Quirky Thailand [Scouting Report]
Scouting the Bangkok to Singapore section of our upcoming Bamboo Road has commenced, as of about a week ago actually. I’m now sitting in Ao Nang, not too far from the beach, sipping a Singha beer and trying to straighten my body out after a week of 10-hour driving days.
Mr. Tick and Mr. Narong are helping me along the way. Mr. Tick has pointed out such things as the endless rubber plantations in the jungle, has told me that I should never feed the monkeys, and that he doesn’t like spicy food. Mr. Narong is a steady driver and gave me some coconut pancakes that his uncle makes in a small town along our route.
So what’s quirky about Thailand? In some ways it’s less about Thailand and more about cycling long distances in general and the types of places where one find’s themselves spending the night. One of Thailand’s’ major economic drivers is tourism and many towns and beaches cater to foreign tourists, but so far along our route we are staying in one beautiful beach town that sees 99% local Thai tourists, one jungle swamp Resort that sees mostly Thai government types, one lonely motel that sees mostly traveling salesman…
Not that the main tourist destinations don’t have their attractions, and we’ll be staying in Bangkok, Hua Hin and Ao Nang which all belong to that title, but there is something about sitting out late at night in a small village, as the jungle air starts to cool, and you just can’t quite understand how on earth you ended up there. There is no doubt that cycle tourism is the way to go.
Anyway, tomorrow it will be back on the road heading towards Malaysia. So far the scout has been going well. We have many side roads in store for us in Thailand, we get to see shrimp farms, salt farms, rubber and palm plantations, the beach of course and no shortage of yummy Som Tum salad (Papaya salad which I’ve been eating most days).