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.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Total Distance:184.98km
Total Time:10h24m53s
Average Speed:17.7km/h
Maximum Speed:58.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:8498.44km

Once again my Lonely Planet guide book has failed to live up to my expectations. This is not saying very much for Lonely Planet, as my expectations of them after nearly seven months of using their book are extremely low. Upon arriving in Lampang I checked into a guesthouse as per the suggestion of Lonely Planet. Usually I don't take their advice on such matters, but accommodations seemed few and far between. They description in the book was as follows, "sometimes you just need to pamper yourself, and there is no better place than the Riverside Guesthouse". It seemed although this would be a pretty safe bet. WRONG! The first night I was pretty tired and fell asleep as soon as putting my head on the pillow. All night I could feel something biting, but I just assumed I had a mosquito in the room. The next morning, when I woke up, I had an alarming discovery. Droppings from a small animal beside my bed (this is not what was biting me the previous evening, I'm getting to that). Normally I would have complained, but the people attending to the guesthouse spoke little to no English and making a complaint would have been pretty hard. I thought (or at least hoped) that it was from one of their cats. That perhaps it was in my room before I got there and, in my tired state, I had failed to notice it the day before. In retrospect, I think the culprit may have been a rat. The following evening I wasn't so tired. That's when I discovered what had been nipping at me the night before. BEDBUGS! I hate bedbugs, but I guess nobody exactly loves them. Except, perhaps, the writers of Lonely Planet. I can tolerate a lot of things, but bedbugs is not one of them. It shows laziness on the part of the owners. They can easily be prevented by spraying the room regularly with a can of bedbug spray that can be purchased at any 7/11. All night I could here a hissing noise coming from the bathroom. I knew instantly what it was. Not wanting to deal with it at that point, I got up and shut the bathroom door. Sure enough when I peeked inside the next morning, three of the biggest cockroaches I've ever seen. So, in conclusion, If you consider dealing with rats, bedbugs and cockroaches pampering yourself then, yes, the Riverside Guesthouse in Lampang is the perfect place for you.
That morning I headed for Sukhothai. I had gotten literally no sleep the night before, so I knew I wouldn't be able to make it the whole way. All things considered, I did not to shabby. I opted to take a secondary highway, which led me on the cusp of yet another National Park. It was absolutely stunning. There were a few steep slopes, but they were not very long. Overall it went pretty smooth. I made it to Sawankhalok, only 40km from Sukhothai and checked into the first hotel I saw. Thankfully this one was bedbug free and I was able to get a good nights sleep.
So, I guess I'm back on the long and gruelling days. I don't really mind. It gives me a certain sense of satisfaction to go so far in a day. Plus, there are some stops coming up that aren't that far spread, so I'll get a little bit of a break.

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