of the real actors. 

Following this quick pit-stop, we had to head onto the busy route 4. Although it is a tireless road of traffic, there is a large hard shoulder to keep motorbikes/scooters/bicycles separate from the onslaught of the belching trucks and lorries. We flew through the 10km we had to do on that road so it didn’t last long.

Highway 4 has a good number of fruit stalls, cafes and other odd shops, so although it is busy, it is a good road for finding food and water for a tired bicycle tourist. Just before we took a right turn off the Highway 4 onto a quieter road, we were passing a ‘mechanic’ type shop. Out of nowhere, a silent and deadly dog sprinted out of the shop and headed straight toward my leg – teeth bared and attempted to bite me. As the noise of the traffic muted the sound of his approach, in my shock I screamed out loud (very loud!). The dog was attached to a chain, but unlucky for me, the end of the chain wasn’t attached to anything, rendering it useless. Luckily, I pedalled fast, so the dog was only left with my back pannier to try to gnaw at. Unsuccessful, the dog retreated. Adam had stopped just ahead as he heard my scream. When I explained my ordeal, he inspected my pannier for any damage. Thankfully, all that was left behind was a string of doggy saliva. With my adrenaline pumping and hands shaking, we pressed on, but it took several minutes for me to stop shaking. 

The rest of the day’s cycling was really pleasant, along quiet, rural roads. We stopped for lunch at a peaceful cafe next to the river, small fishing boats bobbing up and down on the water. Stopping longer than we normally do, I enjoyed a huge, sweet, iced coffee with my lunch. It was 3pm and we only had 18km left to do for the day, so we had plenty of time. It’s really pleasant to escape the midday heat and rest in the shade, watching locals and pausing to absorb our surroundings. 

Another picturesque place to enjoy lunch.

We arrived into the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park at about 4.30pm. It is an absolutely stunning road, and I would highly recommend it not be missed if you are travelling through this area. Huge, craggy, rocky hills jut up out of the earth which are surrounded by forests and marshlands brimming with nature and life. As we cycled through, we marvelled at the epic beauty encircling us.

Extra happy that we managed to avoid the 200 Baht per person entrance fee!

We reached our final destination: Sam Phraya Beach close to 5pm. We were lucky to avoid the 200 Baht each National Park entrance fee. The beach here is strikingly wonderful: pure, white, unpolluted sand set in front of soaring pine trees. It was the most perfect camping spot. As it’s an official campsite, we did have to pay 30 Baht each to camp. At the type of writing, that is a grand total of £1.41. This is really reasonable as the campsite had toilets, showers and a restaurant. There are even park rangers who will set up a tent for you, which you can rent with sleeping equipment. As we had our own, after we had devoured two of the pineapples we had been kindly gifted earlier as our ‘starter’, we set about setting up our camp. 

One of the more picturesque camping spots.

We ate at the restaurant at the beach, ordering the cheapest item on the menu: egg fried rice with huge, succulent prawns. Delicious. As I wrote this, I was set up and cosy (if not slightly sweaty!) in our tent, the calming sound of the sea ebbing and flowing to lull me off to sleep…

Adam took this photo of the boats on the water night-fishing, their eerie green lights illuminating the sky.

Day 41: Sam Phraya Beach to Ban Nong Hoi

We awoke to a beautiful sunrise smiling down at us through our tent. Luckily, it didn’t rain during the night so we could sleep without the rain cover on, which gave us a beautiful view in the morning and kept us cool (ish!) during the night.

There’s such a calm beauty to the world at this time in the morning.

As Sam Phraya Beach is an official campsite, there are showers and toilets, so we could start the day feeling fresh. We would have liked a morning swim in the sea, however the tide was far out and sinking quick sand forbade us to get close to the water. As we had two pineapples leftover from yesterday’s generosity, we enjoyed a juicy and revitalising breakfast before heading out nice and early (always a good thing about camping is the early start to the day).

Continuing cycling through the national park was just as breathtakingly beautiful as yesterday. Those craggy hills or rock formations jutted out of the ground, surrounded by marshlands rich in bird wildlife. As we quietly pedal through the early morning light, herons gracefully took flight as we startled them with the sound of our whizzing chains.

Calm and quiet roads through the National Park.

After a few kms, we stopped for a ‘proper’ breakfast (we are hungry bicycle tourists after all!). We enjoyed the usual Thai noodles in a flavoursome broth, with slices of pork and a couple of fish balls and plentiful beansprouts for good measure. We also stocked up on some snacks for the road: banana chips – so tasty!

We continued along pleasant, quiet roads. We knew we only had 42km to cycle today, so it was nice to just really take our time and enjoy a laid back day of cycling in the sunshine. The route brought us alongside a beach which was very pretty. There were strong winds coming off the sea however. Surprisingly, there was a cycle path right next to the beach, however, whoever designed it must not have been a cyclists: cobbles do not make a great cycle path! 

I was relieved of any scary encounters with dogs today, which is always a bonus for me! We stopped at a peaceful, roadside cafe for lunch and as I was feeling quite tired from the heat today, I even had a small nap, just lying across the bench I was sat at. We enjoyed the same meal we had for breakfast (I think it must be a popular, cheap meal for local people to make in the cafes). 

We were 2km away from the Warm Showers Host’s place where we were staying that evening, but we were an hour and a half early… so we stopped at a convenient 7/11 and sat outside for a while, enjoying some sweet snacks, ice-cream and cold drinks. (That’s the great thing about cycle touring: you can enjoy eating whatever you like – guilt free!) 

We arrived at John’s and had a brilliant evening. He has the perfect accommodation for hosting bicycle tourists: the bottom floor of his place is a bike shop, the middle floor is his office and room, the top floor is the spare room for us with our own bathroom. So we had the top floor to ourselves which was great. As John still had a little work to do, we sorted ourselves out with showers and washing some clothes (he provided us with some hand-washing detergent and a clothes dryer rack – what a legend!) and I had another nap! We then had a great evening together: we cycled a short distance to a local restaurant and enjoyed some delicious food and several beers. John was amazingly generous and refused to let us pay for anything. He was great company, and we sincerely enjoyed chatting with him about bicycle touring, travelling in general and general life! If you’re reading this John: thank you! One of our top Warm Showers experiences 👍.

Day 42: Ban Nong Hoi to Hua Hin

As we had been rather indulgent the night before, enjoying several beers (this is quite unusual for us!) we needed to have slightly longer in bed this morning. I had awoken during the night to a tremendous thunder storm, luckily for us, as our windows were wide open. In a sleepy haze, I managed to close them before our belongings got soaked. (Good job we camped last night, and not tonight!)

After we had finally peeled ourselves off our roll mats and packed our panniers, we headed downstairs. John very kindly gave us a screw and some bolts for my front rack (which was currently attached to my fork with coat hanger wire…) so that was a lot more secure. Thank you John – you really are a legend! 

We said our goodbyes and set off for a very short day ahead. As Adam had some technological admin to do, we decided we would only cycle 18km up the coast to Hua Hin. We saw today as a rest day really, with a very short, easy cycle. Unfortunately, this elusive ‘monsoon’, although it appears to be late to the party, it has indeed arrived. We set off in light rain which was actually quite refreshing. It was one short, straight road to Hua Hin, along a convenient bike lane to keep us off the main Highway.

We stopped for breakfast and got chatting to a man from the UK; an Everton fan! It was nice to speak to someone from our country – he recognised our Yorkshire flag! After enjoying our breakfast, we continued pedalling into the city, and the rain got worse and worse. And worse. We sought refuge in a huge, multistory shopping mall, spending the afternoon sorting out camera-related issues for Adam. I felt so grimy walking around the mall, after cycling through huge, muddy puddles with rain and mud splattered legs. My feet squelched in my Keen sandles. It was the first time so far on this trip where I have missed feeling ‘pretty’. Before the trip, I would hardly ever leave the house without make-up, and I usually washed, dried and straightened my hair most days. I took time to choose my clothes, matching my earrings and make-up (although it was minimal). So, even though I would call myself a ‘sort of girly-girl’ (not to the extreme) before this trip, I haven’t missed make-up or my straighteners at all. If anything, it’s really refreshing to just shove my hair in plaits to keep it out of the way, and head out for the day without a scrap of make-up on. That being said, today is the first day when I have missed ‘feeling pretty’. As I walked around the mall, I felt grubby and grimy. I longed to have some lovely (dry!) clothes to wear, with shiny, freshly washed, dried and straightened hair. So much so, that after some amazing food from the food court, I was happy to leave the mall and cycle into that pouring rain away from all the ‘normal’ people!

It was only 3km from the shopping mall to our hotel, but we looked like we had swum across the Andaman sea to get there by the time we had arrived. Never have we ever cycled through such a torrential downpour. As we cycled through the busy city, the sky a turbulent grey above our heads, we could barely see a few feet in front of us. I wasn’t scared: on the contrary, I sincerely enjoyed the craziness of it all! Some of the streets were practically flooded, the rain had come down so fast. I just hoped that all the drivers I passed were concentrating and had seen me through the lashing rain. I felt safe though, with our bright bike lights signalling our arrival.

We made it to our hotel and have a comfortable room; finally a bed that doesn’t feel as rock solid as a wooden floor! Tomorrow we will continue north, although we haven’t made our minds on whether we will head into Bangkok or not. We’re starting to consider whether it will really be worth the stress and manic roads to get there, to just spend over our budget and be one of the millions of people in the restless city. 

To be continued!

Lucia xx


Week 5: East Coast of Southern Thailand
Week 7: The Road to Chiang Mai


My darling Lucia, I’ve been waiting all day to read this after it arrived this morning – but had A/S/M to entertain all day. Having now devoured its contents I am yet again bowled over by the attention to detail and your storytelling. It truly is fantastic reading and transports me to be beside you in that fantastic experiencing. Love it! Absolutely love it.
Keep up the brilliant blogging…… take the best care xx 💕 xxx

Hey both of you. Really enjoy your writing and adventures. Me and my friend are planning to cycle to Thailand from Malaysia somewhere in March. (i wish everthing is smooth). We are plan to campsite like you did back then in Sam phraya Beach. But i wonder about the bike. Did you left your bike outside tje tent? Ah, before i forgot, i tjink you can avoid the chasing dog by using a stick of bamboo. I think it works. Oh by the way, what size is your bike?

Good luck with your journey. When we camp, we try to lock the bikes together and if possible, to something unmovable. thanks for the tip with the sticks. We used that method to great success.

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