Uthai Thani to Nakhon Sawan (and Chiang Mai) – Living the Dream
Before we left for Thailand, I had a perfect cycle-touring Thailand day in my head: We’d rise early and check out of our cheap (but clean and comfortable) hotel, maybe saying good-bye to some new friends as we left. Breakfast would come from the market, where we would try new foods, and they would all be delicious. We could eat overlooking a river, maybe with a view of temples and/or local fishermen. Then we’d ride along well-paved but empty roads through rice paddies and banana orchards, on our way to the next cute little town, where we could maybe catch a train onwards. Ok, maybe it wasn’t that specific, but that certainly captured my mood – and it’s a pretty good summary of our most recent journey.
On our way out of the hotel, we did meet some other cycle tourists. Bea and Pit are Swiss and have been touring for 2 years now. This year they’ve already toured through Turkey, Uzbekistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, China, Laos, and some other places. They were headed to Bangkok, in the opposite direction from us, but it was great to talk to them for a few minutes before they set out.
Breakfast was sticky rice wrapped in a banana leaf from the market, alongside the Chao Phraya River and overlooking floating gardens.
Ko Thepo, just across the river from Uthai Thani, has a bike route that weaves through temples and fields along the river. The temperature was perfect – low humidity, even a little chilly.
We stopped to investigate a roadside stand selling something grilled inside bamboo and found – more sticky rice. It was delicious, and the people at the stand were super friendly.
We reached our destination – Nakhon Sawan, where we’d catch a train to Chiang Mai – with plenty of time to explore. We found a busy city with a large park in the center.
Our train wasn’t leaving until 10 pm, so we stopped at the “Soccer Beer” bar for a late dinner and caught the Thailand-Malaysia match of the Suzuki Cup finals. As was fitting for such a perfect day, Thailand won.
And after all that, we boarded the night train to Chiang Main and discovered that the Bromptons fit perfectly (if very snugly) under our berth. Living the dream.