Tuesday, July 10, 2012
This is the fifth day since leaving Bangkok and it already feels we've been here for longer. Our stops: Ayuthaya, and Lop Buri were pretty touristy, Uthai Thani and Khlong Khlung not at all, I think we are the only tourists they've seen for a while. In Uthai we had our picture taken by the coffee shop owner and he placed it in his Facebook page. We had dinner with the locals while a baby elephant and his owner came by our table and we fed it for 1 dollar. Riding is challenging because it is so hot and humid after the early morning and there is no relief with rain... We are still to see a monsoon pour (just as at home in Tucson). The roads are excellent, drivers and motorcycles respectful, we get multiple signs of encouragement along the way which at the end of the ride are needed. There is food and drinks along the way, and we can get icy drinks and sort of vegetarian meals whenever we want. It works when there is an outside kitchen (most of the time) and I can point at what we want. But what keeps us going at the end is the reward of a nice shower and AC in the room... We must have been lucky so far and found hotel rooms from 350 to 590 Bhats 12 to 19 dollars a night. We can't upload pictures but you can see some in Facebook.
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Finally headed north from Bangkok. Bangkok would seem to be one of the least bike friendly cities that we have seen in the world. Heavy traffic, lots of 2 stroke exhaust, and absolutely no bike accommodations anywhere. So we decided to check in to taking the train north about 50 miles to our first stop in Ayuthaya. The 3 mile ride to the train station was a bit exciting but OK. Then train Tickets for us for the 90 ride were $0.50 each. The bike accommodation and charges were much less clear, but after several discussions we were on our way with bikes with us in the car for $3 per bike. Stuff is really inexpensive here. We rode around Ayuthaya a bit and found a nice guest house. The room, with free dinner, hot water, A/C, and wifi came to less than $14. Sweet. We explored several of the ruins in the center of town, many were really nice. This was once the capital before the Burmese ransacked the place. Tomorrow we head north for our first full day on the bikes.
Friday, July 6, 2012
On the 4th of July in the morning Steve and I started our adventure, bicycle tour in South East Asia. We were going to include Thailand, Burma and Laos but due to difficulties entering Burma by bike and not knowing if we were going to be able to ride by ourselves where we wanted we decided to not go to Burma and go to Cambodia instead. The trip started with the good news that Cathay was not going to charge us for the bikes and other than a very long stretch between LA and Hong Kong (14 hours) the trip was uneventful. We arrived after midnight in Bangkok, the beginning and end of the journey and without much difficulty found a taxi that could fit us, the bikes and the suitcases and took us to our friend Jesse Sozanski apartment at the Hospital of Tropical Diseases. Jesse is a family medicine resident from Tucson that is doing a rotation in Bangkok and offered us to stay with him and to keep our suitcases and boxes until we come back from the tour. Today July 6th (we kind of lost the 5th in the crossing the Pacific), we went to explore Bangkok after a great breakfast at a cafeteria by the hospital and putting the bikes together. Steve and I walked through town, and saw a couple of temples. The most impressive was the reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) which is 46 meters long. We also went to the amulet market, ate our first and yummy Pad Thai and got a one hour Thai massage. Waiting for Jesse to come back from work to go out to dinner, maybe Chinatown night market. Tomorrow evening we might leave north if we figure out how to leave Bangkok safely...not a bicycle friendly city. As we are not taking the computer (only the iPad) it will be hard to upload pictures but will tell stories when there is internet