I was able to get some both good and bad things before leaving Bangkok. On the down side, ten days in that city gave me a nasty case of bronchitis and a bad infection on my back from hitting it at the waterpark. On the bright side I was able to find a new rear shoe for the motorcycle, which was needed when I left Australia, but ran out of time. I couldn’t believe it was able to last until Bangkok. It wasn’t easy finding a shop that stocked big bike tires, but with some advice from the Kawasaki dealer on where to look, I managed to track down a shop near Chinatown. The small guy was super helpful, and had the exact tire I was looking for in stock, and at a great price. He had one of his boys change the tire and put a new tube in. Twenty minutes and less than ninety dollars after showing up, I was back on the road. If you’re even in need of a enduro tire in Bangkok check out these guys:
My plan for the first day was to get close to Cambodia and then cross in the next day, but was late leaving town (possibly because of enjoying every last-minute of a nice hotel bed). The sickness was getting to me as well, and I felt like crap. Luckily I found another perfect beach to camp on, and detox. I only ended up at the long white sand beach because the sun was almost down, and I hate to miss a sunset.
In Rayong, which is along the coast of the Gulf of Thailand southeast of Pattaya, there’s a road that leads to Mae Ram Phung Beach. This beach is awesome, and at 12km goes on forever and ever. I can’t believe such a beautiful place in Thailand isn’t all built up yet, but it still holds onto most of it’s charm. Along much of it, back from the beach are pine trees where man Thai families come to BBQ and have picnics.
A lot of the beach has nice reclined chairs to relax in. Each section belongs to the restaurant or guesthouse across the street, but it’s all very open and free to sit where you like. I like to ask before setting up camp, so I asked at a restaurant with a good-looking beach area that I could get my motorcycle to. Like always happens, they were happy to let me camp there, and had bathrooms and showers next to the restaurant that I could use. Was a great place to spend a couple of days after Bangkok and recuperate. The name of the restaurant was Blue Talay.
Sleeping next to the quiet ocean, breathing fresh clean air, and getting some sun into the skin was just what the doctor ordered. There was some amazing cheap Thai food that I filled up on knowing I was heading to Cambodia where the tastiness goes down a level. Still good, but doesn’t compare. All along the road are people selling different types of food and all kinds of other stuff. All of the carts add to the feel of the place.
Before leaving I was given some good energy from a yoga instructor from Sweden, and I think our talk helped rid me of some toxins. From Mae Ram Phung Beach I reluctantly packed up shop and made my way southeast towards the Cambodian border. It turns into many small fishing villages all along the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand. You won’t find any resorts or glitz and glamour, but you’ll find the real life of Thailand. Fortunately there are still seven elevens everywhere, and what a lifesaver they are. I stopped in a couple different areas full of young men/boys working on the fishing boats and groups repairing nets.
A good portion of them were from Cambodia, and were excited that I was headed that way. One guy wanted †o come with me. I sat with the ladies while they tediously worked on the nets, and only took a break to bring me some fruit and ice water. It’s a strange thing that I’ve found on all my travels to third world countries. The poorest people are the ones who have always given me the most. People with money help me also, but it’s just different. It’s very humbling when someone with hardly anything to their name wants to give you a little of what they have. There are families with hardly enough food for themselves and will offer some to you. They would rather share their piece of fruit with you than eat it in front of you.
I made it as far as Laem Sing, and this time I really only had about ten minutes before sunset and pulled into the first inviting looking area along the beach. It was a restaurant with a big vacant next door. They were happy to have me and I pulled down under some palm trees at the edge of the beach just in time to take a sunset stroll. The pinks, oranges, and purples all welcomed me with a bang. My lungs started to feel a bit better looking out over the calm sea.
It was a sweet way to end my time in Thailand. A cool breeze blew off the sea that night, and I had a new friend. At some point a lady dog full of love decided to adopt me. She laid next to my tent all night long, and would get up to chase other dogs away throughout the night. In the morning she shadowed me everywhere I went. For a walk on the beach, to the bathroom, and right by my side as I took down camp. She was so cute and always looked at me with these big lovey puppy dog eyes, and would make a little whimper when she felt like a chin scratch was in order. She might have been just a random dog that decided to hang out with me, but it felt like she was trying to tell me something from the dog world.
I think I found the reason later that day when I passed something really sad along the highway. I saw some puppies on the side of the road and turned around to go check it out. From what I could tell it looked like someone had thrown out a burlap sack with a litter of puppies in it, and they had crawled out. Unfortunately, one had already been hit in the road. The four left were so adorable. I sat on the side of the road playing with them for about a half hour not knowing what to do. I couldn’t just leave them there.
I debated it, but knew I couldn’t take them. It made me so sad someone could be such an asshole. I thought that if they were going to have to die on the side of the road at least I could give them some love and play time before. All of a sudden there were a couple of guys standing next to me. I was so zoned off playing with the puppies that I hadn’t noticed their truck pull over. They looked the puppies over and talked for a while about what to do. Luckily they decided to take them with. I felt so much better knowing they were off the road.
Who knows what became of them and where they took them, but hopefully at least some of them found a home. Maybe the puppies belonged to my friend from camp, or maybe it was nothing at all. She had given me a look like I needed to do something for her. Goodbye Thailand, hello Cambodia.