33. Leaving Thailand

My cold felt a little better and I decided it was time to leave Chiang Mai. I have stayed in this place for five days, two days longer than planned. At least that is what I think, the number of days are kind of a blur. Rob and Dan didn’t want to leave Chiang Mai quite yet however, so I left on my own. They promised they wouldn’t stay too long and we will meet up again somewhere along the road.

Smog limits the visibility quite a bit up here. At times I have to ride with my scarf over the mouth, the sun is bleak and you can’t see much of the nature around you. Sometimes that is a good thing, you don’t see the hills you have to climb until you reach them.

The ride was hilly, but not particularly hard compared to any other ride the last couple of weeks. But the cold had taken its toll and even though I was riding really slow my heart was racing and I was sweating like crazy. I was feeling better after some noodles and a good night sleep in the small town of Wiang Pa Pao and the ride to Chiang Rai was a pleasant one, although I still was cycling way slower than usual.

It is starting to get pretty chilly. Last time I had an air conditioned room it was actually colder outside than in the room, which makes the a/c a waste of money and energy. But the hot season is rapidly closing in, it will soon be very hot. Again.

With a mere 37 kilometres to go I heard the now familiar sound of a spoke snapping. I had just celebrated the 3000 kilometre anniversary and got a little annoyed about having to deal with this for a second time. I decided my wheel could handle the rest of the way to Chiang Rai, prayed for this city to have a decent bicycle shop, disconnected my rear brake and continued the ride. Arriving I immediately found Fat Free Bicycles (but not until I had consumed two pepperoni pizza) and they did not only replace the spoke, but rebuild my entire wheel for the modest sum of 150 Baht. No more broken spokes they promised, and I am going to hold them responsible if I get stranded in the middle of Laos.

Petter, the Swedish cyclist I met almost two months earlier in Tanah Rata, was currently in Chiang Rai and we met up. We rode together on rural roads to the city of Chiang Khong at the border to Laos where we got our exit stamps and boarded a longboat to cross the Mekong River.

We got ashore and walked to the relaxed Laos customs office with 5 minutes to spare.

99 km from Chiang Mai to Wiang Pa Pao.
87 km from Wiang Pa Pao to Chiang Rai.
110 km from Chiang Rai to Chiang Khong.
Boat from Chiang Khong to Houei Xai, Laos.
Total: 3172 km.

Smog on the road out of Chiang Mai.

Laundry day.

3000 kilometre milestone.

Fat Free Bicycle Shop.

The clocktower in Chiang Rai.

Petter on a rural road to Chiang Khong.

Riding into Chiang Khong.

Loading our bikes.

Last look towards Thailand.

Visa photo for Laos. Damn, I am handsome!


  1. Vet inte vad jag är mest imponerad av - längden på din resa eller längden på ditt skägg ;)

    Skämt åsido, det är helt fantastiskt att få följa med din resa via bloggen.

    Ha det gott!

  2. Sitter just nu o tittar på Laos på Tv.
    3000 kilometer är en bra milstolpe får jag säg.
    Ha det bra i Laos o ta hand om dig.

  3. En liten fundering...
    undrar om du får "bonnabränna" när du rakar av dig skägget?!

  4. OMG - check out that beard ha ha! Ser verkligen fram emot att höra hur du upplever Laos, jag skulle absolut vilja åka dit och spendera några veckor där. Kram Anders. PS ta det lugnt med förkylningen, ska man verkligen anstränga sig fysiskt med förkylning....simma lugnt...

  5. Hej Anders!! Pappa är imponerad av din fotografering o det är jag också. Min din cykling är ju helt otrolig!! Men en förkylning är inte att leka med i det klimatet! Var rädd om dig! Du ser lite skum ut i skägget, men ett smile rätar väl till det.
    Kramar mamma o pappa

  6. :) grattis du ser nu ut som en terrorist. :)


  7. Wow, är beredd på att slå vad om att det blir "full cavity search" på flygplatsen när du skall hem :)


  8. hmmm... jag får lite unabomber-varning...




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