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    Archive for May, 2007

    New photos in the diary…

    Thursday, May 31st, 2007

    Just a quickie to let you know that new photos are in the air… I hope you like the tropical colours! :-)

    Day 406

    Day 407

    Day 409

    Day 410

    Nicolai

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    Day 417 – My Top 6 The Cure Albums

    Thursday, May 31st, 2007

    My Top 6 The Cure Albums

    1 – Wish (1992)
    2 – Disintegration (1989)
    3 – Wild Mood Swings (1996)
    4 – The Head On the Door (1985)
    5 – Boys Don’t Cry (1980)
    6 – Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (1987)

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    Day 416 – Sunset on Koh Tao

    Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

    In the tropics...

    Spectacular sunset on Koh Tao...

    Spectacular sunset on Koh Tao...

    Spectacular sunset on Koh Tao...

    Spectacular sunset on Koh Tao...

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    Day 415 – An alcoholic deroute?

    Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

    My Happy Bungalow on Koh Tao...6 USD a night!

    Koh Tao Sunset. May 2007.

    Huge spider in my room. I felt like killing an animal!

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    Day 414 – My Top 5 Thai Dishes

    Monday, May 28th, 2007

    Beer and tennis on TV...

    My Top 5 Thai-dishes

    1 – Red curry with beef + rice (veggies etc. in coconut soup)
    2 – Massaman curry + rice (with potatoes, onion, peanuts in coconut soup)
    3 – Pad thai (noodle dish with egg, veggies and more)
    4 – Pork noodle soup (explanation needed?)
    5 – Tom Yam soup (a classic sweet and sour dish with veggies and more)

    Ace and the stray dog on Koh Tao

    Patrick og Sophie“>Patrick and Sophie – a great Dutch cyclist couple I cycled with in Southern Thailand…

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    Day 413 – Long Live the Rambutan!

    Sunday, May 27th, 2007

    Survival kit #1

    Evening ritual...

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    Day 412 – Koh Tao by bicycle…

    Saturday, May 26th, 2007

    From John Suwan Rock, Koh Tao, Gulf of Thailand.

    Chalok Baan Kao, Koh Tao

    Chalok Baan Kao, Koh Tao

    Thien Ok Bay, Koh Tao

    Au Leuk, Koh Tao. El Paraiso.

    Au Leuk, Koh Tao. El Paraiso.

    Ao Leuk - a tropical paradise on Koh Tao...

    It's a hard life around here...

    Off-the-beaten-track-cycling...well, walking with the bike!

    Off-the-beaten-track-cycling...well, walking with the bike!

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    Day 411 – Arrival Koh Tao

    Friday, May 25th, 2007

    Koh Tao with a beer...

    Chalok Baan Kao, Koh Tao, 2007.

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    Day 410 – Think Tank

    Thursday, May 24th, 2007

    Ban Saphan -> Chumphon
    Distance (km) : 133
    Time on bike : 7h 01m
    Brutto time: 08.30 – 18.00
    Avg : 19.15 km/h
    Total (km) : 16.645

    Sweet!

    Sanddunes with a view...

    Nicolai in the tropics of Thailand...

    Thailand at its best...

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    Day 409 – A Night at Lola’s…

    Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

    Prachuap Khiri Khan -> Ban Saphan (beach bungalow)
    Distance (km) : 103
    Time on bike : 5h 30m
    Brutto time: 09.30 – 16.45
    Avg : 18.79 km/h
    Total (km) : 16.512

    Tropical cycling...

    Tropical cycling...

    The Koga and the beach...A nice couple!

    Hmmm...Lovely!

    Tropical cycling...

    Ban Saphan Beach

    Ban Saphan Beach

    Lola bungalows, Ban Saphan Beach

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    My WT Top 100 Album!

    Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

    Music makes the world go round!

    I’ve been thinking about it for some time and now it’s here – My WT Top 100 Album.

    A few words of explanation…

    * For the variation I’ve mainly just picked one album per artist. Only in those rare occasions when everything else would’ve been a downright shame have I included more albums from the same artist.

    * The list is a collection of qualitative, solid albums that in one way or another have moved me, emotionally or physically.

    * There are heaps of great artist out there that do not appear on the list. The reason is 1) my oblivion, or 2) that the generel standard of the certain album just isn’t good enough (sorry Grant Lee Buffalo, Sondre Lerche, dEUS). Most probably 2) :-)

    * The order is random

    Comments are most welcome!

    Here goes…

    01 – The Magic Numbers – The Magic Numbers
    02 – Damien Rice – 9 Crimes
    03 – Coldplay – X & Y
    04 – Josh Rouse – Nashville
    05 – Talk Talk – The Colour of Spring
    06 – Jack Johnson – Brushfire Fairytales
    07 – John Mayer – Room for Squares
    08 – Kashmir (DK) – Zitilites
    09 – Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill
    10 – Claus Hempler (DK) – Hempler
    11 – The Cranberries – To the Faithful Departed
    12 – The Cure – Wild Mood Swings
    13 – James Blunt – Back to Bedlam
    14 – Keane – Hopes and Fears
    15 – Kent – Vapen & Ammunition
    16 – Modest Mouse – The Lonesome Crowded West
    17 – Morrissey – You are the Quarry
    18 – Muse – Absolution
    19 – Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
    20 – C.V. Jørgensen (DK) – Tidens Tern
    21 – Brendan Benson – The Alternative to Love
    22 – Nirvana – Nevermind
    23 – Håkan Hellström – Det är så jeg säger
    24 – Interpol – Antics
    25 – Jane’s Addiction – Ritual de lo Habitual
    26 – Pearl Jam – Ten
    27 – Pulp – Different Class
    28 – R.E.M. – Out of Time
    29 – Radiohead – OK Computer
    30 – Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine
    31 – Green Day – Dookie
    32 – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Blood Sugar Sex Magik
    33 – Rickie Lee Jones – Naked Songs
    34 – Rufus Wainwright – Want Two
    35 – Ryan Adams – Love is Hell (part 1)
    36 – The Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dreams
    37 – Damien Rice – O
    38 – Morrissey – Vauxhall & I
    39 – The Smiths – Best of I & II
    40 – Starsailor – Love is Here
    41 – Adriana Calcanhotto – Público
    42 – The Strokes – Is This It
    43 – Swan Lee (DK) – Swan Lee
    44 – Teitur – Poetry & Aeroplanes
    45 – The The – Mind Bomb
    46 – Tina Dickow (DK) – Notes
    47 – Tocotronic – K.O.O.K
    48 – Tomas Andersson Wij – Ett Slag För Dig
    49 – Tracy Chapman – Tracy Chapman
    50 – Travis – The Man Who
    51 – U2 – Achtung Baby
    52 – VHS or Beta – Night on Fire
    53 – Weezer – Weezer (The Blue Album)
    54 – Beck – Sea Change
    55 – Kaiser Chiefs – Unemployment
    56 – Dave Matthew’s Band – Live at Red Rocks
    57 – Jeff Buckley – Grace
    58 – The Sugarcubes – Life’s Too Good
    59 – David Bowie – Greatest Hits I & II
    60 – Burt Bacharach & Elvis Costello – Painted From Memory
    61 – Pavement – Slanted and Enchanted
    62 – Djavan – Ao Vivo (Disc 1 & 2)
    63 – David Gray – White Ladder
    64 – Counting Crows – August & Everything After
    65 – Coldplay – Parachutes
    66 – Carla Bruni – Quelqu’um M’a Dit
    67 – Cake – Fashion Nugget
    68 – Belle & Sebastian – The Boy With the Arab Strap
    69 – Antony & the Johnsons – I am a Bird now
    70 – Doves – Lost Souls
    71 – Donavon Frankenreiter – Donavon Frankenreiter
    72 – Jorge Ben – África Brasil
    73 – K’s Choice – Almost Happy
    74 – The Cure – Disintegration
    75 – The Killers – Hot Fuss
    76 – The Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique
    77 – Lloyd Cole – Music in a Foreign Language
    78 – Anne Linnet (DK) – Jeg er jo lige her
    79 – Portishead – Dummy
    80 – Kasabian – Kasabian
    81 – The Wannadies – Yeah
    82 – Gipsy Kings – Greatest Hits
    83 – Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American
    84 – Tribalistas – Monte, Brown & Antunes
    85 – Bo Kaspers Orkester – Hittills
    86 – Radiohead – The Bends
    87 – Bright Eyes – Motion Sickness
    88 – Caetano Veloso – Transa
    89 – The Cardigans – Long Gone Before Daylight
    90 – The Chemical Brothers – Push the Button
    91 – Soundgarden – Superunknown
    92 – Clawfinger – Deaf, Dumb, Blind
    93 – Peter Sommer (DK)- Destruktive Vokaler
    94 – Erasure – The Innocents
    95 – Patti Smith – Horses
    96 – Mason Jennings – Birds Flying Away
    97 – Mo’ Horizons – Come Touch the Sun
    98 – Nena – 20 Jahre, das Jubiläums Album
    99 – Oasis – The Singles I & II
    100 – Pixies – Trompe Le Monde

    The musical world is truly an amazing place as well…

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    Day 408 – A Cyber Day

    Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

    Sorry, but this post is not available in English

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    Day 407 – “It’s like it’s not real!”

    Monday, May 21st, 2007

    Khao Sam Roi Yot Nat. Park -> Prachuap Khiri Khan (guesthouse)
    Distance (km) : 71
    Time on bike : 4h 04m
    Brutto time: 08.30 – 14.30
    Avg : 17.49 km/h
    Total (km) : 16.408

    The sky

    Khao Sam Roi Yot Nat. Park

    Monkey in Prachuap Khiri Khan...

    Monkeys in Prachuap Khiri Khan...

    Monkeys in Prachuap Khiri Khan...

    Prachuap Khiri Khan...

    Monkey in Prachuap Khiri Khan...

    Monkeys in Prachuap Khiri Khan...

    Monkey

    Monkey

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    Day 406 – Fantastic cycling

    Sunday, May 20th, 2007

    Hua Hin -> Khao Sam Roi Yot Nat. Park (camping)
    Distance (km) : 60
    Time on bike : 3h 32m
    Brutto time: 10.00 – 16.00
    Avg : 16.86 km/h
    Total (km) : 16.337

    In the tropics...

    Wonderful cycling south of Prachuap Khiri Khan..., Southern Thailand.

    Unspoilt, secluded bay. Southern Thailand.

    Isolated bay

    Unspoilt, secluded bay. Southern Thailand.

    Yeah!

    Nicolai and Sophie. Beach cycling.

    Sophie and Patrick, from Breda, Holland.

    Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park

    Wild camping on the mosquito infested beach...

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    Day 405 – Another day at the beach in Hua Hin

    Saturday, May 19th, 2007

    Sorry, but this post is not available in English

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    Day 404 – Hua Hin Beach Day

    Friday, May 18th, 2007

    Text and photos to come…

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    Day 403 – Hua Hin

    Thursday, May 17th, 2007

    Phetchaburi -> Hua Hin (hotel)
    Distance (km) : 86
    Time on bike : 4h 31m
    Brutto time: 10.00 – 16.00
    Avg : 19.06 km/h
    Total (km) : 16.276

    Text and photos to come…

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    Day 402 – The Leader of the Pack

    Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

    Samut Sakhon -> Phetchaburi (hotel)
    Distance (km) : 92
    Time on bike : 3h 46m
    Brutto time: 09.15 – 15.00
    Avg : 24.45 km/h!
    Total (km) : 16.189

    Text and photos to come…

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    Day 401 – Pitstops, superstition, and a weak moment…

    Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

    Ayutthaya -> Samut Sakhon (hotel)
    Distance (km) : 133
    Time on bike : 5h 53m
    Brutto time: 09.40 – 17.30
    Avg : 22.75 km/h
    Total (km) : 16.097

    Text and photos to come…

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    Day 400 – A Day At The WT Altar

    Monday, May 14th, 2007

    Text and photos to come…

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    Tatjana – email wanted!

    Sunday, May 13th, 2007

    This is a tiny note directed at Tatjana who wrote me a few days ago saying that she might help me translating bits of the WT diary…

    I need you email address, Tatjana. The one you gave doesn’t work, apparently..

    Nicolai

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    Day 399 – Ayutthaya Historical Park

    Sunday, May 13th, 2007

    Text and photos to come…

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    Day 398 – The Skin Shirt

    Saturday, May 12th, 2007

    Vientiane, Laos -> Lop Buri (bus) -> Ayutthaya (bike)
    Distance (km) : 85
    Time on bike : 4h 0m
    Brutto time: 07.00 – 11.30
    Avg : 21.20 km/h
    Total (km) : 15.957

    Text to come…

    Farmers south of Lop Buri, Central Thailand

    Truslen ("the threat" in Danish) Coffee...

    Centipede in my guesthouse...

    A night out in Ayutthaya with Sara (Montreal)...

    Jazz crooner, thai style...Ayutthayas Moon Cafe

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    Day 397 – A very welcome sticker…

    Friday, May 11th, 2007

    Yeah! Another 2 months in the Kingdom of the Smiles...

    Street vendor, Vientiane, Laos. May 2007.

    Rambutan - lovely Thai fruit!

    The wonderful mangosteen fruit...

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    The WT route after 13 months of travelling…

    Thursday, May 10th, 2007

    It’s been nearly 400 days now since I left Denmark.

    I was a very bad painter when I left Denmark.

    I still am.

    But I’ve tried to paint my route so far – from Denmark, through Eastern Europe, Turkey, Caucasus, Central Asia, China, Tibet, Nepal, and now Southeast Asia – as good as I can, using the simplest tools (Window’s Paint) available to me here in a @-café in Vientiane, Laos…

    The WT-route from April 10th 2006 to May10th 2007....

    Nicolai

    For a bigger map, click here!

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    Day 396 – Rabies vaccination in Vientiane…

    Thursday, May 10th, 2007

    Lovely breakfast at The Shady Restaurant, Vientiane, Laos

    The Lao version of Paris' L’avenue des Champs-Élysées

    The Lao version of Paris' L’avenue des Champs-Élysées

    Tiles

    Wat Si Saket, Vientiane, Laos

    Wat Si Saket, Vientiane, Laos

    My receipt from the hospital..."Monkey bite" - how rare is that?

    Int'l Clinic, Mahasot Hospital, Vientiane, Laos.

    Int'l Clinic, Mahasot Hospital, Vientiane, Laos.

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    Un petit salut from Laos!

    Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

    Damn, those monkeys in Lop Buri are nasty!

    Yesterday one of the beasts jumped my back, fumbled around my neck and suddenly bit me hard and quick. Out of the blue. I screamed in pain and surprise and soon the bugger had run away along with the huge horde of monkeys around some of the central temples.

    It slightly freaked me out because of the risk of rabies but I decided not to do anything. The bite through my T left a bloody mark and was quite painful for the rest of the day.

    Well, I’m now in the Lao capital, Vientiane. Took the 3rd class night train from Lop Buri (via Ayutthaya and Nong Khai at the Thai/Lao border) last night and didn’t get any sleep at all. Maybe its the rabies bugging me. I hope not. It’s a risky world these days. Will be sticking around for a few days until my 2 month Thai tourist visa is ready. 2 months should be enough to get me through Thailand down to Malaysia. You never know – Thailand is a very tempting country…

    Map of Northeastern Thailand

    Cheers for now, Nicolai

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    The photo album is up and running again!

    Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

    I know it’s been some horrendous and sleepless nights for all the people out there since the photo part of the site broke down. I’m sorry about that. Good news is that Pablo (aka Bug Buster) has now fixed the bugger and the photos are again to be seen here!

    Thanks, Pabbie!

    Nicolai (from Vientiane, Laos – Thai visa run)

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    Day 395 – Another visa run (Laos)

    Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

    Text to come…

    Sunrise at the Thai-Lao border...

    Sunrise at the Thai-Lao border...

    The Death Penalty...Sign at Lao border.

    "Entry fee for passengers carrying passport". Bullshit!

    Passport photos, Vientiane, Laos.

    Night food stall at the Mekong River...Vientiane, Laos

    Tuktuk at night. Vientiane, Laos.

    Vientiane signs...

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    Day 394 – Monkey bite in Lop Buri

    Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

    Tune of the Day: It’s a Long Way – Caetano Veloso

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    WT-story on Danish Travel Site…

    Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

    The Danish Travel Site “Turen Går Til” has just published a story of mine from that dreadful experience in Tibet – where I hurt my hand, panicked on the Tibetan Plateau with no one around at all…

    It’s on the front page right now (08MAY07). Go have a look here!

    The story (in Danish only, sorry) is now part of a travel writing competition. I would mind a Kenyan safari break in spring 2008, would I… :-)

    Ace Ventura (Lop Buri, Central Thailand)

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    Day 393 – Nakhon Sawan -> Lop Buri

    Monday, May 7th, 2007

    Nakhon Sawan -> Lop Buri
    Distance (km) : 133
    Time on bike : 5h 32m
    Brutto time: 09.25 – 16.30
    Avg : 24.02 km/h!
    Total (km) : 15.873

    Photos and text to come…

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    Day 392 – Phitsanulok -> Nakhon Sawan

    Sunday, May 6th, 2007

    Phitsanulok -> Nakhon Sawan
    Distance (km) : 144
    Time on bike : 6h 27m
    Brutto time: 08.00 – 15.45
    Avg : 22.34 km/h
    Total (km) : 15.740

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    Day 391 – Sukhothai -> Phitsanulok (guesthouse)

    Saturday, May 5th, 2007

    Distance (km) : 68
    Time on bike : 3h 12m
    Brutto time: 10.40 – 13.50
    Avg : 21.42 km/h
    Total (km) : 15.595

    Tune of the Day: Devolva-me – Adriana Calcanhotto

    It kept raining all through the night and it did not seem like it was about to stop this morning. For once it was tempting to stay in bed. Zülle got me up.

    Ready to leave Sukhothai - in the rain...

    All this rain is coming all too soon. According to the rainfall statistics that I have read, it is not supposed to start raining until another 3-4 weeks. It is those damn El Niño-/climate change-/greenhouse effect-/ozone gas/ and someone pissed in my coffee phenomena which is turning everything upside down.

    Despite it all, it is a nice day on the road. It is flat, I’m moving forward. There is water on every field and the notion of wet rice starts to make sense. The world has a totally different signature, in the rain.

    Very elegantly and determined a kamikaze frog jumps right into the revolving spokes of my front tyre. I had a momentum going on in the saddle and did not bother to stop. The destiny of the frog is uncertain. Strangely enough, there are also a lot of flattened crabs on the roads today.

    In the morning I came up with the thought of riding the 60+ km to Phitsanulok without taking a break. It was mostly for the fun of it but as I came halfway through the route and still felt like flying Zülle took over and took the rest of the 63 km without as much as lifting my ass of the saddle.

    But did’nt you even stop for the red lights?

    - Nope, I snuck my way over…

    Did you not go hungry on the way?

    -Yes, but Zülle had a plan…

    Were there no sights to see today?

    - Yes, flattened frogs, slim snakes, crushed crabs, a lonely fish(!?) and wet road workers…

    Did it feel a bit like a time trial?

    - :-)

    Decorative lunch arrangement. Phitsanulok, Central Thailand.

    In Phitsanulok, the elderly manageress of the Youth Hostel said to me,

    Outside mosquitos, inside no hab’ mosquitos!

    I know how that song goes! I do not know where they find that kind of logic but she did not try to sell me a room. She was just being sincere, thai style. But it is no good. Mosquitoes are smart. Are they outside, they will also find a way to get inside.

    When pulling my bike into the room, the first thing I saw was a big, fat mosquito…

    My room at the Youth Hostel, Phitsanulok, Thailand.

    It is a lovely cabin with ”antique” furniture, old lamps with spider’s webs and carved wooden panels on all the walls. 200 Bath – 6,20 USD.

    Fire cooking in Phitsanulok.

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    Translator wanted!

    Saturday, May 5th, 2007

    Since most of the English speaking readers here presumably don’t speak any word of Danish, I’ll make it short this time. All I can say is that I’m trying to find a person (or persons) who would like to translate my WT-diary into English. It would really be a great gift to me – and a few other souls scattered around the globe! :-)

    I don’t wanna spend every second day in airconditioned cybercafés in order to keep the journal in Danish as well as English.

    That’s why I try my luck!

    Optimistic regards,

    Nicolai (from a rainy Thailand)

    DSC00362

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    Day 390 – Frogrock in Sukhothai

    Friday, May 4th, 2007

    Sukhothai food stall

    This is how the weather forecast for today sounds like. – Not very encouraging reading.

    Daily Weather Forecast
    On Friday 4 May 2007

    At 4.00 a.m. today, the tropical depression over Myanmar was centered about 390 km west of Tak, Thailand with maximum wind speed about 50 km/hr. It is still moving northeastward about 10 km/hr and weaken in the next period. More rain and isolated heavy to very heavy rain are expected in provinces of the western part of northern and central Thailand, i.e. Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Tak, Phayao, Phitsanulok, Uttaradit, Lampang, Phrae, Nan, Tak, Sukhothai, Kamphaengphet, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chai Nat and Kanchanaburi. People in the areas should beware of flash flood during 5-6 May 2007.

    UNESCO have been very kind and have supported many of the ruins of former monarchies in this area. Sukhothai is not an exception.

    Sukhothai food stall...

    I ride an open songthaew to the Old Sukhothai Historical Park, 10 km west of the modern part of Sukhothai. Here I rented a bike and cruised around the big ruin and temple city. Quite fascinating!

    Sukhothai Historical Park

    Sukhothai Historical Park

    My bike for the day in Sukhothai Historical Park

    Sukhothai Historical Park

    Sukhothai Historical Park

    Sukhothai Historical Park

    It dizzled most of the day. I really miss the blue sky.

    Elderly at the Sukhothai Historical Park

    Prayer at the Sukhothai Historical Park

    Sukhothai Historical Park...

    Sukhothai Historical Park...

    Sukhothai Historical Park

    Late in the afternoon, when I got back to Sukhothai the rain picks up and I am practically kept hostage at a web café for hours. Not until after midnight I realize that the heavy rain would not stop and I run home on bare feet with my sandals under my arm.

    The frogs like the water. They usually get all worked up about it. This evening, it has given rise for a couple of initiatively frogs to invite all the frogs from the neighbourhood to a big party outside my bedroom window, which has only got a net to cover for insects. They had a great frog party or so it sounded from my bathroom where their croaking and frog-rock was extremely noisy.

    But let them have their bits of fun, those dear frogs!

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    New photos from Northern Thailand!

    Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

    The photo album part of the site is still down. The new photo album with shots from my first month or so in Northern Thailand can be seen on Flickr.

    Right here!

    I enjoyed it so far – hope you do to…

    Nicolai (Sukhothai, Central Thailand)

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    Day 389 – Si Satchanalai -> Sukhothai

    Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

    Distance (km) : 78
    Time on bike : 4h 05m
    Brutto time: 10.30 – 15.30
    Avg : 19.09 km/h
    Total (km) : 15.527

    Tune of the Day: Starlight – Muse

    The night was so amazing that I several times mumbled, “Oh my God, I sleep so well” – still half asleep. It was my tribute to the night. But not all have had just as amazing a night as I have. On my terrace there are hundreds of kamikaze insects whom were on a suicide expedition under my neon light last night.

    Suicidal insects outside my room

    Today I went to the Si Satchanalai Historical Park which is on the UNESCOS World Heritage List. I am not really motivated until after my coffee and after having received a folder with info and a map over the area at the main entrance.

    Si Satchanalai, Central Thailand

    Si Satchanalai, Central Thailand

    I spend some great hours on the packed Koga in the peaceful park which is filled with lots of temples and sounds of the birds. The temples look nice but cannot knock me of my bike. All other temple areas pale in comparison with Angkor in Cambodia.

    Si Satchanalai, Central Thailand

    Si Satchanalai, Central Thailand

    Si Satchanalai, Central Thailand

    They really like Buddha here in Thailand. This giant statue outside Sukhothai is only one in the line of many newly constructed temples and Buddha statues.

    Big Buddha, Sukhothai

    It is an easy afternoon on the roads. It is even, monotonous, without big distractions (like wind, rain, sights) and most of the observations are of the introverted kind and is taking place behind my frontal lobe.

    Regardless of their normal size, snakes, lizards, frogs, mango fruits and from time to time a dog lay flattened on the asphalt. Seen from an ethical point of view of the animals the world’s escalation of building roads is a catastrophe. But paradoxically I feel blessed for these roads here in Thailand.

    - the land of race track quality roads!

    Among three other candidates I choose the J&J Guesthouse in Sukhothai. Not because it is run by a Dutch expat but because it has a nice swimming pool which is subconsciously communicating with my overheated biking head.

    Am I slowly turning into a flashpacker?

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    Day 388 – W of Den Chai -> Si Satchanalai

    Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

    Distance (km) : 80
    Time on bike : 4h 35m
    Brutto time: 8.50 – 15.00
    Avg : 17.21 km/h
    Total (km) : 15.450

    02.03 am: I was woken by an awfully, loud cockcrow right outside the tent. The cock even took the freedom to poke at the tent canvas. In goes the earplugs.

    Otherwise a good night in the tent with an unusual big amount of sleep.

    My camp for the night. Near Den Chai. Central Thailand. May 2007.

    One of my outdoor equipment sponsors

    It turned out to become a day of bike riding that most people will not like. The rain came sneaking in at 10:00 am and it tight marked me most of the day. Since the middle of February I have been on or surrounded by mountains and I do not like them anymore because they are in an alliance with the evil twins of the Weather-Gods and keep sending rain down over me.

    Flat tyre.

    Before noon my back tyre is punctured on my way up a hill in the tropical jungle. Fuck. A policeman on a scooter drives by and “helps” me … by holding the bike and those kinds of things. A painless intermezzo.

    Sweet forest cycling near Si Satchanalai...

    Roadkill of the Day:

    Roadkill of the day...

    4 km before Si Satchanalai my back tyre is punctured again! The feeling of the tyre slowly starting to vibrate and then give in is like a sorry fate and should be abolished. I inflate the tyre out of necessity only and ride on for a few km. Want to repeat the show but the tyre valve has fallen out of the inner tube. Sulky, hungry, very little sociable and looking for a hotel I walk into town.

    Fixing the flat tyre, Thai style.

    I cannot camp outside because of the rain. A mechanic, who has spotted my flat tyre and my descending smile, beckons me over. After the first pit-stop of the day, in the jungle, I do not hesitate to accept his kind assistance.

    Fixing the flat tyre, Thai style.

    The mending is done in proper Thai style with smoke and steam. Out here, nobody has heard of cold tyre retreading.

    Fixing the flat tyre, Thai style.

    He changes my rim which I accuse of being the cause for the first punctured tyre of the day.

    My room mate, the gecko.

    I find a nice hotel in the other side of town. It has a big garden, Thai-TV and hundreds of big insects whom are all giddy about the neon light on my terrace.

    Hitchhike into town, eat dinner and hitchhike back again.

    After all, it wasn’t such a bad day… :-)

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    Day 387 – Lampang -> 18 km W of Den Chai (camping)

    Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

    Distance (km) : 78
    Time on bike : 4h 46m
    Brutto time: 11.40 – 18.00
    Avg : 16.26 km/h
    Total (km) : 15.371

    I had a feeling about it: That it is not a good combination to lay sleepless at night and ride my bike all day! Optimistically, I went to bed at 8:30 pm last night but did not fall asleep until 3:00 am and this only after having tried all the tricks, like reading, watching a movie, eating, drinking, going to the bathroom, counting sheep, focusing on my breathing and with and without earplugs. None of it was a success! So if I look tired at the picture you know why…

    Lampang hotel. Ready for take-off!

    Get a rather late start from Lampang. After a boost of coffee the day sets off well. The road is far more mountainous than I expected. Keep riding up the hill for almost 4 out of the 5 hour route of the today.

    Fine and very easy cycling. South of Lampang. Central Thailand.

    Wildlife here in Thailand is rather tame.

    Roadkill - Frog

    Have I introduced my mascot? This fine little thing which I got from my mother during their Christmas visit in Vietnam.

    My mascot

    The last 2 hours of today’s ride is up the hill, all the way. There is less than 40 km to the village Den Chai which I have chosen as the destination of the day. Slowly I move forward with only 6-8 km/h and I am tired. With 30 km to go it makes a difference if the speed is 6 or 20 km/h, 5 or 1,5 hours of riding my bike. This late in the afternoon 6 km/h seems all wrong and is a frustrating speed.

    A loooong ascent west of Den Chai, Central Thailand.

    Todays afternoon snack: 18 baby bananas and18 mandarins. 3,20 DKK.

    Lunch of the day...

    My calves cramp when I press the pedals. I make a stop at a small shop and fill up the tank with one litre of orange juice. I have still got 18 km to Den Chai and I am run down so I ask in the shop if I can camp out there – Succes!

    Pitching my new Exped tent for the first time!

    I camp out in the front garden not to far from the main road. For the first time I use my new tent. A really nice tent which the Swiss outdoor company Exped, in cooperation with Danish Toursport, have been kind enough to donate for the expedition. Thanks a lot. I am sure we will make great friends, the tent and I.

    Gecko

    I take a cold but much needed shower by using a bucket and a ladle inside the familiy house before I get inside the sweet camping smell. I have missed that!

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