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Monthly Archives: January 2014

On holiday in Vang Vieng

Happily doing very little in Vang Vieng. The Burmese embassy in Vientiane is 2 days of easy riding from here and opens on Monday so no need to depart until Saturday. Here we have sunshine, a beautiful river winding through graphite grey towers of limestone. Caving, tubing (not the drunken activity it once was here) … Continue reading »

Categories: Laos | 1 Comment

When the going gets tough, catch a bus!

Charles found a young Australian cyclist’s blog, roughly a month ahead of us on a similar journey. It takes 3 days to cycle to Vang Vieng and he walked for 3km of the challenging first day climb, south of Luang Prabang (+2135m -1000m). We climbed as high on Doi Inthanon, but without luggage, and not … Continue reading »

Categories: Laos | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Luang Prabang

After northern Laos Luang Prabang is unbelievable: a UNESCO protected town of spick teak buildings: patisseries, restaurants, boutique shopping, spotless temples, all very chic, but a shocking contrast to the people’s lives in the north.  Here you can spend $150 on a meal, or $3 in the food market. Real coffee, apricot wheaten rolls, tarte … Continue reading »

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  We have crossed the border into Laos and have taken a boat along Mekong river to Pakbeng. Suddenly meeting lots of cyclists: a young English couple, devoted to cycling who achieve far more than we ever will, a lovely Dutch couple trying long distance cycling for the first time, and a pair of English blokes, … Continue reading »

Categories: Laos | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

The Kayan People

North of Chiang Rai is The Black House, a collection of elaborate ‘sheds’ housing the artwork of Thawan Duchanee. The buildings themselves are quirky, dark, sombre, and the artwork eclectic, shells, drums, skins and horns, very black, verging on weird. Interesting but I preferred the cheerful flamboyance of White Temple Bling. Check out Chiang Rai’s … Continue reading »

Categories: Thailand | 1 Comment

Spending time in Chiang Rai

There’s enough to do here for three days so suddenly our travels feel like a holiday, enjoying days out then back to our hotel. Today we cycled west along the Kok river into the hill tribe villages. It’s a scenic route, few vehicles, becoming progressively hillier. We came across an elephant park, but sadly no … Continue reading »

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Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai

The day after climbing Doi Inthanon we set off for Chiang Mai. The 60km route meandered alongside the river, some of it elevated on levees, giving us one of the prettiest rides of our journey.  We visited Chiang Mai 25 years ago and in that time it has exploded into a major city congested with … Continue reading »

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Doi Inthanon 300m to 2565m: Smile High!

We took a train through the pretty mountains between Lamphung and Lamphun, then cycled to Chomthong in preparation for our climb up the highest mountain in Thailand. Lovely road alongside the river Ping, citrus groves dominating the view, with a distant view of mountains. Sadly our booking didn’t work out.  Tor, you told us that … Continue reading »

Categories: Thailand | Tags: | 1 Comment

The return of The Chedi

  So we have cycled north again, to another historical park at Satchanalai: like Sukhothai but completely without any tourists!  Beautiful, and set amongst trees so massive, they look like hills. We cycled another 10km to see some kilns, probably not worth the effort, except for riding alongside teak trees and crunching the parchment like … Continue reading »

Categories: Thailand | 6 Comments

Riding through Ruins

Now in Sukhothai, meaning ‘Rising Happiness’ fortunately not a hill but an ancient city reminiscent of Angkor Wat: it’s very serene and picturesque as the photos show.  Have a look at the Buddha in the brick latrine: sitting Buddha without the ‘h’! It’s pleasant to be back on the tourist trail for a few days, … Continue reading »

Categories: Thailand | Tags: | 1 Comment