Current Location : Khon Kaen, Thailand (Google map)
Last entry date : 31/Jan/09


Bridge over the River Kwai

13/Jan/09 to 16/Jan/09

On 13/Jan Bjorn and I parted with a handshake from our bikes at a crossroad at Surat Thani (main city stop for overland tourists to the holiday islands of Ko Samui).

Next I headed north with “rough” arrangement to meet up with another rider called Len, who was making his way down from Bangkok, that evening in the city of Hua Hin. This Hua Hin was a dot on my map, but like most Thai cities, it’s big. Hey Len, if you’re reading this, I got to your hotel the next day but you had checked out. Btw, there are 2 hotels with the same name and I found the other one first. Hope to see you on the road ie maybe in Malaysia or Indonesia somewhere !!

I had an eye on getting to ChiangMai (everyone said that’s the place to visit) and my traveling range for the day after Hua Hin was either Bangkok or … well, why not Kanchanaburi – home of the Bridge over the River Kwai, made famous by the WWII movie based on a novel by French writer Pierre Boulle. I’m glad I did come here. Even though the bridge had been re-built, there is an aura about this bridge if you had seen the film. Today, tourists come here by busloads … And the place to be in this town before sunrise is the Kanchanaburi night market. Great atmosphere of the Thai. Must see.

And its here, as I took a right turn to find a budget guesthouse by the river that I saw 2 Dakars neatly parked up in front of a wooden house. I parked Kuda (my horse) next to theirs – so I met up with german bikers Holger & Anja who have been traveling the last 18 months. They’ve seen it, and still give themselves another 18 months to complete their round-the-world tour … or before the money runs out !!

We decided to ride together up north to ChiangMai or at least part of the way. The most scenic route was the route skirting the Myanmar border so off we went on 14/Jan munching up 500km of scenic country road on the 1st day and about 350km of winding road on the 2nd. This husband & wife riding team does impress me, stopping little and riding a lot. I tend to do the opposite when on my own. And make frequent stops when some food stalls show up – it is a lousy excuse, but I tend to call it the little pleasures in life. My new found german riders were apparently not prone to these temptations … We got good riding rhythm together and were soon not riding like hell, but like riders going somewhere … [/english]


Le pont sur la rivière Kwai

13 janvier au 16 janvier 09

Le 13 Janvier, Bjorn et moi-même, nous nous sommes séparés, sur nos motos, avec une poignée de main, à un carrefour à Surat Thani (arrêt principal pour les touristes voulant aller sur l’île de Ko Samui).

Je suis ensuite allé Nord, avec un arrangement sommaire pour pouvoir rencontrer dans la soirée et à Hua Hin, un autre motard, Len, qui venait de Bangkok. Hua Hin est un petit point sur la carte, mais comme la plupart des villes en Thaïlande, c’est grand. Hey Len, si tu me lis, je suis allé à ton hôtel le lendemain mais tu étais déjà parti. Il y avait 2 hôtels portant le même nom et j’ai trouvé l’autre en premier. J’espère te voir sur la route, peut être quelque part en Malaisie ou en Indonésie.

J’avais en tête d’aller à Chiang Mai (tout le monde dit que c’est l’endroit à voir) et mon choix de route pour la journée aprés Hua Hin était soit Bangkok, ou …pourquoi pas Kanchanaburi – ville du pont sur la rivière Kwai, rendue celèbre gràce au film sur la seconde guerre mondiale d’après un livre de l’écrivain français Pierre Boulle. Je suis content d’être venu ici. Malgré la reconstruction du pont, il y a une atmosphère par rapport à ce pont si vous avez vu le film. Aujourd’hui, les touristes viennent par bus entiers…et l’endroit où aller avant le lever du soleil est le marché nocturne de Kanchanaburi. Superbe ambiance thaï. A voir.

Et c’est là, en tournant à droite pour trouver une maison d’hôtes à prix raisonnable, pas loin de la rivière, que j’ai vu 2 Dakars bien garées devant une maison en bois. J’ai garé Kuda (mon cheval) à côté – et là, j’ai rencontré 2 motards allemands Holger et Anja qui voyagent depuis 18 mois déjà. Ils ont tout vu et pourtant se donnent encore 18 mois pour finir leur tour du monde… ou avant selon leurs finances!!

Nous avons décidé de rouler ensemble Nord jusqu’à Chiang Mai ou au moins pour une partie du voyage. La route la plus pittoresque était celle qui longeait la frontière Myanmar, donc nous voila parti le 14 Janvier, avalant 500 km de route scénique le premier jour et environ 350 km de route sinueuse le 2ème jour. Cette équipe “mari/femme” m’impressionne, roulant beaucoup et s’arrêtant peu. J’ai tendance à faire le contraire quand je roule seul. Je fais souvent des arrêts, dès que je vois des stands de nourriture. C’est une pauvre excuse, mais j’appelle ça les petits plaisirs de la vie. Mes nouveaux amis motards allemands n’étaient apparamment pas enclins à ces tentations …nous avons pris un bon rythme pour rouler ensemble, et bientôt, on ne conduisait pas comme des fous, mais comme des motards allant quelque part… [/french]

10 Responses to « [english]Skirting the Myanmar border with Anja & Holger [/english] [french]Le long de la frontière Myanmar avec Anja et Holger[/french] »

  1. oh waouh!!! it’s getting better and better!! you have a pet coco? Planning to bring it back to france? I love the photo with the family…at least we know the man has a daughter!! so cute!Love, Lydia

  2. Siew Hoon & Victoria31 January 2009 à 10:34 pm

    Hi- Sheen,
    Another interesting update with beautiful,colourful photos!! Take care.

    Siew Hoon.

  3. Hi Sheen,

    It all looks like a very exotic learning experience. I would like to explore places like that some day too. Go slowly and enjoy the scenery.
    You still have plenty of time.

  4. oh boy!!!I can tell you a lot of people would love to see all the beautiful places you have seen so far…Lydia

  5. Oh sheen ! c’est trop gentil de me ramener “a pet coco”
    thanks a lot ! ;o)

  6. touche pas à ma pet coco marie laure!!:)

  7. Sawadee Khun Sheen,

    Sorry, didn’t get a chance to follow your recent trips closely. I suppose you’re probably somewhere in Northern Thailand, or Loas by now. Or perhaps in the wonderful province of Chiangmai. Don’t forget to say hello to all my in-laws.

    It’s pretty cold (by their standard) over there at this time of the year. But it’s lovely though. Do enjoy the hospitality of Yao, my wife’s home town. I’m sure you will love it.

    And looking forward to meeting you in March when you arrive here.

    Chok dee (or good luck),

  8. Hi Sheen,

    Is my computer playing tricks on me or what? Your last update was 16 January 2009? Where are you now? We have been waiting for you since Chinese New Year. It would be good to know your whereabouts/your well-being. Anyway, I hope you are ok and hope to see you soon.


  9. Sawadwee Khun Henry, like ChiangMai – its surroundings is lovely, nice weather, friendly people, got everything and reasonably priced, etc. Great retirement place for you next time !! Sorry did not do visits there except to bike shops for repairs. Yes, camped one night at Pai and it was freezing. Left a mark on one of the Pai / Mae Hong Son twist. See you when I get down there.


  10. Hey Nancy, long way this test ride to see north of Thailand & Laos. Covered 6000+ km and still need to cover more to get back to your place. Will crossover into Msia tomorrow. See you v.soon.


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