04/06/2014 – 276 days/24291 miles

At this point, I had now real plans moving forward…All I wanted to do was head south towards Malaysia. It just so happens that there are a few islands that are popular destinations in the south of Thailand…so, Koh Tao it is!

In Thai, Koh (sometimes written Ko, in order to save ink by eliminating the useless H) is island, so if you hear someone talking about a destination in Thailand that starts with Koh (Koh Lanta, Koh Samui, Koh Tao, etc), its bound to be an island. And Tao means turtle, so I’m off to Turtle Island, where Splinter is the mayor, and I’m hoping to not have a run in with Bebop and Rocksteady.

From Bangkok, I headed south towards Chumphon, to catch the ferry to Koh Tao. On the way, I had an incident with a beer cooler…
photo 1   photo 2
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03/31/2014 – 270 days/23938 miles

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
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02/16/2014 – 227 days/20478 miles

Pai almost had me sucked in for an extra couple days, but Bo and I decided to stick with our plan to stay there for 3 days. We headed back to Chiang Mai, and then split and I continued north to Chiang Rai.

I only stayed in Chiang Rai for one night and the main thing I wanted to see was Wat Rong Khun, otherwise known as the White Temple. This one is rather new…it was designed in 1997 and parts of it are still under construction.
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02/09/2014 – 220 days/19492 miles

The Mae Hong Son Loop is about 600km of road through the Mae Hong Son province, the most mountainous in Thailand. Supposedly (and so far, I agree) it has some nice riding and scenery, along with a few great stops to make along the way.
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02/07/2014 – 218 days/19316 days

I spent a few days in Chiang Mai…here’s some pictures…
First off, a flat on my nice new rear tire. The three man gardening crew that was working near me dropped what they were doing to come help. They also thought it was pretty funny how much a Minnesotan sweats when he’s trying to change a tire on a 31degC sunny day.
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02/03/2014 – 214 days/19271 miles

I left Bangkok on the morning of the 2nd…election day. There have been protests and demonstrations throughout the city, but they haven’t posed much of a problem. For someone traveling through the area and wanting to mostly avoid them, the most inconvenience I had was that some roads were closed, making taxi rides a bit longer sometimes.
So my plan was to leave pretty early in the morning, just in case things got a little more rowdy with the election going on. I had plenty of detours to take getting out of Bangkok, but other than that, no issues…

An hour north of Bangkok, I made a stop in Ayutthaya, which back in the day, was the the capital of Siam. This lasted from 1350 to 1767, when the Burmese attacked and took over Ayutthaya, pushing the Thais back to Bangkok. The ruins of the old city and some temples are still present and preserved, so since I was already passing through, I decided to take a short break and look around.
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02/01/2014 – 212 days/18770 miles

Thailand is one of the 3 countries (US and Canada don’t count) on this trip that I’m seeing for the second time, and its the last of the three.
I arrived in Bangkok, from Kathmandu, and immediately felt different about the city than I did on my first visit. At first, it felt crowded, busy, loud, and dirty…to be honest, I didn’t really like it, and didn’t have any desire to come back. Arriving this time, with a different perspective, it feels much more calm and comfortable.

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somewhere near koh yaoon a boat, somewhere near koh yao

Fast forward to February 2013…it was sometime around the moment this photo was taken when I started to realize I was too settled in Denver. I knew that as soon as I left Thailand, I’d miss it, and I needed to do something to break up the routine that I was bound to reenter. It didn’t take long to realize that some type of extended trip was probably the right option.