Post #1 Heading out to the Golden Triangle

SE Asia 2010-11
post # 1
12/11/2010
Kamphaeng Phet, Northern Thailand
In November, my buddy Jeff Mease came over to my farm and said “Let’s go bicycle South East Asia.”  A few days later, we had bought our tickets.  Now, how’s that for freedom for you?
I so enjoyed my bicycle trip across SE Asia last winter, that I am doing it again.  The only area of this trip that will cross paths with my last trip is the beginning point of Bangkok.

My goal this trip is to pedal up to the Golden Triangle of Northwest Thailand, and then work my way down to Indonesia.  So we’ll see.

I have a travel buddy this time.  My best friend Jeff Mease.  It’s really good to have a ride mate.  I have not had one since my son and I rode northern Mexico.
Well, Jeff and I landed in Bangkok on 12/04/10 to find that the city was celebrating the King’s birthday.  They take the royal family very seriously here in Thailand, and so better you.  Do NOT drop a paper note on the ground, for the king’s image is on it, and such an act would be considered disrespectful.

Free dance shows on the street for the King's birthday

Jeff and I have made it a point to  eat 2-3 ENTIRELY NEW foods a day.  Some days it is four.  We are continually amazed.

She said “That is Yao.  Do you want it?”  And I answered OK.

And what was Yao? Later I found it was 'snake soup'.

So Jeff and I had to wait 2 days for the bicycle stores to open.  within 2 hours, we had each purchased new Merida 26″ bikes with touring tires for about $330.  Jason, the Australian owner of the shop, promised to buy them back at 1/2 price.  To rent a bike for 3 months for $165?  What a deal.

with our new bikes in Bangkok

To avoid the deadly Bangkok traffic, Jeff and I threw our bikes and selves onto a 3rd class train and rode 50 kms to the ancient capital, Ayuthaya.    It was joyful visiting the Elephant Rescue Center.  I love these creatures.

feeding mama elephant a bushel of cucumbers

a one month old that followed us around and rubbed against us

Awwwwwww

Jeff in rapture with mama elephant

A little baby elephant kept coming up to me and rubbing against me.  The mahoots stressed to NEVER crouch down in front of them, or their mothers will attack you.  They fear that you are going to pounce on them.  So I stood straight.

Then Jeff and I headed off for 3 1/2 days, 400 kms.of non-stop riding.  Were we lucky that the bitch goddess of the tailwinds blew on our back sides at 30 km an hour for 3 days.  You don’t usually get that kind of assist.  The daily drill was was the same.  Up at sunrise, pedal on the LEFT side of the road, eat lunch, rest in the roadside bus stops, then pedal all after noon.

grafted florals along the roadway

Get a hotel, wash up and wash our clothes, sample some new Thai food and have a beer, and pass out at 8 pm for 10 hours of deep sleep.

Jeff in a pimped out moto-taxi

Jeff is simply doing great on the trip.  He is keeping up, and cheerful about it all.  A great riding companion.  On the last day, right after we checked into our hotel, it must have rained 3″ in 2 hours.  Good thing it wasn’t the rainy season.
So in 4 days, Jeff and I are half way to Chang Mai, the fabled ‘Shangri La’ Thai mountain city.  We’re looking forward to the cooler mountain altitudes.

3 Responses to Post #1 Heading out to the Golden Triangle

  1. Yea – I was about to email you some s— thinking you were going to keep this trip all to yourselves. I look for ward to the narrative I have come to enjoy from you. One note: the photos are not coming thru as yet. Take good care and keep it coming. Best – Lon

  2. dwight, if you would look, jeff has a small motor attached to his bike.alspo their are a few thai women you better not crouch down on or your crotch may dissolve

  3. Dwight…happy travels!
    Christina Wolf says that Marty Berghoffen and Lindy are in Chang Mai…Keep an eye out for them.

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