This sight has become a daily one as the road-side, grilled chicken is hard to pass by. We have had a fantastic last few days and have gotten into quite a bit of a routine for biking in Thailand. Although it’s been a little rough to wake up at 5:00 AM, we are generally on the road by 7 AM or before and the first few riding hours are very enjoyable. I’ll explain what a typical McFerrin day in Thailand looks like.
After we get on the road, we generally ride for a solid 20km and get a good chunk of the distance out of our day before stopping for our first break. Our first or second break in the morning will often consist of grilled chicken and kow neuw (sticky rice). If we are lucky, we are able to find a grill stand that gives us some spicy sauce, but some of them just have the rice. This break really depends on if we are able to find chicken or not, but it’s been pretty easy to do so. The other breaks in the morning will generally be some fresh fruit such as pineapple, mango, or bananas and/or some sesame seed covered peanuts with dates. We try our best to do all of our biking before noon, as we know that the sun is equally hot here as it was in India and it is very easy to get sunburned. I have posted a picture on the photography page of what I look like when I am all covered up and ready to ride.
Anyway, once we get to about the right time for lunch, we stop and get some local street food. Our lunches have mostly been noodle soup so far, but today we had chicken instead as we weren’t able to find chicken before then. We have had some amazing food so far. Today my parents tried one of the dishes that they remember highly from when they were here before; it was papaya salad. They use a green papaya and shred it up into long strands, in which they combine with tomatoes, red chilies, peanuts, fish sauce and some other spices. It is really fresh, although today it was spicy. Not just like the normal spicy; it was so spicy that even after taking out the red chilies and eating small bites, our mouths were still on fire and it was almost unbearable. However, it was really cool to try something that my parents had talked about so much previously and learn more about it.
After lunch, we tend to look for somewhere to stay for the night. For the last two nights, we camped and it has really interesting to listen to the Thai jungles at night and hear all the different types of night creatures. There are quite a few bird calls that I would never imagine hearing, and some of them get quite stressful. There is one bird that we call the ‘stress out’ bird, as it’s calls are very shrill and seem concerning, yet they increase in speed and volume to the point where you almost start stressing out yourself. Those birds generally like to wake up around 5:30 AM and serve as a very pleasant and enjoyable wake-up call… NOT.
We stayed at a Buddhist temple last night, and that was really interesting. Markos actually ended up playing soccer with a few dozen Thai dudes that came to a concrete soccer field that was located within the temple grounds. He came back sweaty and tired, and it didn’t really help that we didn’t have a fan or AC as we were tenting. Last night was pretty rough as there was no breeze and the tent heated up like a sauna. I am good writing this now knowing that I will sleep much better tonight, knowing I have a cooling AC in our hotel room. We decide to stay at a hotel this evening, and lucked out to find one that has a pool and came to a very reasonable price.
Overall, Thailand continues to be an amazing country to travel through and I am really enjoying our time here. I forgot to mention that we went to a really cool local Thai market this afternoon for dinner and that was really fun. There were tons of people and it was great to see so much fresh fruit. Anyway, we plan to be at Koh Chang by Friday, which is an island off the south east coast of Thailand where we may spend a week or so. I have posted more photos with little stories included with them on the photography page and have also changed the blog’s overall photos a little bit. I hope you enjoy!