23. From west coast to east coast

The downside of staying at a resort in the middle of nowhere is that there are no shops or food stalls around. The three of us happily went to the restaurant for dinner only to find that it closed at nine. Sharing the little candy I had didn’t make us any less hungry so we went to bed early, causing us to miss the television show “Sex Change Hospital” dubbed in Thai. Pity.

We left in a hurry the next day. We were all hungry but didn’t want to spend a fortune for a breakfast in this place, so we continued down the rural road on which we had arrived, hoping to find something to eat as soon as possible.

Finally, we saw people eating at something that could be a restaurant. We stopped and tried to order some food and got some. Nothing looked like what we thought we had ordered, but it was good nonetheless. Dan pointed to the food the other people were eating and it was immediately removed from their table and put onto ours. With full stomachs and a cup of coffee saturated with condensed milk we were ready to go. I don’t remember what this meal cost but it was somewhere between free and almost free.

Back at the main road, Route 4, we made good speed although when Dan and I arrived in Takua Pa, Rob had almost finished a bottle of Chang while waiting for us.

The GPS isn’t as accurate in Thailand as it was in Malaysia, but with the help of a local we found the hotel we were looking for. As we are three to split the bill we treated ourselves to an air-con room, which also had a balcony with a decent view.

While looking for the hotel we had passed the night market and we walked back there to grab something to eat. We tried several kinds of food and Dan was ecstatic about it all. Rob and Dan are real gourmets while I just know the difference between tasty and not tasty. And spicy and not spicy.

Another quick breakfast at the closest 7-11 and we saw the first foreigner in Takua Pa, a guy with the looks of a serial killer and his ladyboy friend.

Rob and Dan were going to ride along the west coast while I headed towards the east. I had had a great time with them and it felt a little bit sad to be alone again, but it is nice to ride at my own pace. If faith decides, we will meet up again.

I made good progress, but then I hit the mountains. A couple of really steep climbs reminded me that the highland is called a highland for a reason. It is no longer too difficult to climb, but it is slow, strenuous and boring. The scenery, however, is absolutely fantastic all the time, everywhere, and I could probably stop every 100 meter to take a picture.

Half way to Surat Thani, just before the city of Phang Kan, I stopped at a beautiful restaurant and had a fantastic omelette filled with pork and vegetables.

I was looking forward to the downhill that surely must come before I reach the east coast, but it was basically hilly all the way across the country. It was getting late when I finally arrived after eight hours in the saddle and I checked in to the first hotel I could find. At the reception I tried to get information about how to get to Koh Tao, the purpose of this city is basically to ship people to Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui, but even after drawing a boat on a piece of paper all I could get was that it left the docks at 08:00 in the morning.

With the help of someone’s unsecure Internet setup I found that the docks were about 5 km to the northeast of the city, which meant that I had to get up really early the next day. A shame, since this hotel included breakfast in its ridiculously cheap rate. Nevertheless, I had no interest in staying so I dragged myself out of bed and started to ride in the general direction of where the boat supposedly would leave. I followed a road along the canal, a little bit worried since time passed and nothing resembling cruise ships could be seen. After more than 5 kilometres I asked some workers and they just told me to continue, so I did.

Finally a sign pointing down a dirt road said “Koh Samui” so I took my chances and followed it down to something that actually looked like it could harbour a boat, a lot of people were waiting and a bus was parked outside. I went to the ticket desk and learned that there is no speedboat directly to Koh Tao as promised by guidebooks and the Internet (isn’t everything true on the Internet?), instead I have to go by bus to Don Sak 60 kilometres to the east, then take a ferry first to Koh Samoi and then Koh Phangan and finally switch ferry to Koh Tao. If it was true, or they just didn’t want my bicycle on the speedboat, I don’t know.

Regardless, the trip to Koh Tao was uneventful and my bike was more carefully handled than most of the other passengers’ luggage. People from different diving firms gave me their pamphlets and I chose the one that seemed the nicest, and had the nicest girl trying to convince me, so I signed up to Big Blue Diving. The day ended at the company’s waterfront restaurant having a couple of beers with Lelene and Detlef, a nice French / German couple.

74 km from the Waterjade resort to Takua Pa.
161 km from Takua Pa to Surat Thani, loving every inch of the way.
7 km from Surat Thani to the docks.
3 km riding in Koh Tao.
Total: 1563 km.

Dan wants it all at the night market in Takua Pa.

Fresh roadkill.

It might not show, but this is a really steep climb.

Fantastic scenery.

More scenery. Somewhat flatter road.

Ferry to Koh Tao.

Koh Tao waterfront.

View from the restaurant at Big Blue.


  1. Glad you made it out there, we're in Ranong and heading out to little Ko Chang tomorrow morning where I'm looking forward to resting my legs and hopefully also doing some diving. Let us know when you're planning on passing through Chumpon

  2. don't forget to go and say hi to Emma, Ola's little sister, not sure which firm she dives for nowadays.
    I love the pic with you and the bike on the boat - you look good and happy, great to see! :-)

  3. Hi Anders!! What a ride! Good!
    Think you are rather good-looking in that beard!
    How long do you stay in Koh Tao? Do you know?
    Good luck with the diving and take care!!
    Love ma and dad

  4. I'm staying until the 18th unless I decide to continue with advanced diving...

  5. Looks like another little adventure on the road...!! great work going uphill.. i shudder to think of the climb!

    I know it's the year of the tiger, but don't mess with the tiger sharks!


  6. It´s really fun to follow your adventure!
    Have some nice dives and swim down some beer bottles for me too!
    Me like the beard! Is it strings of gray I can se in it?
    Ville S

  7. Ville: Yes, it's actually a disturbingly amount of gray hair in my beard... I'll have some beers for you :) have some grogs for me!

  8. Anders!!I don´t like the photo!!
    You look like our neighbour!!

  9. Vilken härlig resa du gör!!
    Min (och min familjs) härliga resa börjar den 22/2. Så om du befinner dig i Bangkok den 23-24 februari kanske vi ses. Ha i sådana fall inte röda kläder på dig för då kanske min ena dotter lämnar en önskelista på julklappar till dig :)

    Här hittar du oss på nätet:



  10. What a beautiful scenery you are biking through!!
    I heard about the diving sites in Koh Tao, looking fwd to go there some time! Did you take the course there in Koh Tao with the friend you talked about?

  11. Rune: I got there a few days early and she was doing a visa run. She is here now, but I'm diving with another firm.

  12. Cecilia: Ja, jag bör vara i Bangkok runt den 23e. Jag har bara svarta t-shirts :)

  13. Hej Anders!!A new photo!! I think I missed your smile on the other photo. Tell us about the diving!
    Love ma

  14. OK, om du vill bli uppdaterad om senaste nytt från jobbet... eller kanske inte... :) så kan du messa oss på följande mobilnummer 0706-100188.

    Vi kommer att bo i området runt Khao San Road och jag har en svag misstanke om du hamnar där också förr eller senare...

    Ha det gott!



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