Nice

Thailand is nice.the highest point

The people are nice, beetlenutthe food is nice, the scenery is nice and the road is nice.good morning Thailand
It’s not outrageous like India, Exotic like Turkmenistan, Extreme like Tibet or Mind-blowing like Nepal.sign
But it’s very nice.pretty girls

I’m not complaining. I’ve had some wonderful days of cycling. The Northern hills are great! Literally a breath of fresh air after the heat on the Indian plains.lovely day

And in between the showers I even managed to get a glimpse of the view every now and again.Mea Salong

Especially the first few days out of Chiang May were beautiful. I cycled across a national park where I could take a break to check out a waterfall or a stupa and even the highest Mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanol. I managed to get up the 2565meter against rain and wind and had the idea to pitch my tent there. But it seemed a bit chilly and I left my sleeping bag in Bangkok so I rode down the Mountain and found a good spot near a waterfall instead.it's been a while Where in the morning I discovered an army of ants, coloring my normally green tent black. I didn’t mind so much when I noticed they were cleaning up bits of insects that get stuck to the tent every time I fold it up.

There are some roads around here that are definitely the steepest I’ve ever come across in my whole career as a ‘world-cyclist’ (…)lady on the road

In places I’ve gone up 200 meter in 1km! Impossible you think? YES! That’s what I think too! And I had to zig-zag up the road nearly falling over because I go slower than 3km/h.. it took me 2hours to cycle up 6km, only to be down the other side in 5min and start over again.

So riding around shouting SA-WAA-DI-KAAAA!!! At every men woman and child I came across I arrived at the village of Huai Bong. A small place where 200 people make a living by working in the surrounding rice fields. growing riceA friendly man invited me to stay in his brother’s house and then showed me around the village. They are building a church and have already finished the school. He told me they need a volunteer to teach the children English so if there’s someone out there looking for a place in Thailand…Mr Suradet, who gave me a bible In the evening I fell asleep to the mumbling of prayers coming from the next room. And when I left he gave me a bible.

The really wonderful thing in Thailand is that after a day on your bicycle, you can just go and get a Thai-massage. It’s a mixture between stretching-muscles and massage where they use not only their hands, but elbows, feet and whole body to pull you lose. There are a lot of “AUCH-is-that-really-necessary?-moments” But it does make you feel good.butterfly

Near Mea Hong Son in the Northwest corner of Thailand you find a lot of Hill-tribes.a long neck One of which called the Karen-longnecks. In town I met a couple of people who’ve been working with the villagers and in a nearby refugee camp to make sure children would go to school and have a change on a better future (www.ksdp.co.uk) It’s an amazing initiative set up in 1999 by a 19-year old English girl, she tragically died at 21 in a motorcycle accident and her family now continue her work. They took me to the village and told me about the work they try to do and how the people in the village must sell handicrafts to tourists for a living. what..Because all the money people pay to go and see them (for a boat crossing and ‘entry-fee’ )doesn’t actually end up with the people in the village.beetlenut-smile

The day I was there the new school just opened so all the kids got dressed up and performed songs and dances and had a bit of a party.the kids have a new schoolopening of the school

There are a few hot-springs around. They’re lovely, except that the ones I’ve seen were a bit too hot.a very HOT spring So I didn’t manage to actually spend much time in them. At one place they tried to charge me 300Baht to go to a hot spring near a geyser. I only wanted to go camping so I told them they’re mad and didn’t pay. It was a lovely spot though. And funny enough there was no one else at all. So I had the springs all for myself.my private hotspring

It’s so easy to stop anywhere and eat some good food. In a small restaurant one afternoon I noticed a table full of real nice looking sea-food, so I pointed at one dish to order that when a crowd of men in white walked in. I started chatting to one of them, they were Buddhist on a mission. But I didn’t find out what kind of mission.got invited for lunch I did get invited to join them at the table full of gorgeous food though! That made me very happy, and after some of them had a go on my bicycle I peddled off into the hills again.

One minor set-back is that I discovered I have become Lactose intolerant.
Apparently a parasite I’ve picked up somewhere on the road did it to me. The bad news is; no more milk, no more yoghurt, no more ice cream, no more cheese and no more CHOCOLATE!!! The good news is, it could only be temporarily…..little lady

So across hills and through some flat land I arrived at the Mekong river. Mekong lunchOn the border with Laos. My last day in Thailand was amusing since just then a yearly festival with parades and dressed up people happened…balloon anyone

I’ve been looking forward to Laos because every one I’ve met who’s been here loves it.
It has been slightly disappointing so far, and not only because it’s been pouring down rain ever since I got here.village child

I crossed the Mekong on a scary wiggely long tail boat in the rain with a vision of my bike toppling of and disappearing into the dark brown depths of the river. Lucky that didn’t happen. We both got across safe. A bit wet though.kitchen

So after the passport hassle I stopped for a coffee and some shelter at a guest house. When I asked the way to the toilet the lady got all huffy that I was there just to use the toilet and that I ONLY ordered one coffee… So I said ‘fine, I don’t have the coffee’. Went to the toilet and left.

A moment later I wanted to have something to eat. So at a place on the side of the road, like so many in Thailand, I had some food and they asked me 8 times the price it would cost me in Thailand! I just gave them what I thought was fair and left in a bid of a bad mood. They must think I’m stupid…

Here the road goes up and down a good bit, which suggests I might’ve had good views were it not raining. Non stop. I guess that is to be expected if you’re cycling around south-east Asia in the rainy-season. And sometimes I’m really enjoying it. Not being too hot. And not caring about a big puddle ’cause I’m soaking anyway. Singing in the rain. But when nothing never gets dry it does get a bit yuk after a while.cave

I got to Luang Namtha two days ago. My shoes are still wet.

Funny that as soon as I stop cycling it stops raining as well..

It’s been good here. Met some people who’ve I rented scooters with and we headed for the mud-tracks up in the hills. 😀Laos

But tomorrow it will probably rain. Tomorrow I’m on the road again.

Nice.

-xxx-

Thai Cowboywhat..Stupa's

19 thoughts on “Nice

  1. Errrk! Managed to miss your last update somehow and been telling everyone you’re in India. LOVED the mad monsoon pics, not far off July in Ireland this year… xxx

  2. Hi M!

    Leuk om je wielen te volgen. Beetje jammer dat de regen je steeds weer weet te vinden. Op een of andere magische wijze ontlopen wij de moesson steeds. Iedereen waarschuwt ons steeds: ‘ga daar niet heen, het is moesson’, maar nee geen druppel. Hoop dat het voor jou snel opdroogt!

    Groetjes!

  3. lieve Mirjam.Je hele mail weer gelezen en toch genoten van al je belevenissen,ook veel regen gehad ,maar dat hebben wij hier ook,maar nu word het weer heel mooi weer, Je laat je niet in de boot nemen hoor ze proberen je wel af te zetten maar inderdaad je laat niet over je lopen,we wensen je nog veel reisplezier met allemaal aardige mensen om je heen.lieve groete van ons beiden en een knuffel van oma,

  4. Hey zus, ik ben net terug van een weekje Hindeloopen, ook heel mooi! Verder alles goed hier, het lijkt zelfs een beetje zomer te worden.
    X

  5. Hoi Mirjam,

    Nou, de foto’s zijn weer prachtig. Alles is daar mooi; de natuur, de mensen, en wat een schitterende vlinderfoto! Weer met veel plezier de foto’s (én video’s) bekeken. Het heeft hier de afgelopen tijd aardig geregend, maar dáár kunnen ze er ook wat van…:-)
    Geniet van de wereld!

    kus,

    papa.

  6. wat een prachtig verhaal weer, het lijkt alsof het allemaal zo gemakkelijk is, maar een oneindige voorraad look-on-the-bright-side zal je wel veel helpen… ga zo door!

  7. HALLO MIRJAM, EINDELIJK TIJD OM JE VERHALEN EN BELEVENISSEN TE LEZEN EN DE FOTO’S E.D. BEKEKEN, WAT EEN REIS MAAK JE TOCH EN DAN AL DIE PRACHTIGE NATUUR DIE JE ZIET, JAMMER DAT HET ZOVEEL REGENT MAAR JA, HET LAND IS ERG GROEN DUS!!!!!!!! HEERLIJKE MASSAGE GEHAD EN HOE!! GELUKKIG WEER SNEL GENEZEN VAN DIE BACTERIE EN HOPELIJK GAAT DE REIS VERDER VOORSPOEDIG, IK WENS JE WEER VEEL GEZONDHEID TOE EN GENIET VAN DEZE PRACHTIGE WERELDTOER. WEER GENOTEN VAN ALLE BELEVENISSEN.GROETJES VAN JE (TANTE) RIET UIT MAASSLUIS.

  8. Hoi Mirjam, leuk je verhaal over Thailand te lezen erg herkenbaar allemaal, Loas is mooi maar ook zwaar en niet overal geweldig eten maar dat red jij wel! Wij op dit momen in Canada, we hebben de laatste weken door Alaska en Canada gefietst maar ook hier REGEN en nog erger het is ook koud! We fietsen al weken met jas en lange broek rond (onder de regen kleding dan he haha) maar wel erg mooi hier, al missen we Azie wel een beetje hoor. Nou heel veel veilige kilometers en hopelijk wat droger weer! Groetjes Wim en Peet (zerereet.nl)

  9. Remember me? Koffie drinken in Laos net over de grens? Heb net even stukjes van je site gelezen, maar jij hebt al zoveel gezien en gedaan dat alles lezen niet even snel te doen is! Zit nu in Nha Trang, Vietnam. Geniet ervan in Laos. Veel regen, maar de mensen daar zijn echt geweldig (als je het grensstadje uit bent 🙂 ) Veel liefs!

  10. Good news chica. When you come to visit me I have a chocolate factory with lactose free chocolate. Well it’s not mine but I know the ppl. 🙂 Also I have a great coffee place. Again, not mine but I got connections in this town. Ciao.

  11. Keep on trucking girl. Rain gets everywhere – plenty in Nottingham lately a true English summer – yay!

    Nottingham has lots of festivals in August so a good time to stay home – not that I’m jealous of you, you understand.

    Great pics – keep going and enjoying.

    Lots of loveXX

  12. Oh and some red wine that is way better than turtle’s blood (for anyone else reading this is not real turtle’s blood we’re talking).

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