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Bicycle, Northern Thailand, Ordinary People

Half the wheels, twice the fun!

Part 1: How to enjoy Songkran. 10 things to do during Songkran in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEvery year Thailand celebrates one of most important festivals. I joined Songkran first time in my life this year 2017 and it was amazing!

We (together with my husband) went on first day even the festival was 3 days in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This year according to media and people, Songkran was quite and not so crowded as previous years.

Chiang Mai is very popular for Chinese visitors and recently we undestand why.

It was this movie “Lost in Thailand” promoted city of Chiang Mai to Chinese people. Its Chinese comedy film directed and co-written by Xu Zheng and starring Xu Zheng,  Wang Baoqiang and Huang Bo. The film is about three Chinese men traveling in Thailand: two competing scientists searching for their boss, and a tourist eager to explore the country.

I found the movie on youtube with English subtitles.

There is Songkran scene on 58 minutes and I understand how the main character feels after having full bucket of water on his computer 🙂

10 things to do during Songkran:

  1. Get Hawaian shirt, pink glasses and water gun.
  2. Splash water to every person you see.
  3. Smile even if you got ice water in your ear.
  4. Closed your mouth or try to keep it closed.
  5. Try to splash water on Buddas images which people will carry around the center of town.
  6. Wear flip-flops but walk slowly as it is extremely slippery.
  7. DO NOT wear transparent white pants.
  8. Cover your bag with double plastic bags, put your passport, cards and phone in sealed plastic bag.
  9. Keep hydrated as it is very hot.
  10.  Use sunscreen as easy to get sunburn.
Featured post

How I start…

In 2013 I have got my bicycle. As all of us I cycled last time at age 12. It was fun. Now so many years later I started my bicycle adventure again and I really love it. I lived in Jawa, Indonesia and East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Now I move to Northern Thailand and looking forward to new cycling trips around my new home country, Thailand.

 

 

Featured post

Part 1: How to enjoy Songkran. 10 things to do during Songkran in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Source: Part 1: How to enjoy Songkran. 10 things to do during Songkran in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Follow seacoast and narrowest place in Thailand… bicycle ride from Trat, Thailand to Ban Hat Lek Border, Thailand (Cambodia- Thailand border)…

1st day.

We live very very far from Cambodia and we have nice cycling rides near by in Northern Thailand. So I do not know why… but we decided drive more than 1200 km and come to Cambodian border to cycle…. First we drove for almost 2 days and the weather near Trat was like this. So we decided to wait and start to cycle next day 30th of August 2016.

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Likely we stayed in  nice and delightfull to all cyclists hotel. Look at those pictures!

So after good massage, food and sleep, next morning it was….. rain again! So we checked the weather on-line again and again and finally left by bicycles around 8.30 am. The hotel agreed to look after our car.

The road was OK even it was many big tracks in the beginning of ride. Our first stop was 7-11 shop (maybe 10 km away from the hotel) and it was last shop before long leg cycling. Likely we bought enough water and have enough money with us. We packed light and had only backpacks with us.

The road was big enough to avoid cars and had the motorway where we felt safe. We followed highway number 3/road 318. There was road reparation but it did not affects us. So far the road was flat and and after +/-25 km we had shade from trees but have to be careful as the road became narrow. After 10 am small clouds did not help much to avoid sunshine…. Yees, it is tropics… We have to stop once as landscape changed and to our surprise  it was one hill after other again and again. We used to cycle in hilly places but sun+ humidity+ hills are worst combination ever. Sorry I guess, climbing 1000 m/+ on your bicycle is worse… So after recharge and drank  energy drinks and water that we found in small shop, we continue and hills were killing us…. After one extremely high one near check point (it was few check army points on the way) we decided to stop and have some rest. It was noon. By our luck it was small shop near and the owner was speaking English and he was very nice guy. We chatted with him and he was cleaning some kind of fruits during talk. “Do you think more hills are coming?” we asked the guy. “No, only one big one and others you can manage!”.

Really nice guy! 🙂 Keep our spirit up… I wish he will be right 🙂

We continue and around 3 pm reached nice beach and it said to be nicest beach in this province. I am not sure about the name , but 8 km from this beach was Mango Beach Resort. We had lunch and company ( big lizzard called “tokek” in Indonesia).

We have to continue but the road was nice and not hilly anymore and it was sea (finally!) on the right hand. We passed Mango Resort and Meet the Sea Resort (we did not know we will sleep there later this day!).

We decided continue till the border as according to map it was not far. Around 5.30 pm we stopped for drinks and started to cycle again. And 20 min later the rain starts… And my husband came to me and said ” I forgot my backpack in last stop!”. We have to turn back and only pray. By our surprise the owner of shop put the bag inside and look after that. Honest people of Thailand…

But it was getting dark and was time to find the place. We stopped in one hotel but the price was too high for type of room they offer so we cycled back to Meet the Sea and came there around 7.30 pm. 11 hours cycling (and recharging every 2 hours perhaps :)), distance -107 km from Trat to The Narrowest Part of Thailand ( according to Wiki “The narrowest area in Thailand is located on Trat-Klong Yai Road. At this point, the width of Thailand is only 450m, which is hard to believe but is true.”) and back to same road till Meet the Sea Hotel.

I can not believe but we did it!!!

2nd day.

We decided to relax little bit and lunch time go to the Border. I was not sure if I want touch my bicycle that day. But it was OK. Stopped at Narrowest part of Thailand.

And continue till  the Border.

Ban Hat Lek Border was busy with some people crossing it by minivans and many vendors are trying to sell stuff.

So we did probably 44 km on 2 nd day. The resort was very nice and sunset was amazing and we were only ones walk on the beach.

3rd day.

That day we have to come back to Trat and drive back by car  to Bangkok. Coming back is always easier as you know the road and what expect from that. It took us only 5 hours to come back by bicycle. And sometime our speed was very good.

So total ride for 3 days was 107 km, 45 km and 75 km (227 km!). We arrived to the hotel around 1 pm and 1.30 pm already were on the way to Bangkok by car. We were tired but the bicycle ride was nice but I would not call it “an easy ride on the beach”.

Till next time….

 

 

Morning bicycle ride without saddle…

This is the excerpt for a placeholder post.

Source: Morning bicycle ride without saddle…

Cycling in Mae Kuang Dam, Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. July 2016.

It was nice and almost cold morning. We decided to go to Mae Kuang Dam. Not much information in internet but we visited this place before by car. So we had an idea where is the place. First time  we went to this area it was no one there. Second time we saw a woman with two dogs. Around the dam is a lot of mountains, rivers, rice fields and nice temple near by. The road to the dam follows one of channels in Doi Saket area.

The road is scenic and flat. After 20 + km you have to go left and follow one of the village’s road. The dam is easy to find on Google map.

 

The dam itself very beautiful and huge. It looks like a lake and mountains around made this place really attractive. Big plus is you will be only visitors there (we went on working day so I guess weekends are busier).

Round trip was 6 hours with a lot of stops for photos. The only hill is before the dam but easy to climb. From Chiang Mai is around 35 km and keep in mind you still have to come back home.

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Mae Kuang Dam.
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You have to pass the bridge and dam is on the left.
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Morning.
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Only one hill you have to climb.

 

Morning bicycle ride without saddle…

Yesterday was nice and beautiful day in our blessed land. I decided to cycle not  far as I was alone. “Don’t break anything”, said my husband before I went… He should not say it…. The weather was nice and road not so busy so I followed road 1001 and turn right to 1367. After that, small road on the left, not so busy and with a lot of activities. Small shops, morning food, children go to schools by motorbike taxi….

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I decided go to the Dam  and was hoping spent 3 hours total. I turned right to other small road with 2 religious sites : on the left was Saitharnpraporn Church and 300-400 m after that, was Wat Pa Muad (it looks nice but I will take picture next time).

Of course, there were rice fields! Both sides.

I continue and turn left to road 3012. After passed the small channel I turned left and it became nice with more mountains and rice fields around.

The road was in excellent condition like many Thai roads. I love Rural roads in Thailand and this one is  good example.

After turn to the right and 2  climbs on main road finally I was at Mae Kuang Dam.The sun was up and  the Dam looks damn good 🙂

I stayed there for 15 minutes or so and it was time to go back home. I was hoping to be at home around 10-10.30 am.

It was 26 km to the Dam and 26 more coming back. BUT….. After 5-6 km on the way back it was good ride  down the hill. And my speed was 34km per hour. Likely it was not much traffic on this road and I felt good jump and had strange weird feeling that my bicycle broke in 2 pieces. Likely I did not panicked and tried to back to my seat. Surprise! It was no seat on my bicycle ! I was wearing bicycle shorts (likely!)…. It was 2 metals kind of sticks came out from what was my saddle before…. I slowly hit the breaks… And look around…. My saddle was 5 m behind on the road with all small plastic holders/nails. The nails were broken…. I guess I paid the price for all bicycle trips in Kalimantan, Indonesia. I cycled there with women group for 2 years on regular base. And sometime it was like this:

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“Cycling” in East Kalimantan.

 

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Crossing sea by local “ferry” in East Kalimantan.

But the saddle looks ok so I use my hair band to put the saddle on bicycle frame. And started pedaling and standing on pedals. And got THAT look from all cars passed by. I could not cycling fast. So after 4 km I had an idea to put the saddle on those 2 hooks and use my hairband to support saddle. It worked perfect. But I was carefully sat on the saddle.

I cycled other 10 km back home and after that my husband rescued me. 🙂 Yes, I was at home around 10 am.

 

 

 

 

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