Unfortunately, my trip to Vietnam was not as planned. The first night I wanted to camp in a school. Just when I had set up my tent and lay exhausted in the sleeping bag, the police appeared.
The tourists needed a hotel in Vietnam. I told you that this was absolute nonsense and I had no money to stay in a hotel. After a long discussion, the cops paid the night in a shabby dump.
I was already in the Mekong Delta in Can Tho for a few days and wanted to see Saigon. However, I did not like the city at all and after a short time I was back in Cambodia.
In Phnom Penh I had to wait another week until I got my Thai visa and then drove straight back to Thailand. The journey through Cambodia was much more pleasant than Vietnam.
Immediately after crossing the border in Poipet I stormed the first 7eleven I saw. Finally, after several months of withdrawal, I was able to eat chocolate again! Every true Swiss knows how to feel immediately.
In Bangkok I was able to stay at Spinning Bears Hostel again spinningbearhostel.com. There I spent almost two weeks to recover really well.
After this recovery period, it's time for me to continue cycling south. Since I'm not looking for a beach boy and trying to avoid a tourist attraction, my decision soon fell on the Asian Highway 2 (AH2).
Asian Highway 2 (AH2) is a road in the Asian Highway Network that runs 13,177 kilometers from Denpasar (Indonesia) to Merak and Singapore to Khosravi (Iran). Here in Thailand I found the highway ideal as it has a wide side strip.
I used to park on the roadside in one of the many rubber tree plantations. Thailand is the world's largest producer and exporter of natural rubber in Indonesia and accounts for around one third of the world's supply.
The country's rubber production has more than doubled in the last two decades from 1.6 million to 3.8 million tonnes, of which about 90% is destined for export. Natural rubber is mainly used for tires, surgical gloves, condoms, balloons and other relatively high quality products.
Because of the heat, I have changed my everyday life a bit. I got up at 5 in the morning and an hour later, at sunrise, I started to cycle. So I was able to make good progress in the cool morning hours.
You can not really get used to the heat here in Southeast Asia. More about the clothes on the skin. So most of the time I spent in the shadow of a bus stop.
There I cooked a hot meal, wrote a diary and slept a little. I did not cycle until around 2:00 pm One hour before sunset, about 17:30, I searched for a campsite. That's how I got along well.
One morning there is a blow to the rear wheel. At first I could not find anything special, but the bike felt strange when driving. On closer inspection, I found the damage: A spoke was broken.
Luckily, I had the right tool with me and the damage was soon fixed. What really goes over Thailand is the good infrastructure. Only a few kilometers away you will find petrol stations with 7 eleven shops.
In these shops I could always get the ingredients for a really good cereal. A comfort that I have not had in a long time. Finally a really good breakfast!
The landscape along the highway I found not very varied. Mostly you can see palm oil, coconut or tree plantations and there are always a few villages.
I felt extremely safe on the broadside and had time to let my mind wander. This is really relaxing if you do not have to focus on the traffic.
In addition, the locals here in Thailand are very reserved and respectful, which I appreciate enormously. So you are not the same and again.
I usually set up my tent on one of the many plantations along the way. These provide good privacy and a pleasant shade. Something you can use in this heat.
In the south of the country I made the decision to drive through the provinces of Pattani and Narathiwat. In fact, the authorities do not recommend southern states bordering on Malaysia (Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani and parts of Songkhla).
I had asked some local cyclists in Bangkok and they had assured me that I stayed on the main road. Of course, I follow this advice. Striking were the many checkpoints on the track with armed police and soldiers.
My motto was: as long as they let you through at the checkpoints, just keep going. I have already read this method enough in Africa and have made pretty good progress with it.
Only at the very end was I stopped by a police car. The five-member troop, armed with machine guns, took me to the nearest gas station. Once there, they gave me drinks, took a few photos and finally said that next time I should not drive alone through the area.
Thank you very much for the great service! They do not meet such friendly policemen every day. In Tak Bai I reached the border crossing Taba. I took the ferry to the other side of the Golok River and was officially in Malaysia.
Cycling in Thailand was very pleasant. Especially because of the good infrastructure. In recent years, however, traffic has increased significantly. The people here practically only use motorized vehicles.
I have not seen so many overweight people in Thailand as in Thailand for a long time. A little more exercise would be good for many. Also, I've had more dog attacks here than in any other country before.
I had to arm myself with sticks and stones to keep those stupid dogs away. Thailand definitely has a big problem with dogs, so cycling was not always that easy for me. What I will remember is the kindness of the people here in Thailand. ขอบคุณ ประเทศไทย!