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, June 28, 2009


Total Distance:49.71km
Total Time:3h03m02s
Average Speed:16.4km/h
Maximum Speed:39.5km/h
Total Distance So Far:10,758.39km

Cherating, finally a place that really had everything I was hoping to find in Eastern Malaysia. A nice beach, a laid back atmosphere, good food, a couple of good places to hang out at night, good people, and not too expensive. It's a shame that many people skip this little beach town on their journey down the East coast. Well, maybe it's not so much a shame. I'm sure if it were buzzing with westerners it would probably not have been such a pleasant experience. I had really only intended to spend a night there, but one night soon turned into two, which became three. I thought about hanging around for a fourth, but decided against it.
Kuantan is relatively close to Chatering. Here resides the largest Mosque in Eastern Malaysia. Other than that it acts as a transfer point for busses to other, more exciting places. It's a bit of a dull city. I had considered trying to make it all the way to Mersing, but after evaluating my map and realizing it was well over 200km, I decided against it. The short trip to Kuantan puts me within reasonable distance to Mersing and I should be able to make it there tomorrow. After that, in theory anyways, there is only one more day of cycling until I hit Singapore. Although the wind has been kicking up along the coast, slowing me down. It may take an extra day to make it through Malaysia. Time will tell.
The ride here, short though it was, was nice. The road was relatively quiet. I didn't have to head out too early, and I arrived in the early hours of the afternoon. It's always nice to reach a place and be able to cycle around and check things out, as opposed to arriving dead tired and going straight to bed.
If I do decide to travel Malaysia sans Fred, this means there will only be two (possibly three) of these entries left for you to read. Can you believe it? I'm almost done.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Kuala Terengganu-Cherating

Total Distance:162.92km
Total Time:9h04m06s
Average Speed:17.9km/h
Maximum Speed:35.5km/h
Total Distance So Far:10,708.68km

Since being back in Malaysia I've had great experiences with the people here. However, I must confess, I find myself slightly disappointed. There really is not much to see or do here, and everything is rather expensive. I spent two nights in Kuala Terengganu. While there is a couple of islands off the coast, it has become quite apparent that visiting all these islands is a little out of my price range, so I stayed on the mainland. There were the usual sights there, a Mosque, a Palace, but nothing that really made me stop in my tracks.
After a couple of days I decided to head off to Chatering. The ride there was generally nice, except for one 20km stretch of road. Everything was going pretty smooth until, all of a sudden, I found myself among a big bustling highway. It was loud and windy, and everywhere I turned were power plants and oil refineries. It was really unpleasant. Like I said, it only lasted about 20km, and other than that the ride was pretty nice.
One definitely doesn't have to worry about finding a place to stay in this part of Malaysia. You could actually walk down the east coast and, given the amount of beach resorts which seem to pop up about every few kilometers, have no problem with accommodations.
I arrived in Cherating the night before last. I think it may just be my favorite place in eastern Malaysia so far. It's a quiet little beach town. There are a reasonable amount of tourists here, but they don't flood the beach like in the Perehntian Islands. The guesthouse I'm staying at, for once, is not too expensive and the owners are extremely friendly. However, all good things must come to an end. Tomorrow I'm taking off again. I think I'm pretty much just going to work my way to Singapore where I'll catch a flight to Indonesia.
I'm thinking I might have to leave Fred behind on my Indonesia adventure, although nothing has really been decided for sure. First of all, if I fly I'll have to pack him up and reassemble him once in Indonesia. Secondly, getting from island to island may be a huge pain with a bike. Finally, it's so damn hot! I think it might be nice to just take a bus for a while instead of baking in the hot Asian heat all day every day. If I get any more tanned I'll be hardly recognizable to my family when I get home.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kuala Besut-Kuala Terengganu

Total Distance:113.87km
Total Time:6h11m32s
Average Speed:18.4km/h
Maximum Speed:35.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:10,545.76km

My time spent on the Perehntian Islands was great. I did absolutely nothing. It was perfect. A much need period of relaxation. It really is a beautiful place. It was, however a lot more expensive than I had anticipated. In fact, all of Eastern Malaysia has been more expensive than I had anticipated. I've had to resort to staying in dorms, which are my least favorite of budget accommodations. I guess it beats sleeping on the street... depending on the dorm, that is.
Although it has been a little hard on the old wallet, Malaysia is not without it's benefits. The people here are incredibly nice. Before leaving for the island I left Fred with the people at the travel agency where I purchased my ticket for the boat ride over. They stored it for free, which is unheard of in any of the other countries I've visited on this journey. When I got back Fred was there safe and sound. The people who were taking care of him even gave me some free snacks for the road. On my way out of Kuala Besut, three separate people stopped me to ask where I was going and make sure I knew that there was a shorter way to get there than taking the main highway.
Even though I was given directions on how to get to Kuala Terengganu, I still managed to mess it up. I started off on the short cut route, just as had been explained to me, but some how I ended up back on the main highway. In my defense, road signs in Malaysia aren't the best. It was a total drag! Not only was is a detour getting back onto he main highway, which I hadn't intended to do, but it's a longer route. What should have been 95km turned into almost 115km. There was a large portion of the highway that was under construction. This meant no shoulder to ride on. Luckily it wasn't very bust at the time and the speed limit was only 30km/h. I didn't maintain 30km/h, but close enough that people weren't too agitated when they had to drive behind me waiting for a suitable stretch of road to pass me.
Getting into the city was a little confusing too. I had a hard time finding the city center. Once again, Malaysian people did not disappoint. A nice man on a motor cycle saw me looking at a map and offered to let me follow him to where the bulk of hotels and guesthouses are. It was a nice thing that probably saved me hours in aimless wandering.
Kuala Terengganu is a pretty little city. There are a few sights. You know the usual... mosque, temple, palace. Mostly I like it for it's architecture. It's very pleasing to the eye. A beautiful city to just look at. While I'd love to just sit here doing nothing, it is unfortunately time to move on.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Kota Bharu-Kuala Besut (Perehntian Islands)

Total Distance:58.27km
Total Time:3h17m16s
Average Speed:17.7km/h
Maximum Speed:45.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:10,431.89km

Leaving Kota Bhura was my first day cycling back in Malaysia. Overall it went pretty well, although I found the road signs a little confusing. They aren't as straight forward as in Thailand, which sticks me as a little odd as Malay is written in roman script. I made it to Kuala Besut in one peace though, which is all that really matters.
From Kuala Besut I took the boat out to the Perehntian Islands. It isn't really possible to bring a bicycle with you, so i had to leave Fred in storage at one of the travel agencies. I hope he's safe there. It seemed pretty secure. I guess we'll see when I get back. i intend to spend a few days here. Do some snorkeling, laze around on the beach, that sort of thing. I've been going pretty hard lately. I can really use a little break, and this seems the perfect place to do it.
The Perehntian Islands are a beautiful sight. They are often described as a backpackers paradise, which is a pretty fair statement. The white sandy beaches gaze out upon a crystal blue ocean. There is all sorts of wildlife, both aquatic and on the land. They have sharks, stingrays, and a verity of other exotic fish. There are giant lizards roaming around. It's really an interesting place. However, talking to some people who have returned here after visiting the area years ago, things have changed a lot. Good snorkeling can no longer be done off the shore. The fish are a little sparse and the coral is starting to die. You pretty well have to charter a boat to take you out further in the ocean if you want to see anything spectacular. There apparently has been quite a bit of development over the years. It has become a tourist hot spot, so everything is busy and prices are high. Still it is a great place.
One great thing about biking in Malaysia is the ability of the people to speak English. Not everyone speaks English, but it is easier to find people who are fluent than other places I've travelled.It's nice to have conversations that aren't limited by a language barrier. The people here are nice. Less cyclists pass through Malaysia than Thailand or Vietnam, so people are generally more curious when they see you, not to mention a little more willing to help you out. For example, where I am storing my bike they are not charging me. They seemed pretty content to hear all about my trip as payment for locking Fred up in their office.
A major downside of taking a bit of a break from cycling is the pain of getting back on the bike. I'm already dreading how hard it will be. Especially in this heat.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Narathiwat-Kota Bharu

Total Distance:77.65km
Total Time:4h18m05s
Average Speed:18.1km/h
Maximum Speed:41.0km/h
Total Distance So far:10,373.62km

I've decided the southeast of Thailand is my least favorite part of the country. Every stop has bee sort of a disappointment. Narathiwat was no exception. It was loud, dirty and smelly. For some reason hotel rooms run about double in this area what they do elsewhere. The one I ended up with
was pretty bad, hosting some of the biggest cockroaches I have ever seen. You know that urban legend about the guy with the cockroach in his ear? Well today I swear I could feel something moving around in there. Let's just keep our fingers crossed that it's all in my head.
I set out for the border crossing at Sungei Kolok, about 65km from the city. I was headed here based on the fact that "Lonely Planet" says this is where you have to go to enter Malaysia. There is a border crossing there, but what they fail to tell you is that there is also one only 30km from the city. Once on the other side you only have to travel 20km to Kota Bharu, as opposed to the 45km from Sungei Kolok. Why oh why do I keep listening to this stupid book? Luckily I was smart enough to figure it out. Mainly due to the giant sign that said "BORDER", and had an arrow pointing to the border.
Well, I made it to Malaysia. I've almost gone full circle. Next stop, the Perenthian Islands for som Rn'R!


Total Distance:204.16km
Total Time:10h47m51s
Average Speed:18.9km/h
Maximum Speed:35.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:10,295.97km

I had toyed with the idea of spending a day in Songkhla. However upon arriving there I could see nothing spectacular about it. The next day I was off. I didn't want to make the same mistake I did in Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Finally I got a break from the wind. For about an hour, what little wind there was actually was at my back. The farther south I head, the less dense the traffic is. This may have to do with the recent civil unrest occurring in this particular region. In spite of it, the people still remained friendly. The scenery wasn't the most exciting, but it was nothing to scoff at either, It certainly beats the Bald-Ass prairies of Alberta.
I experienced my first leg cramp today, and it was a bad one. I was making such great time too. Once the cramp hit my calf though, I was forced to stop for almost an hour and try to rub it out. It helped a little, but the cramp was still present throughout the rest of the ride. It was rather unpleasant. Of course, it had to happen on the longest ride of my journey. That's right. I broke my personal best distance. 204km in a single day. I hate to toot my own horn (oh, who am I kidding? I love to toot my own horn), but of all the cyclists I have met on this trip I am the only one to break 200km in a day. I might add that I've done it three times, not including the day I did 198km.
Due to the leg cramp, the last hour of the ride had to take place in the dark. I've had to do this a few times, ride in the dark. At first it really freaked me out. I've learned the best thing to do is stay calm and take it slow. I had really great lights for my bike before I left Canada, but I lost the charger for them. I haven't been able to find anything that lets you see very well in the dark. The easiest thing to do is use the headlights if passing cars to guide you.
As I was biking in the dark on my way to Narathiwat I looked up at the sky. It was pitch black and the stars were just starting to appear. I sat there looking up and as I did a shooting star went flying across the sky. It was sort of a perfect way to end my visit to Thailand.

Nakhon Si Thammarat-Songklha

Total Distance:187.10km
Total Time:10h13m32s
Average Speed:18.2km/h
Maximum Speed:43.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:10,091.81km

The Decision to stay an extra day in Nakhon Si Thammarat was a regrettable one. There was really nothing to do or see there. The city was dirty and loud and lacked any aesthetic appeal what so ever. The only plus was that it gave me a chance to rest up. What's done is done. If I could go back in time and reverse the decision to stay an extra day I would, but I can't. There's no use in going on about it.
The days ride to Songklha brought me down a nice coastal road. It was rather busy, but the view of the ocean made up for it. When you cycle for long periods of time it is best to try and find something to distract you. Otherwise it seems like you are sitting there forever. I can think of no better way to escape from the reality of what I'm doing than staring out into a never ending ocean. Unfortunately, being that close to the sea often comes along with a strong wind, and today was no exception. It wasn't that bad though. The strong headwind lasted only about an hour before dying down. The rest of the day went pretty smooth.
Although I was biking in the wind, I couldn't help but smile when I rolled over the 10,000 mark. I can't believe I've cycled 10,000km across this continent. It seems like just yesterday I was just starting out. I guess time really does fly when you're having fun.
Just before hitting Songkla I stopped for a small break. As I was sitting there a Thai woman approached me and started taking pictures of me. She spoke to me in Thai. Naturally I didn't understand a word she was saying. Then she started showing me the pictures on her camera. It was filled with photos of different cyclists, most of which were stopped in the the very same place I was sitting. It's funny. I haven't met any other cyclists since being back in Thailand. I was surprised this woman had encountered so many. Who knows. Maybe she has been sitting there for years just waiting for foreigners on their bikes to pass by.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Surat Thani-Nakhon Si Thammarat

Total Distance:147.86km
Total Time:7h47m21s
Average Speed:19.0km/h
Maximum Speed:55.5km/h
Total Distance So Far:9904.71km

Spending the night in Surat Thani was just as i had remembered it... boring. I find the people here not as friendly as elsewhere in Thailand. In there defence, it is a hub to get to the islands, so I'm sure they see a lot of ignorant travellers. I arrived there late and left early, so it isn't like I had to spend a lot of time there anyway. Unlike Chumphon, there are no breakfast places catering to early travellers, so I was back on my 7/11 morning diet.
The ride to Nakhon Si Thammarat, again, takes you down a rather busy highway. This one wasn't so bad though. the first half of the ride is actually really beautiful. This is the road you take if you are going to take the car ferry out to the islands. It is lined with limestone peaks. It is a little hilly, but mostly small rolling hills. I really like this kind of terrain. Shortly after leaving Surat Thani I came across a Thai cycling team out for their morning training session, or rather they came across me. they slowed it down and biked with me for a little bit before taking off, leaving me to eat their dust. Being on a fully loaded bike with touring tires as opposed to racing tires, there was no way I could keep up. They were good fun. It was nice to have people to chat with for a bit. The second half of the ride wasn't quite so nice. The road opens up, the limestone peaks disappear, and the hills turn into a flat highway. The wind picked up quite a bit and, with a lack of trees around, there was no escape from the hot afternoon sun. By the time I arrived in Nakhon Si Thammarat I could feel I had been exposed to too much heat. I actually thought I might throw up.
Nakhon Si Thammarat, according to Lonely Planet, is a little bit of a tourist destination. However, there a lot of things that Lonely Planet say that are completely incorrect. I think this is one of them. It is just a big city, with no real attractions aside form the temple. I have yet to see one other foreigner here. None the less I opted to rest up here for a day. The sun was just a little to much yesterday. After my last bout of sunstroke, I thought it best to spend a day out of the heat. I checked into a nice hotel. Nice for me anyway. Nicer than anywhere I've been staying. They actually have air conditioning hot water, television with three movie channels and, get this, ROOM SERVICE! I took advantage of all these things and spent a quiet evening inside my nice cool room eating curry and watching "No Country For Old Men", but not before taking a nice hot shower. You would think after biking in the heat all day a hot shower would be the last thing you want. You'd be wrong. I just never feel totally clean bathing in cold water. The hot shower was great.
Well I'm almost in Malaysia. I know I keep saying that. Every time I do it becomes more true though. This time I am actually almost in Malaysia. I figure another three days of cycling at most. I might stop off one more time for a day along the way. Biking ever day starts to wear on you. Even if there isn't much to do where you are, sometimes it's best to stop and give yourself a break. Just like I'm doing now.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Chumphon-Surat Thani

Total Distance:201.84km
Total Time:10h56m48s
Average Speed:18.4km/h
Maximum Speed:42.5km/h
Total Distance So Far:9756.85km

I spent the night in Chumphon. It isn't the most exciting place in the world, but pretty good as far as a travelling hub. There are plenty of cheap places to stay, book stores, even a couple of bike shops. There are a few restaurants that double as travel agencies. This was actually really convenient for me. They open and close according to when the boats to Ko Samui leave. This means if there is a 5:30am boat, which on this particular day there was, they will open the restaurant between 5:00 and 6:00 to cater to those coming or going to the island. It also means I was able to get a good breakfast before embarking on what was sure to be a very long day. Usually, as nothing else is open when I leave a city, I am doomed to eat my breakfast at 7/11. I'm getting a little sick of cornflakes with yogurt and bad instant coffee, so this was a nice treat.
The ride to Surat Thani took me back onto the main highway. As usual it was loud and busy, but at this point I'm starting to get used to it. On thing I can't get used to is the amount of roadkill you see biking around Thailand. It is really disturbing. No word of an exaggeration, I see at least 30 dead dogs every day. No one wants to see that! The roads are also often covered in broken glass from redbull bottles that have been discarded out of the windows of cars. You have to be careful about punctures. I've had pretty good luck so far ( I am knocking on wood as I type). Other than that the Thai highways are in great shape, and they are really nice to ride on.
It was a long, long day. Once again I broke 200km in a single day. Between the two cities is actually slightly less, but after riding around looking for a place to stay I rode just over 200km. Surat Thani is far from my favorite Thai city. I don't know exactly what it is I dislike about it so much, but I do. The worst part is I've been there three times. The last time I was there I had food poisoning and was stuck in bed for two days. I guess in comparison, this time wasn't so bad.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ban Bang Boet-Chumphon

Total Distance:88.61km
Total Time:5h47m11s
Average Speed:15.3km/h
Maximum Speed:44.5km/h
Total Distance So Far:9555.09km

After a great meal and a good nights sleep, this morning I was off once more to continue my journey. Thinking back on it now, I remember that the reason I was able to continue on down this road after I had fallen and injured my leg last December was because it was mostly downhill. All I really had to do was sit there and steer. I had sort of forgotten that part until today. As I climbed up the hills around Ban Bang Boet, it all started coming back to me. However, in comparison to the hills of Northern Vietnam, Laos and Northern Thailand, this was nothing. There was a bit of a head wind as well. The elements slowed me down a little today, but it was still a beautiful ride.
It's been months since I've seen the ocean. It feels great to be back. I have yet to actually submerge myself in it, but that is bound to come soon enough. Just the sight and smell of it is so uplifting. Mountains are great and all, but there's something about peering out into the deep blue sea that... wee, it's hard to explain.
I'm back in Chumphon where, surprise surprise, I have already been. I suppose I could have gone a little further, but today was a particularly hot one. Plus, there is a book exchange here and I am in pretty desperate need of some reading material. Nerdy, I know, but it kills the time when there is nothing else to do.
I'm almost back in Malaysia. It is just a matter of days. I'm looking forward to it, although I will have to brush up on my Malay. I didn't pick up that much the first time around, but I knew the basics. I have completely forgotten them. My next day riding should bring me to Sarat Thani (or surrounding area). Until then...

Prachuap Khirikhan-Ban Bang Boet

Total Distance:136.01km
Total Time:8h00m08s
Average Speed:16.9km/h
Maximum Speed:43.5km/h
Total Distance So Far:9466.48km

Okay, so i totally wussed out and stayed in Prachuap Khirikhan an extra day. In my defense I was tired and suffering from some weird form of diaper rash caused by my crappy new cycling shorts. It isn't the most exciting of places, but not a bad place to hang out for a day or two. Both times that I've been there I have been able to meet other travellers. A little conversation after a couple of straight days of cycling is always nice. Otherwise I start to do a little nutty and begin engaging Fred in conversation. However, I'm sure seeing some insane foreign girl talking to her bike while riding it down the highway provides the good people of Thailand with some entertainment.
I swear I'm trying to hit different stops than the last time I rode through here. It just isn't working out that way. I had hoped to make it all the way to Chumphon. When I stopped for lunch I assessed how much longer I had to go. According to my calculations, if I biked without stopping I could have made it there just as the sun was going down. Biking without stopping for a rest seemed unlikely. Add the blistering heat and the strong head wind, not to mention the heavy and very annoying traffic and what you end up with is a conclusion to stop sooner than expected.
From my previous experience biking this route I knew there were places to stay in Bang Saphan, Bang Saphan Noi, and Ban Bang Boet. Bang Saphan was to close to justify calling it a day, and I had already been to Ban Bang Boet, so I decided on Bang Saphan Noi. I must have missed the turn off or something, because where I ended up was back in Ban Bang Boet.
For those of you who don't already know, the last time I was here I had fallen of my bike rendering me unable to walk let alone cycle. I ended up stranded in Ban Bang Boet, stuck in my hotel room which was costing me a small fortune. This time around was a much more pleasurable experience. I managed to find a more reasonably priced room and was able to walk around the town a little. It is actually a really nice place. It is a tiny fishing village right on the ocean, with a few small resorts. It is mainly visited by Thai people and not western travellers. It's very quiet and a great place to just relax and take in the view of limestone peaks jutting out of the endless ocean. At night the fishing boats all turn their lights on illuminating the sea. It's a beautiful sight. Another great thing about it is the food the fish, being that it is a fishing village, is fresh and cheap.
So, I didn't make it to Chumphon, but at least this stop got me off the main highway. Tomorrow I will be able to enjoy a nice peaceful ride along the less busy secondary highway.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Phetchaburi-Prachuap Khirikhan

Total Distance:163.22km
Total Time:8h49m26s
Average Speed:18.5km/h
Maximum Speed:34.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:9330.47km

I thought maybe I would have an opportunity to hit up some places I didn't see on my way up in January. As it turns out, both stops since leaving Bangkok have been places I've already been. Looking at the map it doesn't seem like there is much I missed before anyway. For once in my life, I did a pretty thorough job.
Phetchaburi was pretty much just as I had left it, up to and including it's lack of accommodations. There are a few, you just really have to look for them. When I was there last time I stayed at a place that was pretty far out of the way. This time I opted to search around a little more for something closer to the highway. After about an hour of aimless riding around the city I found somewhere. It was a bit of a "flea-bag", but really cheap and conveniently located, so I'm not complaining. Although there was something living outside of my window. Possibly a rat, but I didn't open the curtain to check. Sometimes you would rather just not know.
The ride to Prachuap Khirikhan, like those of recent, proved to be nothing spectacular. Just another loud main highway. It was quite nice approaching the limestone peaks that scatter themselves throughout Thailand's Southern regions. It is a pretty sight, but made less enjoyable when you have dogs chasing you and cars honking there horns over and over and over...
That's right. The dogs are back! I've learned how to deal with them a little better. Some of them chase you just for the thrill. To these ones you stop your bike and stare at them and, usually, they back off. However there are those you look at and you know they have rabbis. To these... ride like hell!
So, this is something you could go without knowing. However travelling alone leaves you with nobody to complain to. Here, you all get to act as my surrogate travel companions. I recently invested in a new pair of cycling shorts. WORST CYCLING SHORTS EVER! My butt is in so much pain. Sitting down is torture. Hopefully I'll be able to make it through tomorrows ride.


Total Distance:156.96km
Total Time:8h21m27s
Average Speed:18.8km/h
Maximum Speed:41.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:9167.25km

As anticipated, I was in Bangkok for a few days. I really didn't do much. Slept, ate, caught up on some reading and, being that I was in the party central of the universe, had a couple of nights out on the town. In all honesty I could have done without a second visit to Bangkok. Especially such a lengthy one. The city starts to get to you after a while. Everyone is trying to sell you something. The Tuk-Tuk drivers are relentless. Then there's the ultra seedy element, but I won't even get into that. I suppose, like all big cities, it's not without it's perks. There is a wide array of... well, of everything. There are also a few parts of the city that aren't too bad.
Taking Fred for a ride around the city is one thing. It's a little fun weaving in and out of traffic. However trying to make our way out of the city in a completely different matter. To no surprise exiting the Bangkok city limits took a good four hours. Traffic was horrendous. The one way streets were confusing. On top of this, I didn't really know which way to go. I just sort of guessed and hoped it would all work out. Miraculously it did. I guess I'm more intuitive than any of us thought. Eventually I did make my way out of the city, and it was all pretty smooth sailing from there. It was loud and busy but, having ridden this route before, I more than saw that coming. Phetchaburi isn't that far away, but when all was said in done I had bike nearly 50km at the time I exited the city, turning a 110km ride into nearly 160km.
And so my journey back to Malaysia begins. Having seen all this before I'm going to try keeping the stops to a minimum. I might still hit up a beach on my way. We'll see if I pass anything good. However the goal is to do a straight shot right down to the border. I am slightly lazy though, so I wouldn't be surprised if it takes me longer than I anticipate.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Total Distance:90.29km
Total Time:5h16m19s
Average Speed:17.1km/h
Maximum Speed:35.5km/h
Total Distance So Far:9010.29km

Well I'm back in Bangkok, with just over 9000km under my belt. Bangkok is sort of the type of place you love to hate. It's loud, dirty, and full of the sleaziest of sleaze-bags. However it is also pretty darn convenient. For those travelling via bus or train it is a great hub. You can get pretty much anywhere in the world through Bangkok. It also has a great variety of places to eat, drink, and shop. Anything you need or want you can get here... and I mean ANYTHING! Everyone tells themselves they will just pass through and ends up staying at least a few days. Most people who are travelling the area for long periods of time end up here on multiple occasions. I, apparently, am no exception. I arrived today and have come to terms with the fact that I will be here for at least three nights. I need to stock up on bike supplies and books. I have sort of a long stretch ahead of me where these things may not be readily available. It is also my last chance to do a little shopping in Thailand. What can I say, it turns out I do have some girly tendencies after all.
Once again I took busy highway 1 today. It was loud and busy, but it went pretty fast. That is until I hit Bangkok. While the city is relatively easy to get around, especially having been here before, the same can not be said for the sub-districts. I find the outskirts of the city really confusing and have gotten lost every time entering or exiting Bangkok. At least this time I was expecting it. I arrived in the Bangkok area at 12:30 this afternoon and didn't actually get to my guesthouse until 4:30. If you are wondering about why my riding time is so low, I actually disconnected the cycling computer after about an hour of aimlessly riding around. It was frustrating but, like I said, I was expecting it.
While this may not be the ideal place for some Rn'R, it will have to do. I've a;ready seen most of the south of Thailand, so it's going to be pretty much a straight shot to the Malaysian border. I still have no definitive plan after that. Talking to some people the other night I'm now leaning towards making my way to Sumatra. Unfortunately, this would probably mean going sans Fred. We'll see.
I still have a while before I head home, but still I feel my trip rounding to a close. It has it's ups and downs. I'll be said to return to the same old song and dance, but I do miss my friends and family and I'm getting excited to see everyone.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Total Distance:71.54km
Total Time:4h04m57s
Average Speed:17.6km/h
Maximum Speed:32.5km/h
Total Distance So Far:8920.00km

Spending a couple of days in Lopburi was nice. I got a chance to see more ancient ruins from around the Ayuthaya Period. While they are beautiful and spectacular to look at, they are all starting to look a little similar. Being that I am now in Ayuthaya, the former capital from this period, I will undoubtedly be seeing even more of these ancient ruins. After that I think I'm done with it for a while. No more temples for at least a couple of weeks.
As I said, Lopburi was nice. I especially like the monkey's. I always get such a kick out of watching them. Although you do have to be somewhat careful around them. many of them carry disease and some can be just plain nasty. As of yet I have had no negative monkey experiences, but I've met quite a few people who have.
Riding to Ayuthaya was not terribly exciting. However the way there did pose the option of a secondary highway, which I did take. It was nice to be off the main road for a while. Today's trip was a relatively short one. I thought it would be even shorter, but I guess I was wrong. Again, for a change, it was nice to hit somewhere in the morning hours, completely forfeiting having to ride through the heat of mid-day.
I had forgotten how nice the Thai drivers are. they are pretty courteous on the road. They often honk there horns, but usually just to say hello. Even when it is to tell you to move out of the way it is usually followed by a wave or a thumbs up. Unlike Cambodia and Vietnam they are not excessive about either. One honk, that's it. they don't drive behind you laying on there horns trying to drive you crazy. It is easy to stay in high spirits riding through Thailand.
I can't believe I'm almost in Bangkok. Just 80km away. Tomorrow will be spent here in Ayuthaya, but the next day I should be rolling into the capital of Thailand with just over 9000km under my belt. After that it's one long jaunt down to the Malaysian border. I've toyed with the idea of stopping off at one more island before I leave Thailand, but it's looking doubtful. I eager to make my way through Malaysia and down into Indonesia. Not only is Indonesia of particular interest to me being that it is part of my background, but I'm also excited for a little bit of a change in scenery. In particular the volcanoes. That is one thing I have yet to see on my trip. I should hit Indonesia by July, putting me back on Canadian soil in August. However these things seems to change pretty frequently, so who really knows. At first I was going to leave Fred in Singapore and just do the regular bus thing through Indonesia, but now I'm thinking I might bring him along. I've gone so far with him already it would be a shame to leave him behind.