Friday, March 10, 2006

Krabi to Phangnga

A few pics from my first day of real biking. It was about 110 km on beautiful sealed roads, about half main and half back roads.

There was a lot of rotisserie chicken on the sides of the road around lunch time, though I'm afraid I don't have any pictures of that...

In the early afternoon I had to stop for lunch in the middle of nowhere. I was stuck between here and there, REALLY hungry, when I finally spotted what appeared to be a restaurant in some family's front yard (as all restaurants are here in the country side).

I caused quite a stir amoungst the ten or so people lounging in the shade, but after a few seconds they pushed a young man towards me. Having been delegated as the english speaker, he got right down to business. "What... you... want?"

"I want to eat..." (making eating motions) "Restaurant?" (pointing at the ground in front of my feet).

This set off another flury of discussion, which lead to "Here... only... Thai people food."


About two minutes later I was presented with a huge platter with at least six different kinds of raw vegetables, some identifiable and some not, and another four kinds of sour pickled vegetables. Also, a hardboiled egg. I wasn't sure what to do. It was very neatly arranged, not at all like salad.

Next came a huge bowl of noodles covered in spicy yellow coconut curry gravy. This I knew, but I was still a little nervous. Everyone was watching. I decided I should pop the veges in my mouth as I ate the noodles. It seems like an acceptable thing to do, as it produced no reaction. People will LAUGH at you if you do something wrong while eating. I always slowly reach for a sauce while looking at the cook, watching for his reaction. With five different sauces, you know there's got to be a right one and a wrong one.

I was also given a cold bottle of Coke, and it was probably the best Coke I have ever had.

Every once in a while, as I was eating, they would send over the young man with a question. I would answer and he would dutifully return to the other table and let them all in on the big secret.

I ordered another bowl of noodles. This went over really well.

When I was just finishing up, he came over and told me "Coke, 10 baht... food, no money." I protested. "No no no, not free. I pay."

"No. Coke 10 baht. OK? 10 baht."

(For those not in the know, the current exchange rate is 33.6 baht to the Canadian dollar.)

So, I paid for my coke, thanked everyone, and hit the road again.

As you can see, the roads are excellent. Perfect, even

And a beautiful little worship area.


Brett said...

Looks like your having a good ride thus far. I'm in Mae Hong Son in north Thailand surfing the internet at a internet/mtn. bike shop. I need to take a pic of this to send to Alian (bikes for sale hanging right over the moniters). Have you been surprised by the abundance of decent bike shops here? I'm going to comb town tommorow for info on the infamous (only in my mind) off-road route from here to Pai. If I do that and a few days of lazing here I should be in Chiang Mai in like a week??.. I'm probably going to bus or train it down south to meet you in those sweaty latitudes. What route north are you thinking you want to do?

And, nice pics.


Aaron Franz said...

Yeah nice ride so far...

I actually met my first farang cyclist today... a french guy. I've seen alot of Thai cyclists though. Looks likes they are training for the Olympics or something. I guess they buy there stuff from these bike shops. I found a great one in the middle of nowhere and purchased the greatest kickstand in the world. Seriously, you won't believe this kickstand. 300 baht, but worth every penny.

I've heard you can take barges all the way through Laos into China up the Mekong... maybe we should just skip the biking. Ha