The First Nine Days in Thailand

Phuket Airport to Andaman Peace Resort at Laem Son National Park
9 days, 7 days cycling
367.24km (52.46km / cycling day)
21 hours, 47 minutes, 40 seconds in the saddle (3:06:49 / cycling day)

Lodging has been a little more sparse than we expected here in Thailand. A couple of times we decided we wanted to stop for the day in a decent sized town and looked around for a guesthouse but could not find one (or any other type of accommodation either). We made a big mistake in buying the Rough Guide to Southeast Asia instead of a specific guide book for each country. The Rough Guide focuses on the tourist resorts in each region of the country and nothing else, so most of the time we have had no idea of what is ahead in terms of lodging. For food it hasn’t matter so much, since there are restaurants and food stands literally everywhere so we never have to go hungry or thirsty. We will definitely be investing in more guide books once we reach Bangkok.

Lodging has also been a little more expensive than we expected. The least we have paid is 250B(~US$7.23) for a room in a guesthouse with a squat toilet, AC, and TV. The most we paid was 800B(~US$23.14) for a bungalow on the beach with a fan, flush toilet, and power only in the evening. We’ve learned that the price varies more with location than with the quality of the accommodation. We haven’t been bargaining for our accommodation either because we haven’t been sure whether or not it is customary here.

Lodging per Day US$10.56
Food per Day US$18.80
Miscellaneous per Day US$0.19
Total per Day US$29.55

Total Cost US$389.54

In terms of cost, we are spending less and we have increased our quality of life as compared to New Zealand. We sleep in hotels instead of our tent and we eat every single meal at a restaurant. (We actually sent our stove and cooking equipment back to the US to save on weight.) We usually have a couple of beers with dinner too. Did I mention we get to eat delicious Thai food for every meal instead of subsisting on peanut butter and honey sandwiches? The downside is the bicycling is not as beautiful (so far), and we get chased by dogs a lot more. The dogs are all over the place and love to roam the roads in the morning. (We saw one get killed yesterday.) Our current strategy is to try to outrun them, but we are also considering yelling, getting of the bike and standing our ground, and defending ourselves with bamboo sticks. The roads themselves here are very nice with wide shoulders that are shared by bicycles and motorbikes and the drivers are leagues beyond those in New Zealand. We get polite honks and people slow down and pass in the opposite lane here which is much more pleasant than getting blown off the road by a sheep truck passing too close at 120km/hr.

Today was spent resting on the beach at the Andaman Peace Resort near Laem Son National Park. Sarah has come down with her worst case of diarrhea of the trip so far. She accidentally rinsed her mouth out with tap water last night after brushing her teeth and woke up in the middle of the night with horrible stomach cramps. She has spent most of the day stinking up our room and guzzling bottled water to try to stay hydrated. If she feels better by tomorrow, we will cycle to Ranong. From there, we may take a boat out to the island of Ko Phayam off the coast for a couple days of island life before continuing on towards Bangkok.

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