Ninety, it's the new Fifty
Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
360Trip End Aug 21, 2011
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The hotel breakfast took at least half an hour to arrive. We heard the eggs frying but after a 20 minute wait we asked the nutty receptionists. She suggested we order rice because there was no bread for the egg sandwich
Then the border crossing. No obvious system but some helpful people pointed the way through. We passed through the Casino Zone. Apparently an all night venue for Thais escaping for a party. Passports were stamped without any questions and we were in, back in the saddle cycling into our 17th country.
The first difference was the driving. Back on the left hand side and unlike the other Asian countries we have spent the last few months in, most people actually seemed to be sticking to the right side of the road. There were even people waiting at traffic lights and indicating at junctions. When we went Indian style later in the day we received disapproving looks from the Thai drivers. The other differences were striking. Thailand has been westernised, Tesco was here and 7-11 minimarts were peppered around towns. And yesterday we had been passing people still living in wooden huts washing themselves in muddy lakes.
The scenery was pretty unspectacular, reforestation lined either side of the road for most of the way
One of my curiosities was how the people would be different to the extreme warmth of the Cambodians. The early answer is not much. A couple of relaxing drinks stops confirmed that we would receive a true welcome along our way. I especially liked the shop on stilts, the two girls were cooking up a wonderfully aromatic Thai curry and didn't even mind when my foot went through one of their floorboards.
Lunch was also great. Pad Thai for the first time and some wonderful coffee fuelled us up for the final 40 miles. The owner also gave me a free cup of what he called 'power tea' – very kind.
When we arrived in our destination town the priority was to find a pharmacy. Pols got checked out, they even weighed her and took her blood pressure which I thought was very important in the diagnosis of acid reflux! Impressively her blood pressure was completely normal after 90 miles in the baking sun
Without dinner we remounted and cycled a mile back into town to the Tescos which we had spotted. We left half an hour later stocked up with pizza, donuts and chocolate. What more can you ask for after 8 hours on the bike?
What this means is that we will reach Bangkok tomorrow afternoon. The 10 lane highways running into the city could be interesting but having sneaked into Istanbul, Mumbai and Saigon, I’m sure we will work something out.
Miles cycled: 92 + 2 to Tescos