On November 4th Fred the bike is embarking on a six month journey across Southeast Asia. Starting in Singapore, Fred plans to make his way up the west coast of Malaysia, across Thailand, Cambodia, up through Vietnam and into Laos. After that... who knows? Fred invites you to follow him through his adventure. Any advice from fellow travelers is always welcome.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Phang Nga-Phuket

Total Distance:104.51km
Total Time:5h09m37s
Average Speed:20.30km/h
Maximum Speed:41.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:1007.68

In light of my less than enjoyable Phang-Nga experience, I had decided to wake up early and try to leave before sun rise. Not just because I wanted to get out of Phang-Nga. I also wanted to beat the heat and make it to Phuket by late morning. To my dismay, when I went to leave my hotel, I found the doors were locked and there was nobody to let me out until about 8:30. The song "Hotel California" rushed into my head, and I started to chuckle. "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave". Once the gatekeeper came and freed me from my cage, I was off. Unfortunately, I rode in the wrong direction for about 20km. Once I noticed the signs were all pointing me toward Krabi, I turned around and back-tracked. So much for an early start.
Despite the events of that morning, and of the previous night, I remained in surprisingly high spirits. It's hard to complain when you're surrounded by a beautiful, lush paradise. Plus I have nobody to complain to.
Once again the day was unforgivably hot. I have to start riding either in the early mornings or evenings. By the time I hit Phuket I was, once again, completely drained. The ride was a nice one though. I have been quite enjoying the terrain in Thailand. There are quite a few hills in comparison to Malaysia, but none that are overly steep or long. It helps keep things a little more interesting. I haven't had any run-ins with dogs in awhile (knocking on wood as I type). Perhaps the vicious beasts are contained to the southern tip of the country. Some how I doubt it though.
Given that I was pressed for time, I had initially planned to make my stay in Phuket a rather short one. However, once getting here I decided to revamp my plans a little. I've decided to head up to Ranong, where you can take a day trip into Burma, receiving another 30 days upon reentering Thailand. This way I can take my time around this area, as I am really enjoying it. Right now I am staying in Phuket city. I will spend a couple of nights here and then look into staying on one of the near by beaches. The hostel where I'm staying is very cheap. Depending on prices in the beach areas, I may continue to stay here and just ride down during the day. It isn't very far from Phuket town. I am staying at the On On Hotel, which was used in the filming of the movie "The Beach". A little cheesy, I know, but as I said the price can't be beat.
I know I am moving at a relatively slow pace. Most cyclists keep moving every day, or at least every second day. I am on vacation however. What fun would it be if I didn't stop to smell the roses?

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