20th December 2010 - Hat Yai to Surat Thani

Hat Yai to Phatthalung was almost all dual carriageway but not too busy.

The major roads all have wide hard shoulders, but its not the traffic from behind that we have to worry about. A bit like riding in India is that many people use the hard shoulder for going the wrong way (In India, they use the fast lane either way as well!)

So as well as keeping an eye open for traffic coming behind, we also have to avoid motorcyclists and the occasional car coming towards us on the wrong side of the road. Generally we find the traffic in Thailand is slower than in Malaysia.

At Phatthalung we turned off to Lam Bam on the shore of the large inland lake and rented a nice riverside chalet for two days. We needed two days to get over the 85 miles it took to get there. The river was only feet away from our door but David could still catch no fish after several hours trying. Something to do with having the wrong bait he says.

Joan saw a foot long pink snake in our room but it disapppeared before David could see it. We never found it again.

Each day seems to be over 70 miles now. Its not the distance, but the heat and the humidity that saps our energy and we always stop before 2pm before it really gets hot.

It was only 20 miles to a bird reserve with huts on stilts over the water. Once there, the local tourist info did not know that it rented out these huts which were next door to them. Tourist info places seem to be useless almost everywhere.

After Nakhon St Thammarat we stayed two days by the sea in a chalet at Sichon.
The info we were now getting from the occassional english speaker was that after Sarat Thani accomodation would be thin on the ground or more than 80 miles apart. 

A bus or train past Bangkok seemed a good option.

The travel agents in Surat Thani were not much help, but at the train station we managed to book an overnight  train with our bikes all the way to Nakhon Pathom (to the west of Bangkok). A ten hour trip for 8gbp for the two of us.

The weather has now improved. We think the rainy season has passed. Even so further north it should be okay.

A few menu items we have seen. Fried Flogs. Spicy fried cat. Deep fried sea bug. Roasted palace people with rice. Your guess is as good as ours.


Regards,

David and Joan Wooldridge