We were leaving Cambodia behind use after a first real climb of the Wolfborn Tour in Choam town. Again, we did not have much idea, what to expect from the part of Thailand ahead of us! It was definitely not the part of the country we know from holiday destinations, but what the real difference was, we were about to experience in the next days! And in a sort of similar taste as in Cambodia, it was mostly about people rather then mind-blowing landscapes.
Riders: Thomas Calcagno & Rafal Ramatowski
Distance: about 550km
Duration: 7 days of touring
Gear: TRESHOMBRES the WOLFBORN
Wheels: TRESHOMBRES 3.8
Shifting Group: Shimano 105 & Shimano Ultegra hydraulic
Bike Bags: Blackburn OUTPOST Series: Carry All Bags, Frame Bags, Seat Pack & Dry Bags, Handlebar Roll & Dry Bags
Tires: WTB Riddler 37c x 700
New country, new feeling
After we crossed the border without any troubles, we rolled on through the hilly landscapes of Sisaket province. This feature made us happy right away, after the flats of Cambodia! The nature and vegetation all around was what we needed! Also the fact that there were so many roads, much smaller then the motorway in Cambodia made so much fun! We finally found ourselves in a maze of countryside roads and cozy village vibe! We spent the first night camping at the lake and continued the next day through the Thai countryside.
The second day of cycling brought us to a little village in the evening, where, after a suggestion of a shop owner the other day, we decided to ask at the local temple, if we could spend the night! We were thinking, that if the monks would be keen on hosting us, it could help us a lot during the tour, not only with getting a good and safe sleep, but also with charging all the devices during the night. The monks took us in so immediately, we were even shocked! quickly showed us where we can sleep, where are the toilets, prepared the sleeping pads and showed where to plug the devices. Boom, all solved! On top of this, as soon as we got under roof it started pouring heavily! Bless!
Rolling through the Thai countryside
The countryside in the eastern Thailand gives somewhat similar feeling as countryside in central Europe. Felt like home sometimes even! We were passing by the little villages and growing fields and exchanging hundreds of smiles with the locals! On the third day the rain caught us in late morning as we were chilling in a little wooden hut. The passing villager stopped by and insisted, that we come with him to his little house, hut, farm to stay there and, what turned out a while later, to share the lunch. All 3 of them made some fish for us. It looked to us, that these people didn't have much, and yet offered so much! Their generosity was moving us! It stopped raining and we left them almost sad, we didn't stay longer!
We tried to pack up most of the action of the first days in Thailand in the video below. Check out, how it looked through he GoPro Hero 6 lenses
Moving on north
The following days we were mostly moving up north towards the Lao border and the city of Nong Khai. Cycling through the farm lands we were passing by really many lakes, which seemed perfect for comping. Only every time they turned out to be a sort of swamp - lakes. To our surprise it was the only time in Thailand we needed to camp in the wild..
Why was it the first and last camp in Thailand? Well, after the first extremely welcoming experience in the Buddhist temple, we decided to try more temples on the way! And every time we were hosted in a very kind way, and always in a different way! Little house next to the temple building, under a big roof, or just in the temple with many Buddha statues next to us! It really made bikepacking through Thailand a true pleasure!
Rolling on north through the farm lands of eastern Thailand was in a way a very relaxing and tranquil experience. Eating well, resting well, mostly in the Buddhist temples, waking up early with sunrise, it all gave us a certain discipline throughout the tour, we were making around 100km every day and eventually arrived at Lao border sooner then expected, which gave us an opportunity to spend more time in beautiful Laos!
Our well rested minds were ready to cross the border to Laos. We reached the city of Nong Khai soon, meeting more inspiring and friendly locals, that will make our experience in Thailand unforgettable!
Our big tip for Thailand and actually for most of the countries in South East Asia is to try to talk to monks!
If you're in a town early before 19, go to a temple and try to ask the monks, if you can stay over night!
They were always happy to help us so why wouldn't they help you when they see you cycling across Thailand!
Daily Average: 85km