Friday, 15 July 2016
Arriving in Bangkok almost 2 months ago, I was stamped in to Thailand, with permission to stay in the country for 30 days (as usual). Those 30 days were over too soon, with the hassles of 1 week delayed baggage, etc. So, I saddled up my bike (old Saartjie), for the trip to Malaysia to get a longer Thai visa. I am still waiting for my new passport (a few months more), so Malaysia is convenient as I do not need a visa (they only place a small entry and exit stamp in the passport, which is almost full). I have cycled this route a number of times, and I had to be out of Thailand on a certain date, so I took the train for part of the way from Bangkok. From the border I headed South to Penang island where there is a Thai consulate (visa office), camping a couple of times along the way there and back. I stayed a few days in Penang (George Town), in the Little India district (good street food). Then I headed back towards Thailand and Bangkok. I arrived there without my tent poles (where do errant tent poles go?), so I have had to buy a new tent here in Bangkok. Luckily I could find a tent, but it is bigger than necessary for my purposes, and relatively bulky and heavy for cycling. Distances cycled on this trip are as follows - (NOTE THAT THESE ARE CUMULATIVE DISTANCES, AND NOT DAILY DISTANCES!):- Bangkok (to train) 16 km; Chumphon (by train) to Malaysian border at Padang Besar 563 km; Penang island (Georgetown) 262 km; Return to Thailand and take train from Hat Yai 315 km; Hua Hin (by train) to Bangkok 217 km. Total distance cycled up to 7 July 2016 is 136758 km.