Went to pick up visas only to discover theyd only given me a double entry 30day and not 6 months as Id requested. After lengthy discussion it turns out you cannot get a 6 month without an invitation letter. Woman eventually gave me back 700 baht and apologized.
|Hualamphong train station|
|Waiting for the new bits of the train to arrive|
|Trees not good enough for Bangkok pigeons|
|Harvested rice drying in the sun|
|Friendly folks along the way|
Had a rest stop and chatted with a bloke and other people in village until ready to carry on. At 78kms got to a crossroads with a few shops motel, and gas station. Bloke in gas station said there was accomodaton 25kms further up the road so carried on as not tired enough yet. Nearer the hills now, road undulating gently, and crops becoming mixed – some tapioca too. This area has so many wats, literally one every 10kms. Must be peaceful to be a monk out here. The village where Id been assured there was accommodation had none, so would have to continue to next town. Road has been smooth as a babys bum all day and after lunch, virtually deserted- very pleasant after Bangkok! And scenery beautiful – sun going down over silhouette of low hills and flooded paddies in foreground- which kept me going. Eventually arrived in a town. Asked some people for gh, but turns out all resorts are out of town, arse. On my last legs and did the 8kms (locals said 4) to a resort. My dream of nice chalets and a food place were misplaced as it was basically some rich persons grounds with a few bungalows in it. A/C starting at 600 and mattress awful. Only other alternative was going back 16kms onto other side of town. Asked bloke if I could have it for 400 with no air. He went and asked and they put me in a room down the bottom, toilet outside for 300. Room clean and nice sheets. Had refreshing shower and then Mr O the lad that worked there sorted me out with some dinner – a plate of pig shins, with boiled eggs, vegetables and a huge portion of rice. Cant say Ive eaten pig shins before, but they were ok after such a long ride. Knackered.
Slept like a log, although had to put net up as mozzie munching on my knuckle. Turns out the road that used to go from here to Umphang no longer exists – despite it being a think yellow line on my map! Thanked Mr O for helping me out, then breakfast in towns market. I like out of the way places cos you get farmers size portions!! Called probike in Bangkok and they said there was a bike shop in Sukothai so that’s where Im headed. Farming more mixed here, rice, sugar beat being harvested and some corn and tapioca fields too. This area has the longest straightest roads! Hayfever making me sneeze a lot. Hit main highway and thought Id be clever by taking a shortcut into the town away from busy road. Ended up doing a circle and probably up highway about 2kms from where Id been to bus station (should have learned from Chumphon that bus stations aren’t in the town!) Had dinner then got a songtheaw to Sukothai, a lovely tree lined road and chatting with woman driver in front. Sky hazy from burning off stubble. Found farang gh 250 baht for cute little bungalow with bathroom. My sandals are stinking! Gave them a wash.
Dropped my bike in to the shop, then sat by the river and ate the pinapple Id bought from market. Lots of ants appeared as they sniffed out this sweet tasty treat. Let my sandals dry properly in the sun. Picked up bike, wheels straight as a die. Went to have a look round World heritage park in afternoon. 12kms away. Sat and watched people feeding catfish in a big lake, there was a large turtle in there too jockeying for position but he kept getting sunk by the mob. Had a cycle round ruins, but looked more like a building site to me as all that remains are the laterite foundation blocks, no stucco or murals or anything. Bagan wipes the floor with this place! Not impressed. Somehow Id managed to bypass the toll huts, who now want 100 baht per section. Pleasant to ride around the shady tree lined roads and large lake things. Had a big plate of food in nightmarket for only 25baht -aroy aroy.
|Sukothai world heritage site|
|Sukothai world heritage site|
|Catfish freeding frenzy! Anyone for a fish spa and foot massage?|
|Probably the best looking building in the whole heritage site - the tourist office.|