Nakhon to Bang Mun: Life’s a beach

Riding from Nakhon si Thammarat I had decided to try and ride through some nicer places and move a bit more off the beaten track.  So my first destination out from Nakhon was to be Khanom which had been recommended to me as a nice quiet coastal area that wasn’t too touristy or developed.
This was true to an extent – it was nice and quiet and hadn’t been developed too much but I arrived at the wrong time.  As it was just after Songkran, the Thai new year, it was a long holiday in Thailand and apparently a lot of people choose this time to go to the beach.  So while there were not many western tourists in Khanom there were a lot of Thai ones.
This meant finding somewhere to stay the first night was quite difficult – most places seem to be fully booked up or to only have their most expensive lodging available which was a little out of my budget.  Having ridden round a bit I eventually just asked to camp at one place that had some nice grass.  I hadn’t camped in a while and thought it would be interesting to give it a try in south east asia.

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It wasn’t my worst experience camping but it certainly wasn’t the best.  The first part of the night I was so hot I was literally running with sweat but I eventually managed to sleep and I knew I would be able to move into a bungalow the next night when the prices more than halved after the holiday finished.

Khanom was a pretty area with some nice beaches and I cycled the whole way along the bay, which was pleasant without 30kg of kit weighing me down.

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I got bored pretty quickly of the area as there isn’t much to do apart from the beaches and apart from in the evening they are a little hot to sit out on so I spent most of my time there cycling around, which I do anyway…

In Thailand they have quite nice street signs and this is also true in Khanom which is apparently famous for pink dolphins as they have incorporated them:

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I also saw the blood moon while having dinner at the beach:

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The next day I headed off for a nondescript days cycling that saw me ride into the town of Surat Thani and then ride straight through as the hotels were too expensive and I didn’t like the look of it anyway.  I stopped instead at a hotel at a motorway service station which was surprisingly peaceful and had somewhere to eat and stock up on supplies.

After this I started to ride through much prettier areas as I rode more along the coast and off the highway.  Putting the route into googlemaps for walking rather than driving also came up with some interesting ‘roads’:

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Some of which were definitely more suited to people on foot.

I went through some nice fishing villages as I went and saw moored Thai fishing boats:

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and people drying the catch in the sun:

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That night I would be able to find a cheap resort close to the beach where I got to eat some lovely fish and even swim in the sea once the sun had started to set.  The water was surprisingly warm and nice to swim in as it was flat as a pancake.

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While I swam I also saw some fishermen trawling for fish off the beach.  Five of them had waded out with a very long net that they dragged in towards the shore.  They caught a few things with this method including a small ray fish.
Once night had fallen it was possible to see a line of green lights across the horizon as fishing boats turned on their warning lights as they fished on into the night.

And in Thailand you are never very far from a large Buddha it would seem:

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The area I was now in was very good for cycling as I was able to spend quite a while off the highway and working my way up along by the sea.
This road was a little more pleasant than the Indian highways I had ridden on earlier in the month.

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It was also quiet around here from a tourism perspective and the tourism offerings were very low key.

That night I got to sleep in a wooden hut right on the beach on Bang Mun Bay.

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Which was surprisingly comfortable given its small size.

Another giant Buddha:

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I don’t even take pictures of them all anymore as there are a lot temples and buddhas all over Thailand.

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Riding in South East Asia was continuing to be a nice easy experience the main issue being the heat, which can be avoided if you schedule your riding correctly.  Other issues for me include not being able to find a 711 store right when I want one so I can get my favourite yogurt drink and lack of sugar in Thai fresh fruit juices – they just aren’t sweet enough or me….it is I can assure you a hard life currently.

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