From the bay of Bang Mun I carried on northwards, heading for Bangkok and following the coastline but not always right by the sea, I often was though:
It was again very pleasant riding if a bit more hilly in parts for this stretch. As I got further north there was a lot more tourist development in evidence as well, with some quite expensive looking resorts next to some beaches with more restaurants and facilities.
That night I would stay near Hat Wanakorn a Thai national park. The village I was staying in was apparently mostly owned by Swedish people which was a bit strange but apparently a Swedish developer had built a bunch of properties and mostly sold them to compatriots and then others had followed. I ended up staying in a guesthouse run by a British guy which was a bit of a change.
While in the village I met a Swedish guy called Joran who lived there for a large portion of the year with his wife. Joran enjoyed cycling as well and offered to ride with me to the next city in the morning so that he could show me the quieter roads. I readily agreed, it had been months since I had anyone to cycle with and it would be nice to have some company on the road no matter how briefly.
So the next morning we headed off for Prachuap Khiri Khan, Joran rather impressively arriving at 6:30am so we would be able to avoid the heat of the day.
It was very nice having a companion and the journey went quickly. It was also good because Joran was able to show me some interesting sights as we rode along. The main one being a Thai Air Force base called Wing 5 that was open to the public and felt more like a national park than a military installation. I’d have never thought to ride through there on my own as the entrance itself didn’t really look like it was open to the public.
Inside there was a golf course, restaurants and some very unusual looking monkeys:
They were very polite and only took bananas when they were offered by some other tourists. They were also unusual in that while the adults were all grey black the babies were all a quite bright yellow, which was an interesting contrast.
After we reached the town of Prachuap Khiri Khan I carried on again on my own heading for the area of Hua Hin. On the way I rode through another national park: Khao Sam Roi Yot. This is in part well known for having some caves with impressive formations of stalactites and stalagmites. They are not easy to get to as they are about 300m up a mountain which is not a fun hike in the heat of the Thai day. Also the caves are obviously very dark and it would be quite easy to slip and fall I don’t know how far down into them. They are very beautiful though.
After the national park I carried on to the day’s destination. This was a villa development near Hua Hin where I would be staying with the parents of a friend. The friend had kindly got in touch with me when they saw I was in Thailand and suggested if I was passing by I could stay with their parents who have a villa they stay at six months of the year near Hua Hin. I was happy to accept!
This meant I got to spend a very pleasant couple of days living in what were very luxurious surroundings compared to most of the places I had stayed in. The guest bathroom I had use of was bigger than some of the rooms I had stayed in in India.
My friend’s mother also kindly drove me to a temple where I got to see a big laughing Buddha.
And also to see some elephants.
The next day I headed off for the last 200km to Bangkok which I hoped to make in two days.
That night I would reach Amphawa which is the site of a famous floating market. Sadly only at the weekend, which was three days away. I didn’t fancy waiting
The place was still quite interesting though, with small waterways.
I also got a pair of my shorts fixed as they had what can only be called a gaping hole in the seat which kept getting caught in my saddle.
My accommodation was a traditional Thai guesthouse, sadly run by Liverpool fans:
After Amphawa I made straight for Bangkok passing through the 10,000 mile mark for the trip on the way.
The ride into Bangkok wasn’t as chaotic as I had expected and the highways in were quite bicycle friendly so I didn’t have too much trouble with the traffic.