Getting out of Cambodia was a breeze. I’d heard plenty of stories that there would be extensive waiting and bribery required both while entering and exiting, but I had the exact opposite experience. It’s probably been my easiest country to enter and exit, and no bribes were required on either end.
When I entered back into Thailand, I was immediately greeted with the amazing Thai roads that I’d been missing. Curvy, hilly, smooth, and relatively empty…perfect
(For anyone wondering why I’m on the wrong side of the road, I’d walked out there. I didn’t take it while riding)
And once I arrived in Bangkok in the afternoon, I was immediately greeted with the massive Bangkok traffic jams that I really didn’t miss. And of course the cars are all jammed close enough together to make splitting lanes impossible…especially on a bike thats almost a meter wide.
If you ride through Thailand, watch out for the fuel. Lots of stations only have gasohol, which is 20% ethanol, and there’s a good chance you’re motorcycle doesn’t want to run on it. When you arrive at a station, it’s easy to differentiate between 91 and 95 octane (side note for people from the US…most other countries use a different scale for octane, so 91 and 95 in Thailand, and many other countries, aren’t the same as what you get for something labeled 91 or 95 in the states). After selecting the proper octane level, I always make sure to ask the attendant whether the pump is gasohol or benzene (100% gasoline). Maybe I should just trust the color of the pumps, but I feel more comfortable with some verbal confirmation. Maybe I should also just learn to read the signs in Thai, but I guess I don’t feel comfortable with my ability to do that either.
While in Bangkok, I got a new front tire, which was a bit overdue. It’s a Pirelli Scorpion Trail, from the guys at Red Baron. They were also able to fix the dents in the rim that I’d picked up in Laos, which I was happy to have done.
So far, I’m still alive, so I’m pretty pleased with the tire…is that a good enough review?
Next to the Standing Buddha, there was a guy selling caged birds. The purpose is to buy them, then set them free and “you will have good luck and happiness in your life forever.” This guy really must be taking on a lot of bad luck and unhappiness by continually trapping these birds.
And a random side note that keeps surprising me.
I keep running into people that I’ve met earlier in my travels. It’s gotten to be a bit normal around SE Asia, as people are so often traveling to similar destinations, but a few have been much more surprising, and the frequency as of late has seemed a bit unreal as well.
In Siem Reap, I randomly ran into my buddy Bo, who I rode the Mae Hong Son loop with. At my next stop, in Phnom Penh, when I checked into my hostel, I saw my friend Cristobal, who I’d met in Istanbul in November (that one was probably the most surprising!). A few days later, again while out having beers, three of the funniest English guys I’ve ever met (met them in Luang Prabang a month before) showed up. On my second day in Bangkok, I saw my buddy Drew checking in, who I’d met two months before when I arrived in Bangkok from Kathmandu. And the next night, while out at a bar, I saw Laina, who I’d met in Jaisalmer, India in December…small world.
And another one…although I don’t have a picture of the act, I ate a scorpion while out one night in Bangkok. It really wasn’t that bad, but you won’t find me rushing back to have another one, thats for sure.
One more thing…just one, I promise…I uploaded a few more videos. I think most of them have been included in previous posts, but in case you haven’t seen them, and want to, you can find them there.