Today we finally left the Ping river and joined the Wang river for most of today. In fact, the ping river is the one that fills the Bhumibol lake. We will follow it again later before reaching Chiang Mai. The goal for today is to reach the bottom of the mountain range that creates the natural limit between the Lampang and Lamphun provinces. It will be our first climb for this trip (and the first for me too for the whole Thailand). If we get there tonight we will be able to start the climb tomorrow morning when the temperature is still fresh. 17km is not that much but I don’t know how Pita can handle that. Well, I’m sure she will but that’s more a question of time. The more early we start, the less we will be hit by the heat. Simple logic :-)
Today we cycled only until midday but still did 47km :-) We done the first 20km until we reached a temple called Wat Phra Borommathat. After the visit we had breakfast and then continued travelling north. Then we kept on going until we arrived in Sam Ngao, a village very close to the Bhumibol artificial lake. In fact, in the 50’s the government started the construction of the Bhumibol Dam, named after the King. They needed 6 years to build it and another 6 years to fill it! Once we got to temple of the village, after a hot rest, we cycled and visit that famous dam. The way to reach it is far to be flat. That’s the most hilly place I’ve been to in Thailand until now.
Today is another step towards Chiang Mai. The nights become slightly more fresh but that’s still not enough to use my 5°C sleeping bag :-) We have spent most of the day along the Ping river and visited a religious place when we arrived in Tak. This one as the particularity to have a huge collections of animals, mainly elephants and roosters.
First day travelling towards Chiang Mai. Today we left Ratchaburi with Pita, Kate and Grandin. On the way we visited the most famous floating market in Thailand where we had a brunch. Then we kept on cycling towards Nakhon Pathom and reached Grandin’s friend’s house. His friend invited us to stay for the night. Khunoi owns a bicycle shop. He is specialised in rebuilding Retro bicycles. That evening, he proudly showed us what he does which was very impressive.
Today I’m on the way back to Ratchaburi and its countryside, finally! I did not hate Bangkok but more I travel, more I feel a stranger inside those big cities where everything you can do is consume products and yourself. I’m happy to be and the train again :-)
Let’s resume Bangkok in one post. I’m not particularly attracted by these megapols at all. I’ve done all I had to do here and certainly too much shopping malls. I’ve been to the embassy, cycled around the city to reach the different places, try to sleep in the cheapest backpackers I could because I stayed only one night at Pita’s mom “boombed” place and saw Stéphane few more times before we take different directions across Asia. That’s all!
Well, that’s not the most interesting day to tell today. I’m going to Bangkok. I did not plan to go there first but I must now. The main two reasons are : visa and GPS. There is an optional reason, changing my camera. I’ve talked many times now about upgrading my camera gear. Apparently there is lots of huge shopping malls in Bangkok and few of them a specialised in electronics. If I can find THE bargain MAYBE I will spend lots of money. Nothing is sure!
On the other side, Pita asked to follow me to Chiang Mai. My “plan” changed for a better option : I’m going to Bangkok by train with my bicycle only when all my stuff stays in Ratchaburi. I do everything I want there and then, I will come back to Ratchaburi from where we will cycle to Chiang Mai. That way, I will avoid all the heavy traffic to get in and out the capital and commuting inside Bangkok could be fun. That’s the plan!