Sunday, November 22, 2009
Total kilometers: 1066
Total punctures: 1
Apologies for the lack of updates - we have been out in the whops for a while, without access to internet.
We left Thailand for Laos yesterday (21 Nov), and are enjoying our second day in Laos today - both days have been spent in the capital Vientiene.
We have cycled quite a bit since last updating, so I will break-down our Thailand journey:
Phimai to Phon (75km) - After enjoying one and a half days at Phimai, we set off to Phon. A very quiet little town half-way between Phimai and Khon Kaen. Unexpectedly, the guesthouse we stayed at was operated by a British ex-pat. The town was cute and good for a walk-around, plus the non-touristy food was excellent! We also scoffed a bag of delicious green puffed-rice, honey, peanut etc, that is a specialty treat of Phimai.
Phon to Khon Kaen (80km) - We arrived in Khon Kaen with high hopes - Lonely Planet said it was a really cool and happening town, so we were looking forward to a bit of excitement. However, once we got there, we realised that the supposedly lovely lake was a polluted mess, the yummy-sounding cafe recommended to us was closed on Sunday, and the guesthouse recommended to us had closed down! The town did seem to have a couple of big malls and KFC, Pizza, McDonalds, though, but that is really not what we were after... Nevertheless we did find a pretty good hotel and the town had a fabulous night market, where we had dinner.
Khon Kaen to Udon Thani (70km) - Udon Thani was not a very popular tourist town, but we ended up having a great time here, thanks to a beautiful lake at the centre of town, and an open-air concert going off across the road from us. With Thai food from mobile carts, tables set out, and live Thai rock music, it really was a fun evening! The bands played mostly Thai music, but we did kind of enjoy hearing a few "engrish" songs (mostly Paramore - Thai girls are obsessed with Twilight too!).
Udon Thani to Nong Khai (55km) - just a little day in the saddle today ; ) Nong Khai was our last stop before crossing over to Laos. A beautiful, leafy little town with some good accommodation, chilled-out locals and delicious food. We actually enjoyed a whole-baked Mekong river trout, with sticky-rice and papaya-peanut salad, from the night-market (photo above). Sooooo good!
We also took the opportunity to give our poor bikes a thorough tune-up and clean in Nong Khai. Poor things really needed it and are running so much smoother now.
We have inadvertently tried some yummy, but slightly weird foods while in Thailand too -