Lazing on Lanta Island

1-IMG_8473In fact to be more precise; a lazy day on and by the magnificent beach of Klong Dao  near  Saladan Town. I took a  barefoot walk to the far end of the beach where I had a fresh coconut :-) then it was back to the Bee Garden for a two hour massage by the beach the first hour devoted to my feet the next hour to be massaged with coconut oil. I guess I will soon be a coconut.

I’ve now found there is a ferry from this island to Koh Lipe where I can stay the night then a ferry to Langkawi Island which is in Malaysia followed by a ferry to Penang which is connected to the Malay mainland. According to bikemap.net from there to Singapore is 760km so about 10 days at a relaxed pace.

Given the pressure is  now off ,since I still have  20 days before my flight I’ve booked myself in for a day of snorkeling around Phi Phi island tomorrow

 

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Bangkok booty

After, for me, a record breaking 4 nights at the ultra deluxe Windsor Suites Hotel I’m moving  south towards Singapore  tomorrow.

New spectaclesThe long delay was due to V.Siam Optical  waiting for my replacement prescription glasses which after 4 days duly arrived today, not particularly cheap at  £163 for varifocal adaptive glasses but wow are they lightweight in a titanium frame & ultrathin plastic with Crizal Alize coating. Suddenly I can see again :-) Must remember after snoozing that I still have them on!

My other ‘major’ purchase was a new bike mount for my iPhone. The Topeak performs well in wetter cooler climes. However, here it acts as a mini cloche causing the iPhone to overheat and switch off, even with no direct sunlight, :-( not so good for navigation.

iPhone bike mountIn Loft they had a Capdace Uniconcept  Asia Ltd Racer Bike mount holder,  HR00-BC01  for £13 which would be useless in the wet but maybe good in the dry as the iPhone is exposed to the wind directly, all it needs now is a little brolly  for shade so I can read it in the sun.

Geoff's flash silk sleeping bagI also had one of the tailors here, Zerutti, modify my beloved Chinese  blue silk sleeping bag so it now has a  bright red silk pillow holder for when I return to my down market establishments that have no sheets..

Other than that I haven’t bought anything here, except a few too many Starbucks Frappuccinos  :-( In fact Bangkok is not really my type of place although I did get a decentish massage at the hotel today (although they need to buy their oils from Sally)  and just maybe my left heel fasciitis has eased of a little.

Tomorrow I’m booked into Baansuanphidchamika in Amphawa  so I should get to see the floating markets etc.

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River Kwai one day trekking tour

Yesterday was another of my tourist days. Very tiring too, we covered 270 miles via minibus, train, boat & elephant :-) but no biking.

Kanchanaburi war cemetryOur first stop was Kancchanaburi military cemetery dedicated to the 6,981 folks killed whilst building this part of The so called “Death Railway”  a startlingly high number from Cambridge who were part of of The Fen Tigers as The Cambridgeshire Battalion was nicknamed , more details can be found here and here Apparently  24 Officers and 760 Other Ranks killed in action or died as prisoners of war in the hands of the Japanese. All terribly sad since one of the survivors worked at The Cavendish so I got to know him quite well and his intense loathing for the Japanese.

Mind the gapWe toured the museum which was a bit higgledy piggledy but interesting especially, for the old train spotter in me, that one of the engine’s used by the Japanese on the line was built in England in 1921.  We then took the train for 100 minutes crossing the famous bridge over the  fast flowing Kwai (actually Khwae Yai) river and the amazingly close shave with the cliff face at Tham Krasae.

Outboard improvisedThen it was onto a lovely lunch at Kitti Rafts restaurant  on the river Khwae Noi followed by a high power bomb up the river, you should see the Thai idea for an outboard motor :-) then a leisurely drift back on a bamboo raft.

Geoff on a ElephantAfter the river excitement it was a sedate ride on a 42 year old elephant, must say I prefer the bike! it’s decidedly very wobbly up there. After this we paid a quick visit to the Sai Yok Noi waterfall which was OK but not in full flood mode.

13 hours later we arrived back in Bangkok. The tour was booked with R.A. Travel Agency  and given the full on day was good value at the equivalent of  £36 but please guys cut out the buses with blackened glass, we are tourists wanting to see out not the president wanting no one to see us!

Here is the route we took:River Kwai day outThe 150 photos of the day are here

 

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The next adventure

Tonight I’m at Heathrow awaiting my night flight to Guangzhou and then onto Hanoi a total travelling time of about 24 hours.

Tuesday should find me exploring Hanoi in search of a local SIM card and a bike.

bike route

Yep
I’m about to try and bike from Hanoi to Singapore in the 9 weeks I’ve given myself. The direct way is 2000miles  but to take in Ho Chi Minh and Angor Wat it’s over 3000 miles. However, with the ongoing unrest in Thailand I might find myself doing a flyover from Cambodia to Malaysia.
Here is an outline of the routes made with Bikemap

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