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.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bangkok-Nakhon Nayok

Total Distance:108.90km
Total Time:5h41m35s
Average Speed:19.1km/h
Maximum Speed:34.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:2028.29km

Bangkok was an experience, as I'm sure you all expected. I found a guesthouse just off of Khao San and set up base there for a few days. The entire area is swarming with Farang (white people). There's either a McDonalds Burger King or Starbucks on every corner. Still, I enjoyed it. I walked around the first day. Checked out the temples and the palace. It was alright, but nothing too special. I guess I'm just not that easily impressed. The next two days I spent biking around. I mainly stuck to central Bangkok. Although I did get lost a couple of times and ended up... well, I'm not sure exactly. I know this may sound odd, but weaving in and out of traffic in downtown Bangkok was actually my favorite part of visiting the city. Once you get over the initial shock, it's really a lot of fun. If you have ever played the video game Crazy Taxi, I would say it's comparable to that. Except on a bicycle, and with a much more real and imminent possibility of death. IT WAS AWESOME! However, cycling in a big city is sort of where I'm in my element, and I wouldn't suggest it for anyone who's skittish when cycling in traffic.
I met three other cyclists during my stay in Bangkok. Before coming to Thailand I was told there were people bike touring all over the country. I was beginning to think I had been lied to, as I have hardly met any. I met far more in Malaysia. But there they were, so I guess they do exist after all. One of them had just come from Cambodia. He had some good little tidbits of advice. Unfortunately, I didn't get much time to talk with him. I would have liked to pick his brain a little more. I managed to find a great bike shop where I could stock up on supplies. I think finding touring supplies in Cambodia may be sort of a challenge. For anyone seeking a good shop in Thailand, I strongly suggest it. It's called Probike, and is located just off Thanon Rachadamri, just north of Lamphini Park. They even have a good selection of bikes for anyone looking to buy one upon arrival.
I gave Fred a well needed tune-up and cleaning and took an early night yesterday evening. Although Nakhon Nayok wasn't that far away, Bangkok streets can be confusing, and I anticipated getting lost on the way out of town. Did I ever hit that nail on the head! I left my Guesthouse at 7:00am this morning. Four short hours later I was at the city limits. It's a good thing I like city riding. Otherwise I would have suffered a severe nervous breakdown. The important thing is I did find my way out. Again, I'd like to stress that riding around Bangkok is not for everyone. If you can't handle traffic, I strongly suggest taking a bus or train in and out.
Despite the confusion that was Bangkok, the latter part of the ride went smooth as possible. After resting up for a few days, my leg was in peak form. It feels even stronger now than it did before my little spill. The wind was minimal today. After leaving the city I made really good time and maintained a decent level of energy. The scenery left something to be desired, but you can't win 'em all. Plus in a couple of days I'll be in Cambodia, where there will be lots of new and exciting things to see.
I lucked out upon arriving in Nakhon Nayok. When I got into town' I was stopped at a red light and the man on the scooter beside me asked me where I was from and where I had biked from. I told him Canada, that today I had come from Bangkok, and that I had started in KL. I asked him if he new of a cheap hotel. A grin crossed his face. As luck would have it, he was the owner of a reasonably price hotel in the city. He showed me where it was, I checked it out, and it was to my liking. A good way to end a good day.
So, I did it. I broke the 2000 mark. 2000km So Far... And More To Follow!

No comments: