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!
This afternoon, Pita offered to visit a pot factory. Pottery is the emblem of Ratchaburi which for decades had the best mud in the country and produced very good quality products. Today it’s still the case but there is more competition with material coming from north of Thailand. Today, their worse enemy is plastic. Since the last 10-15 years, their production decreased a lot because people prefer using polluting plastic rather than handmade pottery. Naturally the prices are very different but that should not be a reason! By 2050, because of our crazy plastic production (helped by the overfishing industry) there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans! Humans, we are irresponsible.
When I’m not visiting some places with Pita, I keep working on her house. Today I’m learning how to do my first window. Then we will keep doing some other walls. Stephane has left this morning to go to Bangkok. I’m going soon too for few days, only with my bicycle. I will leave most of my stuff here. Then I will come back for few days before we will be cycling with Pita towards Chiang Mai. She planned to visit her friends, stay there as long as she needs and then catch a train back here. After Chang Mai, I will have about 3 weeks left to arrive in Laos which should be long enough. That’s the plan! (kind of).
Today is a plenty day! Pita did for us a pro tour with lots different things so see and discover. First we worked on her Adobe house this morning, had lunch and hopped on our bicycles again. The original goal was to visit one of her friend who is an expert in Adobe house. He lives about 20 kilometres from where we started. On the way, we stopped first at a factory where they made traditional textile. Then we stopped at two other places where they do the same but handmade. Then we kept cycling and stopped on the way at a brick factory. The guys were very nice and showed us the whole process. Then, we kept on going until we stopped to the place where Grandin (The monk I’ve been cycling with from Singapore to Malacca) built an Adobe house for a friend. And finally, 4 or 5 hours later, we arrived at Pita’s friend property where we had dinner. After that we cycled the 20km back to Pita’s home.