Ayutthaya to Sing Buri – Back on the Road
Ayutthaya was lovely, but we were anxious to get back on the road and back off the tourist path. A cycle trip to Chiang Mai usually takes about 10 days – too much time for us – so opted to use some Brompton magic: three days of touring and a train the rest of the way.
The heat and humidity in the north/ central area of Thailand are more manageable than when we were cycling in the south, so we took our time in the morning, with a big breakfast of rice soup and iced coffee at our guest house, then a stop to play with the resident puppy (or “cutepuppy”, as one Tripadvisor reviewer aptly called him).
We rode back through Ayutthaya, stopping for a quick picture with a giant reclining Buddha, then headed north on a large highway.
Fortunately, we soon found a quiet frontage road, just across the canal, where we could ride alongside each other and see more scenery. So much of Thai life is lived outside that, on these smaller roads, it is easy to feel like you are riding through someone’s living room. Fortunately, all the smiley people we saw along the way seemed happy to share their living rooms.
Our lunch was a spontaneous stop along the frontage road, at an empty local spot where the staff spoke basically no English. Using hand signals and pictures from a magazine, we communicated that Dmitry wanted chicken (“gai”) and that I wanted prawn (“gung”). In case you are curious, prawn is communicated with a fish hand signal [put your hands together and make a swishing motion] while indicating I wanted something like [put your hands together and make a swishing motion], but not exactly [put your hands together and make a swishing motion].
There was some confusion and some doubt for both the restaurant staff and us, indicated on their part by continuing to ask us questions in Thai, and on our part by trying unsuccessfully to use some sort of translation app. Eventually, one of the women went to communicate with the kitchen and we all hoped for the best. And the best is exactly what happened! We each received a large plate of our protein of choice stir fried with garlic, basil, and chili sauce, over rice. And somehow, we had also agreed to fish tom yum, the spicy our soup that is sometimes called “the National Dish of Thailand.” It was all delicious, and we washed it down with Leo beer and topped it off with fresh citrus. One of our more amazing meals, overlooking a canal, with kind hosts: under $7.
[By the way, this restaurant is not on Google Maps or any of the Open Streets maps we use. But if you want an amazing restaurant between Ayutthaya and Sing Buri, the coordinates are here.]
After such a big lunch, I was a little nervous to get back on the bike – not sure whether I would fall asleep while riding. Fortunately, I soon got a flat tire, which woke me right up. Dmitry is the cycle mechanic in the family, and he soon had the tire off (the rear tire, much more of a pain to change), patched up, and back on again. And while he fxed my bike, I picked out a hotel for the night.
We rolled into the town of Sing Buri around 5 pm – by far our latest cycling day – and settled in for the night with some snacks and celebratory beers.