Bangkok or Bust
Chiang Mai to Bangkok
Setting off from Saraburi
Rise and shine from the Hotel babylon early doors and off I blasted. Traffic was pretty congested headed through Saraburi but once out of the city it was plain sailing.
Highway 1 - The Final Leg
Roads were pretty quiet, not too bad for the first twenty miles or so.
Getting pretty near to bangkok now, the traffic is still holding thin.
Once the Ayuthaya highway joined onto Highway 1 the fun really started, constant streams and great runs of traffic. As the bikers who've rode the Bangkok trail will know, it's a chancy business just pulling over with stream after stream of fast traffic behind, coming in from the joining lanes and exit lanes, so alas, I couldn't any more 'side of the road' angled-shots off I'm afraid.
Arrival in Bangkok
Well, there were no lines of well-wishers or jubilent crowds greeting the home-coming farang from the lofty exile of Chiang Mai but the traffic wasn't hostile either and was more flowing than last time.
From previous experience I knew my bearings for the most part and just rolled into my destination, it took just under 2 hours from Saraburi to my residence in Bangkok, not bad going. Cross-filtering through traffic is fairly easy, even with two packs and 12 kilos in weight on you. For a big beefcake it would be somewhat more tricky on cross-filtering but perhaps easier to shoulder and bear the weight on long distance.
Arrival in Bangkok - Lessons learned from the Tour
The whole 'lets-talk-about-the-farang-who-is-over-there' mentality is very evident in every city south of Tak I visited. I think when you have an area with hardly any foreigners in it, like Lopburi or Chai Nat for example, there is a natural suspicion and intrigue from certain Thais. I certainly didn't encounter any hostility, but there was a certain attitude displaced that bordered on wary resentment and 'picaninny-sterotyping' from some groups, worryingly these tended to be the younger generation from mid-teens to late twenties. I think the younger generation are not as farang-friendly as some would have us believe.
The nicest cities seemed to be Lampang and Nakhon Sawan, the most unfriendly tended to be Chai Nat, Saraburi and Lopburi. But this might of just been bad timing, as some can have a great time and enjoy themselves if the timing is right.
Riding lessons, I'd definately say take a poncho that is heavy duty and, if you can source them, get some waterproof socks if riding in the rainy season.
The locations of very cheap and convienient hotels and dwellings are now a real boon and it means I can just roll north and jump into a city and get digs pretty much straight away.
To start the journey again, click here