Posted in Thailand




After a long day’s drive from Si-Kao, I reached Krabi late in the afternoon yesterday. It is one of the two larger provincial towns here in the south of Thailand. The day before yesterday I had a long way around Trang.
Here in Krabi there is a large selection of smaller hotels and hostels, the city is swimming a bit on the swelling tourism wave. In the wider area there are very beautiful beaches, hot springs and archaeologically interesting sites. However, everything is not within realistic reach of my bike, because after eight days in the saddle since Georgetown, I want to take a break again.
I find a clean room with a small balcony in a side street and rinse my laundry in the evening so that it has a chance to dry on the balcony. But that will last until the next afternoon.

It was raining twice yesterday and I was able to find a shelter in time only once, the second time, just on a climb in a section of forest without anything, the shower really caught me. Shortly thereafter, I was able to dry myself in a small restaurant and use the rain break for a coffee and late lunch.

Today is a chain care day. After more than 1500 kilometers, this important component in my bicycle drive deserves a thorough cleaning and readjustment. That sounds a bit high, but the chain had to be a little tense. I have done this about every 500 km, because there is no compensating spring element on my hub gear. The chain lengthens with daily use and then sags more and more. Actually not that bad, but in the chainglider that surrounds my chain, this effect is negatively noticeable through more grinding.
And despite the very tight chain guard, of course enough dirt still penetrates to the chain links in every rain.
With the coarse microfiber cloth that I found earlier in a shop for household goods, the chain is like new. Fresh oil on it, cleaned the bike a bit, and so I can continue my journey tomorrow.


My glasses also need care. With the constant air humidity and my sweat on the plastic glasses, I haven’t gotten them really clean for a long time. Especially my sports glasses, which I wear when cycling all the time, except when it is raining, and on the inside of which my face sweats during the day and on the outside of which a fine film of moisture forms due to the wind, I wanted to have it professionally cleaned by an optician.
Unfortunately, however, I don’t find an optician with an ultrasonic cleaning device, although there is no shortage of eyewear stores. But I am sold a chemical cleaning agent and it works (at least at first glance).

Krabi is also the first place in Thailand where I can find postcards and I can replenish my stamp stock here at a post office without having to wait long. I had already bought some in La-Ngu and, like in Malaysia, I have to get a waiting number, but people do not queue up with forms, do not have to have their ID card read out and leave fingerprints on the forms that have already been signed, before each process is completed and the next person waiting is called. So I get 20 pretty stamps after five minutes.


Posted in Thailand

In the rural south of Thailand

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I quickly became friends with Thailand. After two days in the province of Satun, I continue to drive northwest in the Trang region. There was a police station at the provincial border and the young uniformed men stopped me there briefly. Not to control my passport, but for some small talk and to replenish my water supply. I thought that was really nice.
A short time later I met another bike traveler on the sunny afternoon, without any Ortlieb bags, instead he had bags made of khaki-colored canvas on the bike, also an interesting variant. He only greeted briefly as he drove by.

The landscape here is a little more impressive than it was in the coastal regions of Malaysia. Often forested karst rocks can be seen somewhere in the distance, sometimes not that far from the road, which often rise steeply out of the plain. Then again the landscape is just hilly. Secondary routes somehow meander through, the level of the road almost always remains flat.
Main roads go straight through the area and often take the waves with them more directly. Especially today I had to deal with quite a few short climbs between Thung Yao and Trang. But I wanted to avoid detours, because it was clear that the day would be quite long, with a distance of almost 90 kilometers. The last two days before, however, I was able to drive through many villages along side routes, which is of course much nicer, but also means more distance.

From the border town of Wang Prachan, the narrow road leads a few kilometers further down to a plain where rice is obviously also grown, and there are smaller rubber tree plantations. Rubber trees can be seen everywhere and again and again, sometimes also on larger areas. Oil palms, however, are rare.
After less than 20 kilometers, the road at Khuan Don joins a larger north-south connecting road. Shortly before that there was a police checkpoint. The road between Khuan Don and Chalung is then expanded into four lanes and many larger shops are waiting for customers here. Because of Sunday, however, many of them are closed. At a large Tesco Lotus supermarket I can see from afar at the large and quite full parking lot that it’s open, and there I also find several ATMs. Finally, I still need Thai money for the next few days and so I draw what the machine offers me in maximum amount. At a mobile phone dealer, I have a SIM card set up for mobile Internet access and the first 500 Baht are quickly gone.

In the evening, I give the next 500 for accommodation, a small so-called resort in La Ngu, which consists of several small bungalows in a row and individual huts. The afternoon shower, which I am waiting for under a small pavilion on a school site, is over in time to arrive there reasonably dry. It doesn’t quite work, because the streets are wet after the rain and I still get a lot drizzle from the road surface.
I get a big room, I still wash out the sweaty clothes from the day, but they don’t get dry overnight, just as little as the bike.

I’m driving through a landscape that is strongly characterized by forested karst rocks now. Nevertheless, the road winds almost flat through the region, is just a little bit wavy from time to time. But there are only a few noteworthy increases. Only at a point just before the provincial border the road goes up a hill, which lets me come out of the saddle and drive for a few minutes while rocking. I am finally putting into practice what I have repeatedly practiced in spinning training. The climb is easier to manage in that way than if I keep sitting in the saddle.

There aren’t the same number of simple restaurants here in Thailand, where you can get something to eat almost anywhere in Malaysia. The offer is often not pre-cooked and made available in the form of a small buffet, but freshly prepared, in one or more woks.
A portion of rice with fried egg and wok vegetables, or soup noodles with vegetables and seafood, with iced coffee, then costs about 50 – 80 Baht.

It’s not funny when the rain, like today, is starting to get stronger while I’m still looking for accommodation. I had seen a notice board just before Si Kao, but then nothing else. The place itself is a bit off the main street, the Bohin Farmstay is also off the place and without the help of a friendly local I would never have found it. But now I’m sitting here on a river arm far away from the village and because of the rain I can’t get away to eat something.
But all the fruit I have, the pineapple from the day before yesterday, dried fruit and biscuit leftovers also fill you up. The beer is missing, but maybe I can have one again tomorrow.