March 2017 - Thailand
While looking for a new accomodation I pass an inconspicuous side road with a small sign, that has a bed, a knife and a fork painted on it. At first I just walk past it and then I think, that I want to have a look at it. The house seems to be located at the end of the dead-end road. I go there and ask for a room. The owner offers me a room in a new building and points towards a vintage-style wooden house.
My inner voice tells me: That's it! We go inside and i am stunned. The house is completely furnished with antiques. The owner and I immediately understood each other and are having a conversation about antiques. A noticeably sympathy emerges between us. It was clear for me that the price for the room will exceed my budget.
Long time we talk about many topics and then Wiroj, the owner, gave me the room for an extremely favourable rent price including breakfast.
Because there are no other guests in this wooden house, I am free to choose a room there. I immediately feel comfortable and a feeling of beeing at home growes in me. Family Saengbangka tochingly cares for me and reads all my wishes off my eyes.
I got the whole upper floor all for myself with a nice terrace. The universe takes care of me very well, this is a great birthday present. I have a feeling that I have found a home/family. It is something special for me, that these things take place with completely strange people.
I stay some days there. Saying farewell to Wiroj and Chomkhae is deeply emotional and warm. Chomkhae's eyes well up with tears, which effects me deeply. This situation adresses me for some time for this day. A string bond developed between this family and me.
I want to cycle over the hills at Isthmus of Kra to reach the coast of the Andaman sea. The road leads ably around the hills and the gradients are not too challenging. If there is a chance to leave the highway I take it.
The hills become steeper and I think that there will be a next challenge for me until Ranong. That was not the case. I'm looking forward to be in Ranong because there are these hot springs. I arrive there in a very relaxed condition. In the evening I pay a visit to the hot springs.
There is also a fruit market, where I get to know the so called mango plum, a great fruit. Without my luggage I explore the area and cycle into the canyon of Ranong.
Actually I just wanted to make a small trip but at the end I cycled about 60km. I found pristine nature in the national park. In the evening I allowed myself an extended Thai massage with flavoured oil. It was so good that I booked another massage for the next day.
I decide to make a visa-run one-day-trip to Myanmar. A wooden boat takes me to Kawthaung, where I get my passport stamps for entering and also for leaving the country. Another boat takes me back to Thailand, where I get a 30-day-visa on arrival again. This visa-run is much cheaper than purchasing a visa extension in Thailand. Early in the day I leave Ranong to make use of the chill of the morning. The next national park awaits me. The way leads through mangroves to Hat Bang Ben. At this place one can leave all his cares behind.
In the Wasana resort I find a small bungalow for accomodation. Once again I feel as right as rain. The owner is a Dutchman and we understand each other very good. I am glad to travel timelessly. I enjoy the nature and the silence for some days and wander through the rain forest in the nation park, where are some deserted beaches and fishing villages.
The fisherman live in simple huts. I can see their satisfaction in their faces; they are shining it. I watch the harvesting of the palm fruits, of which they make palm oil.
There are many cashew trees, from which they pick the cashew apple that is holding the nut. For one day I chill at the bungalow at ease.
The wonderful landscape accompanies me along to Khao Lak. On my way to there I get to know Dirk, who is also a long-distance cyclist. He is staying in Khao Lak as well and right now on his way to the beach, where I've had my second breakfast. We make an appointment for the evening.
From Dirk I get to know Tom, who runs a restaurant in Khao Lak. A past Tsunami destroyed many houses in Khao Lak. Today not many marks are left from this event. At Tom's place I get to know a Lakota-indian, who comes to visit Khao Lak every year. I continue along the coast throough many Karst hills. The landscape is unfamiliar.
The hills are not high, they just stand around. There are no big "Anstiege", but it goes up and down continuously. In addition a headwind takes lots of my strenght for the last days. I even have to pedal downhill. There is hardly any accomodation in this area. Those, that I find, are too expensive. One of the expensive ones allows me to camp onto their ground and to use the toilets and the natural water pool, which is as good as a shower.
On the way to Krabi I take a longer break at the bay of Noppharathara. I really like it here so I look for an accomodation. The beaches around Krabi are very touristic.
In a hostel I get to know Chiko. He is from India and lives in Melbourne. Dropped out for an indefinite period of time he travels to various locations of our planet, where he can do rock climbing.
I stay some days there before I flee from this touristic place to have a look at Krabi.
Once I reach the small city of Klong Thom I spontaneously plan to visit the Emerald Pool. I discover once again the silence and serenity amongst the people here. They don't have the avarice for money in their eyes.
There is a mart at night, which I pay a visit. They show me how the make the tea there. Immediately I am in contact with the locals. Their food is much better and cheaper than elsewhere - they do not want my money.
On the next day I cycle into the mountains of Sa Monrakot, where the Emerald Pool is located. I leave my luggage in my accomodation place.
The Emerald Pool is a natural water pool with turquoise clear water, where I can take a cooling bath. A long way through the rain forest leads to the blue pool. The crystal clear water contains deposits of ore, which where taken here by the river stream. It was a wonderful day there.
Because of the many tourists I am still not sure whether to visit the island Koh Lanta. It is early in the morning and I can just calmly explore the island with my luggage and then later decide, if I want to stay there. I reach the island by ferry. While exploring I meet Heidi and Hagen from near Munich, Germany. I want to pay them a visit later in Germany.
In spite of the many tourists, the island is quite silent and relaxed. I am cycling a lot there. Some of the beaches are hardly populated, so I go to swim in the ocean quite often. Every day there are thunderstorms that bring abundant showers. The locals say that the rainy season is coming very early this year.
On my way to the malaysian border I cycle on many small side roads, which are very branched, almost like a labyrinth. Once again I find myself in a village, where the road branches off in two directions, and I don't know which way to go. A woman invites me for lunch and shows me how to get out of the labyrinth. She then spontaneously takes her motorbike and guides me for about 10km out to the main street. The rain forces me to stop many times. All the people are very helpful. At a police station they offer me tea, and as the rain does not stop they even gave me something to eat.
After that one of the policemen, Satir, drives home and returns with a bag full of fresh fruits. Another time, when once again the rain did not stop and it was already dusk, the next accomodation is 30km far away. The locals allow me to sleep on the floor of a roofed school terrace. One of them accompanies me to this school, which are usually located near Wats, where the monks live. The monks offer me a plank bed and I am invitet to a Wat for dinner, where the village-people celebrate a funeral. For them it seems to be a naturalness that I am part of the celebration. The day before I experienced the same situation at lunchtime. A sadness rises in me that I have to leave this wonderful country soon.