Note: This report is different in perspective from the one found on Singapore Bikes Forum. But, do participate on this thread for active comments. And share with us your views.
This is just my 3rd tour and prior to this, the furthest I've ever travelled was to Betong, South Thailand. Read this report to find out more.
I'm finally done with my undergraduate studies and finished all my papers. Zhehong and I thought that we should plan for a graduation trip up north after our final semester ends. We thought... Why not go up Laos and Cambodia? Since we don't have the full-time job commitments as yet...
Actually, I thought it's really quite crazy for me to travel so far up north to Laos and Cambodia. I'm only a Class 2A license holder and still waiting to take my Class 2 in July. Therefore, I couldn't take up a more powerful Class 2 bike up north like all my other predecessors did. Or I should say... MOST predecessors with their VStroms, Hornets, BMWs, etc...
I took my humble Super 4 up north for the Laotian and Cambodian Tour and it certainly proved to be a very trustworthy bike that didn't give me any trouble throughout my entire journey.
11th May 2009 (Monday) - Singapore to Hatyai
Zhehong and I meet at 2nd Link at 6am and set off. The weather was quite hot, so we took quite a lot of breaks during the journey to Hatyai. The hot weather made me a little tired. It was like travelling for only about 100+ km and then taking a break. We were cruising at a relaxing 130-140km/h on the NSH.
Finally, after 11 hours of riding... we reached the Sadao border! This is the 1st time I'm covering such a long distance within a day. It was not easy for me at all. I'm just glad I did it!
After clearing customs at Sadao, we continue to make our way to Hatyai!
12th May 2009 (Tuesday) - Hatyai to Hua Hin
Most riders would go to Hua Hin after leaving for Hatyai as there are nothing interesting to see in between these major towns.
Hua Hin was the place that Zhehong did his solo trip and it's also the furthest that he travelled prior to this trip. Read here to find out more.
I was not used to the long hours of riding and didn't wake up as early as I should. Therefore, starting late meant that we had to do night riding. Night riding in Thailand??? Oh gosh!
By the way, we did about 3 hours plus of night riding. It was a total nightmare for me.
First of all, it's pitch-dark.
Secondly, imagine having vehicles U-turning in the middle of the highway, it's something I never really thought of but just heard of. I should say that it's something you've got to experience it for yourself.
Thirdly, I was plagued with a major migraine and I had to cover this whole leg with that pain!
Next, imagine having cones popping in front of you in the middle of the highway...
Gasp! I had to jam-break and then swerve to avoid them.
The way they place the cone doesn't allow us to react early because they are placed horizontally... Plus it's dark...
Lastly, there are also some uneven roads that causes major bumps to my bike... that made my migraine even worse... I almost wanted to puke while riding...
Nevertheless, I managed to reach Hua Hin.
13th May 2009 (Wednesday) - Hua Hin to Bangkok
We were supposed to travel about 500+ km up to Poipet, Cambodia on Day 3 but this leg of the tour went wrong for us 200km from the start. Route 35 was not labeled numerically. In retrospect, we highly suspect the right turn off Route 4 towards ‘Bang Phae’ was actually Route 35. We overshot into Bangkok and got stuck in a heavy jam.
Fret not! Zhehong decided to use Bangkok’s local ‘GPS auto-routing’ instead and requested a taxi driver to lead us onto Route 305 for 40 bucks that would lead us towards Cambodia.
While following the taxi driver, I was concentrating on tailing the driver and squeezing the crazy Bangkok traffic. Then I had the chance to take a quick glance at my mirrors. I realized that Zhehong is not in sight. I engaged neutral gear and switched on my hazard lights and stood up. There he is! But he seems to be pushing his bike to the side. I pointed to the taxi driver to stop.
I parked my bike near to a kerb and ran up to him. Oooh... Zhehong's Fizzy (FZ6) threw a spat and the temperature sensor went bongers and prevented the bike's fan from turning on, and this resulted in overheating.
Luckily, I remembered that before we made a left turn into the lane, I saw a motorcycle shop selling big bikes - Terra Motorcycles aka TP motorcycles. I told Zhehong about it and try asking them and see if they could help! And yes, he was really lucky. They do fix big bikes although that's not their main form of business.
Fizzy was left at the shop to be fixed and my warrior Sky was parked alongside waiting for Fizzy to be fixed up by the next day.
Well well, the taxi driver was really nice waiting for us. So we decided, why not make full use of the 40 bucks we paid for his service? We ask him to recommend us a good and cheaper to stay in Bangkok, knowing that Bangkok is a expensive city to stay in the first place. In addition, we transported our side boxes and other baggages on his taxi as well. Ha! That's really money well spent!
Since we are in Bangkok, we might as well spend the night roaming around the streets of Bangkok instead of mulling over Fizzy.
We visited the Democracy Monument. It's quite majestic looking actually.
Also, we visited the famous Wat Ratchanatda Worawihan and we each posed in front of the temple!
After that, we ventured towards the Night Market and it was the usual Caucasian crowd.
After that, we headed back to the hotel to rest for the day as there was nothing much to see.
14th May 2009 (Thursday) - Bangkok to Sa Kaeo
Fizzy was supposed to be ready by 10am (Thai time - 1 hour behind Singapore), but there was a delay and we only managed to leave Bangkok only at about 1+pm (Thai time). What a delay! We knew that somehow we might not be able to reach Poipet, Cambodia as planned.
Nevertheless, I'm still thankful that the Fazer broke down at the right place where there are competent enough mechs to handle the problem.
Thankfully, we had the much-needed assistance from the boss of Terra Motorcycles (extreme left) and was able to navigate out of Bangkok and onto the major highway that leads us towards Cambodia!
Off we went, but alas, the weather wasn't kind. It was raining heavily!
We just went ahead... it was again an almost 10+ hours ride on the road.
Riding on Thai roads on a rainy day can be quite a scary experience. I realized that the roads can be very slippery. Therefore, we had to travel slower at about 80-100km/h.
Because of the slow average speed, we were unable to cross the Cambodian border at Poipet as planned.
Therefore, we stopped at Sa Kaeo and stayed at Tippura Hotel for the night.
15th May 2009 (Friday) - Sa Kaeo to Poipet to Siem Reap
Off we went towards Poipet! We went to the Thai Immigration Checkpoint in Aranyaprathat before we entered Poipet.
After that, we went on to get our passports stamped at the Cambodian Immigration Checkpoint. Gosh! It looks like a hut... Honestly, if Zhehong didn't point out to me that THIS is the checkpoint, I would have missed it right away.
Oh yes! We entered into the "Kingdom of Cambodia", or should I say... can we?
We pumped petrol into our bikes, ready for the journey towards Siem Reap.
The happiness was short-lived. After we took our photo at the wall of the "Kingdom of Cambodia", we proceed to the "Customs and Excise of Poipet" to import our bikes into Cambodia.
We reached the Poipet customs only at about 12pm (Thai time). While I was looking after our bikes and our belongings, Zhehong went into the customs and tried to settle the importation paper with the guys. It was to no avail. Apparently, this guy that Zhehong approached said that we needed something called "Carnet de Passage" to enter into Cambodia. This is rubbish! So many Singaporeans have entered into Cambodia without it. Just a stamped passport and log card should suffice. The guys told Zhehong that we have to wait for his chief to be back at 2pm (Thai time). He advised Zhehong not to wait and that he will just be wasting his time.
We, being very determined people, waited for the chief. While waiting, we also had our doubts about not being able to cross into Cambodia. I believed that we are able to. We just needed to find a strong case to state that leaves them with nothing to say.
I decided to give a shot. I saw one officer walking around the building and I said...
"We... (show 2 fingers signifying 2 people) from Singapore want to travel Cambodia to get to Laos... how much?"
He replied... (rubbing his index finger and thumb together) and that means... money...
I went back to Zhehong and told him about it. Zhehong said that this is a good sign, that means... got money can talk and that as long as we give them money, they will allow us in... really?
To cut the long story short, the chief was bathing halfway and this guy who spoke to Zhehong earlier brought us to the chief. The chief was still half-naked!!!
I explained to him... "We had 3 other friends in Singapore entered into Cambodia in January and also I checked with the embassy that there is no need for a Carnet de Passage to enter into Cambodia. Just our log card will do."
After the guy heard that, he spoke to his chief and yes, we got the approval to enter into Cambodia! Woo hoo! After 2.5 hours of waiting! And when Zhehong asked them whether we needed to pay anything, they said that we don't need to! However, we had to pay them when exiting the country. Therefore, it's a sooner or later thing.
After we cleared the bike importation into Cambodia, we headed straight for Siem Reap!
We reached the town of Siem Reap and went around the town searching for a suitable and reasonable accomodation. So, we decided on Angkor Thom Hotel for the night.
However, while walking around the town in the evening, we discovered a hotel called the "Claremont Angkor Hotel". There was a marketing manager sitting at the reception and asked us if we are Singaporeans. Well, guess what? He is a Singaporean. We decided to take a peek at the room. It was so much more posh and value-for-money than the Angkor Thom Hotel. You will see why later. It was just for USD$25 a day. Since we paid for the room at Angkor Thom Hotel, we might as well make do and just stay for the night.
16th May 2009 (Saturday) - Siem Reap
We decided to stay in Siem Reap for a day to explore the famous Angkor Wat! At the same time, it was a chance for us to rest after 5 days of intensive riding.
After breakfast, we immediately checked into "Claremont Angkor Hotel". The room is so spacious and the decor is just so nicely done-up. All for just USD$25 a day. Amazing! They even have their own website, you can check them out at http://www.claremontangkor.com/. I would recommend this hotel to travellers who are planning to go to Siem Reap!
These are some interior shots of the room in Claremont Angkor Hotel...
After checking into the Claremont Angkor Hotel and placing our luggage in the room, we went out to explore Angkor Wat and the other temples such as Angkor Thom.
Oh yes, I must say that the day pass for entry into the Angkor Wat and the other temples is quite pricey. We paid USD$20 for each person for one day. But I must say that it's money that I wouldn't save because Angkor Wat is THE main thing in Siem Reap.
After sitting in a tuk-tuk around the Angkor Wat, I found that they all look the same to me...
But I should say that they do look majestic... here are some of the shots...
Woo! The steps looks really steep!!! Should I go or not?
Yes, I did! We did!
I always thought that I would one day get to Cambodia and visit the Angkor Wat. It's just that I didn't imagine myself riding to Cambodia and beyond. Just to think that I didn't even know how to ride a bicycle about 3 years back.
After we went to Angkor Wat, we rode our bikes around to look for bike wash! And, we found them! It's not very obvious actually. They do not have signboards saying "Bike Wash" or "Car Wash". We saw them washing a car and we used body language to ask if they wash bike or not. And yes, they do!
The boys are in-charge of washing the bikes...
And the girls are in-charge of wiping the bikes dry...
They sure look happy and my bike is happy to get all the attention too!
As well as Zhehong's Fizzy...
Woo! What a sight! It's certainly something I have never seen before. These kids are just so diligent!
And yes, certainly... our bikes do look squeaky clean now!
But just a side note... Looking at these kids, I find them quite pitiful. Having to start work at such a tender age when they are supposed to study.
17th May 2009 (Sunday) - Siem Reap to Kampong Cham
All we knew was that we were heading along Route 6 to get to the other side of Cambodia. There wasn't much plan at all.
A good (keyword: complimentary) breakfast at the hotel before we hit the road...
After Kampong Thum, we were at a split road. We could either continue along Route 6 for 150km, or choose a 50km off road stretch. We elected the shorter route. And that meant that... we needed to do some off-road riding. But of course, it's really a much shorter route!
We just went ahead and didn't think much of the condition of the road. Just go there and see first. It's no use worrying too much, right?
Er... then as I hit the stretch of rocky gravel road, I recalled some advice from Charley to Ewan in "Long Way Down". When Ewan kept on dropping his bike on off-road terrain and Charley told Ewan the exact same thing. Let me tell ya... it really works! You will realize that you will have more control over such terrain by doing this.
Zhehong looking cool on off-road terrain...
Along the way, we passed by villages and I saw some kids running around and playing. So, we decided to stop and give them some toys to play and enjoy! Glad to put smiles on their faces.
Like I said before, I only went to Thailand once prior to this trip. So, I saw NO cows or any sort of animals before.
Now they are at the side of the road chewing grass and suddenly they make the decision of crossing the road!
And they are bigger than our bikes... So, that's why I didn't dare to go too fast. Then again, at this stretch... i was going like 100-110km/h... as I wasn't threatened to do hard-braking to avoid hitting them YET...
We finally encountered bad weather near Kampong Cham. Heavy rains flooded the roads in a crimson tide of mud and rocks. Even the locals ceased riding. The next major town was about 200km away, and we only had 2 hours of daylight left. Therefore, we made the decision of calling it a day early in Kampong Cham, while we still spotted a decent looking hotel and a few places to eat. Dinner was fairly palatable.
18th May 2009 (Monday) - Kampong Cham to Pakse
We started the day early and woke up at 6am Thai time and had breakfast in our room in order to save time.
We bought bread along the streets of Kampong Cham when we were strolling around the town on the night before. And also a can of tuna from the petrol kiosk along the way.
This is their local bread...
After that, we set off from Kampong Cham towards Pakse, the border town of Laos.
We didn't really stop for a break until we saw a eatery cum petrol kiosk. We took the opportunity to stop for petrol as well as to eat. In these sort of places, food is not as accessible as you think it is.
It was nothing fancy, but just a simple bowl of noodles...
After we had the bikes and our stomachs had a fill, we moved on towards crossing border into Laos.
We passed by the "Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge"! It was sure a nice sight with the Mekong River as a scenery. It was sight to behold! :smile:
Me crossing the bridge...
Zhehong crossing the bridge...
Some snapshots of the Mekong River...
As we drew closer and closer to the Checkpoint of Cambodia to exit Cambodia, I was having trouble looking for the checkpoint.
When I saw a group of Caucasian backpackers walking towards the checkpoint, I knew that this is the one! And it's just a barrier... that's all...
At the Cambodian checkpoint... you guessed it right! We had to pay as we exited Cambodia, since we didn't pay when we entered the country. It sounds like a conspiracy to me though...
Anyway, we paid USD$1 per person to get our passports stamped.
And USD$5 per person to get our bikes out of the country legally.
And the Laos Checkpoint looks like a local residences and it certainly don't look official at all... Gosh! I didn't even think that it is a checkpoint...
It looks so "kampong"!
We paid USD$10 for both of our bikes to enter into Laos. We paid USD$1 per person to get our passports stamped as well.
Ah! The moment we enter into Laos, we started looking for gasoline. Lucky for us, it was very near the checkpoint. Just a couple of km after the checkpoint.
After that, we found a place to stay and retired from riding for the day!
19th May 2009 (Tuesday) - Pakse to Vientiane, Laos
(Written by Zhehong)
We woke early and left Pakse since it was a rather lifeless town. Its funny how many people, ourselves included, grumble when we go to touristy places; but when we end up in a "not so touristy place", we can't wait to get out of it. In the 24 hours run-up to Pakse, we had been eating poorly. In Pakse, we had an energy bar each for breakfast since we couldn't find any bread or eateries early in the morning. The meals on the road would be equally rough for the rest of the day.
Unfortunately, starting the day early did not pay off. Instead of heading North-West towards Vientiane, I made a topo error and led us East towards Vietnam. Well, you know, at least they both start with 'Vie', so it wasn't so bad, right? It wasn't until 80km in the wrong direction, near the Vietnamese border did we turn back. We wasted 3 hours. Bummer.
So off we went from Pakse again at 10am, eager to recover lost time. We reached one of Lao's RnR and started looking for the 7-11.
When we couldn't find an RnR later, we pulled over to rest.
Because of my topo mistake in the morning, we were 150km short of Vientiane at dusk. The last traces of daylight shimmered over the horizon when I pulled us over for some energy bars.
At least we came across some family selling Vitamilk to go along with it. I also realized energy bars are good backups for rides into Laos and Cambodia. Its harder to come across an eatery in the more desolate stretches. At times it was just Debbie, me and the roads. We didn't see vehicles for long stretches.
The next 150km would take us 3 hours, going at about 50-60km/h. After recovering from the occasional blinding high beams from oncoming morons, I wondered if the patch of darkness on my right stretching into the forward abyss was water. Yet vertical poles seem to protrude into the ground from the patches. No, it was a gaping hole. A long gap several hundred metres long just beside me, with metal poles stretching down. Between more blinding lights and finding the centre line, I tried not to get my front wheel into the gap. I would flip for sure. Was it the fatigue? Or was it my imagination? What were we doing riding in complete darkness beside a long gaping hole?
No time to think. The tarmac ended. I avoided the largest two pot holes on both sides of me and landed on sand. And later gravel. The single headlight behind me shone forward. We kept going, and that was the last of it. We had made it into Vientiane after 16 hours on the road.
At last, we finally had room service. While tucking in, I had that feeling like I was tucking in after an army outfield exercise. We were tired and hungry. We had not ate well nor slept well. But we were finally eating good stuff on nice white sheets. No more energy bars! I'm not sure I'll complain when I next get to a touristy town. I'll take the "touristy" stuff anytime!
20th May 2009 (Wednesday) - Vientiane
Finally there is another rest day in the schedule!
We decided to stay in Vientiane to explore the city! As we walked around the city, we discovered a lot of bike rental shops that rent out bikes!
However, it's quite pricey. It's for about USD$30 for 1 day.
We also walked around the Vientiane Morning Market.
After that, we had a hearty lunch at a hotel that we chanced upon along the way as we were having our leisurely walk. It's only about USD$10 per pax! Can you believe it??
Wow! What a spread!
What's different is the presence of the Patuxai, The Victory Gate! It looks so magnificent!
21st May 2009 (Thursday) - Vientiane to Vang Vieng to Vientiane (Turnaround day)
(Written by Zhehong)
It was day 11; we intended to turnaround in Vang Vieng after spending a night there. By this day, we had been riding 8 out of the past 10 days. We've only had rest days to explore Siem Reap and Vientiane. We decided we would ride home with more rest days in between to have fun, stopping at either Cameron or Genting. But on this day, it was just to reach Vang Vieng and rest for a night.
Spectrum had told us that Vang Vieng was a beautiful town by the lake. You could rent air-inflated tubes and slide down the lake from the top. However, I think we forgot to note that the town is easy to miss. His group had missed it on their way to Luang Prabang and had to turn back. Vang Vieng town is actually accessible by a minor road at a T-junction that isn't too well marked. We managed to find a good restaurant just outside the main touristy area for a 10 odd US dollars meal, something hard to come by on the road, so we were very very thankful for that. Thinking that there was nothing worth seeing in Vang Vieng, Deb's and I decided impromptu to return to Vientiane so that we could begin our return leg home over the next 7 days.
This was our furthest point in Laos. We had come 4000km through Cambodia to get here and had no desire to go further. At this turnaround point, I knew that someday we would look back and wonder if it would be worth going all the way to Luang Prabang and Plain of Jars. But I also knew that we would have found the trip a memorable adventure within our means, and would likely not return. The world is too big; there are many more places to go, and many things to see.
Checking into a different hotel in Vientiane before dusk. Cool pic eh?
When we visited Vientiane's ITECC (International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre), we had a sense of the country's level of development. This was their capital city, where foreign embassies and the nation's money for development went into. ITECC to Laos should be what Suntec is to Singapore.
Yet when we went into this building, the capital city's best was full of make-shift stalls in a 2 storey building. There was one cinema, the only one we saw in the country, and they showed outdated films. There was one departmental store. The whole building and its make shift stores gives a visitor a "pasar malam" feel to it, only with air con. Vientiane's best shopping mall pales in comparison to your neighbourhood Junction 8 or Jurong Point by very much.
I knew then, how fortunate I was to be born in Singapore. Day 9's topo error which took us towards Vietnam showed me how desolate parts of Laos could be. There were children we saw who probably did not receive the education we took for granted. Once born into the family, a life of tea planting, farming and rearing cows or pigs is the means of sustenance. If any were to receive some form of education, would their best prospects be working in the capital city, or in tourist attractions in Luang Prabang and the Plain of Jars? If I were born there, what would I be missing out on? Yet on a philosophical level, are we necessarily better off than the native Lao people who lead simple rural lives?
22nd May 2009 (Friday) - Vientiane to Muak Lek, Central Thailand
We started riding from Vientiane at about 9am and managed to clear the Laos customs and Thai customs at Nong Khai at about 10+am.
Boy! It was raining and there were so many railway tracks and both of our bikes' tyres slipped quite a bit when we went over it.
We aimed to reach Hua Hin, but ended up aiming for Saraburi as it was unrealistic. If we pushed on, we might only reach Hua Hin at about 11+pm.
Due to the bad weather, we went slower than usual. Therefore, we had to ride a little in the night yet again.
We were making quite frequent stops to look at the map to make sure that we avoid Bangkok at ALL cost! And we did it!
When we were passing by Muak Lek, we saw a very bright red signboard that says "Holiday Inn". We thought the standard of the hotel shouldn't be that bad, right? By the way, Muak Lek is only about 30+km away from Saraburi.
When we turned into the street and saw the hotel, we were impressed by the whole exterior of the hotel. It looked so glamorous. Wait a minute... Does it mean that it's going to be expensive?
The exterior of the hotel in the day...
We were proven wrong! It's only 900 baht per night for the deluxe room. The interior of the room just looks so cozy. Ah... it's such a nice room to stay in and rest!
The interior of the deluxe room...
As we rode on the next day, we were just so thankful that we made the right decision in stopping over at Muak Lek. When we passed by Saraburi, there was no decent hotel in the area at all.
23rd May 2009 (Saturday) - Muak Lek to Hua Hin
(Written by Zhehong)
Having rode 2 consecutive days, we elected to ride to Hua Hin and rest a day there. We spent day 13 skirting West of Bangkok. There were several stopovers on the highway to consult our maps and thankfully we managed to avoid Bangkok. By 5pm on day 13, we reached Hua Hin. We had long walks around the town the next day for sightseeing.
The Hua Hin Beach
It was rather odd how we were feeling close to home when we were still a good stretch away. I guess Hua Hin felt a lot more familiar to us by now. It was the outer limits of what we considered "home ground".
24th May 2009 (Sunday) - Hua Hin
Yes yes... it's our rest day yet again after 2 consecutive days of riding. Although this is only the 2nd time I've been to Hua Hin, I have already kind of considered it as my "home ground" too. It just makes me feel that I'm getting closer to home.
This time around, we stayed at the Minitel Hotel. The exterior of the hotel is not too bad, but there are a lot of mosquitoes! So many that my whole leg was covered with mosquito bites! I had to make sure I don't scratch my leg. I didn't wanna end up with mosquito bites all over my legs when I return to Singapore.
Reflecting back... it wasn't a very good choice to choose that hotel. We had to walk quite a distance before we could reach the Hua Hin Market Village, let alone the Hua Hin Beach! So next time, my advice is... Make sure you choose a hotel that is located near the city centre.
After exploring Hua Hin Beach, we walked into Hilton Hotel. We sat down, enjoyed the air-con, the nice & big sofa... Ahhh, It's so comfortable that even Zhehong dozed off...
The best part was that... when we stepped out of the hotel, the bellboy thought that we were guests of the hotel, opened the door for us and greeted us with much politeness... hehehe...
It was just a lazy day for us to rest, since we have already explored much of Hua Hin on our way up.
25th May 2009 (Monday) - Hua Hin to Hatyai
Back to riding again! We're all recharged for the ride ahead back to Hatyai! And I'm ready!
It was just another long day of riding that lasted about 10 hours. We rested for the day for next day's leg to Genting Highlands!
26th May 2009 (Tuesday) - Hatyai to Genting Highlands
It was quite a short ride from Hatyai to Genting Highlands. We managed to reach Genting Highlands in the afternoon. It was my 1st time going up there with my bike. It was a little scary for me and I was going a little slow.
It's really quite scenic on the way up. And i could feel colder and colder as I scale up the mountain!
We stayed at the First World Hotel (the multi-coloured building).
And it was my 1st time staying at that hotel. I never went to Genting Highlands for 5 years already!
The weather was really welcoming! I needed to cool down from the hot and scotching weather that we experienced in Laos & Cambodia.
Ah... Time to retire for the day! Zzz...
DAY 17 27th May 2009 (Wednesday) - Genting Highlands
It's our rest day and we went around the Genting Outdoor Theme Park and took the rides. I had my fun at the Flying Coaster while Zhehong was snapping pictures of me on the ride.
After that, we walked indoors and were shooting arrows!
We didn't do much after playing at the Theme Park and rested for the day!
28th May 2009 (Thursday) - Genting Highlands to Singapore
On day 18, we packed up and headed home. This concluded our 18 days Laos-Cambodian tour, spanning 7100km across 5 countries.
Retrospection of the Tour
I was really nervous before the tour. I didn't know whether I could actually pull it off. I have limited experience in riding. In fact, I have only been riding for less than 2 years. I didn't know how to cycle until 2+ years ago.
One week before the tour to the start of the tour, I was in total paranoia. The night before the tour, I couldn't sleep properly. I was in cold sweat. Just so worried. But guess what? Since it's something that I promised myself that I must do it, then I can't go back on my words right?
The learning curve was really steep for me. I never really ridden on Thai roads before this tour. Betong is not counted as Thai road because the condition of the road is better compared to the rest of Thailand. Not only I had to learn the conditions of Thai roads, I also had to experience Cambodian & Laotian roads which was worse than Thai roads. Imagine experiencing new roads of 3 countries in 1 tour!!
I did freak out in the middle of the tour sometimes.
I was just so scared! But somehow in my mind... my brain tells me "You have already travelled so far, come on... it's just a little bit more... little bit more.." That was how I pressed on throughout the tour.
But I'm really glad that I could make it! And definitely when you set your heart & mind to achieving something, you will press on and make it!
I'm very thankful for someone like Zhehong who was a more experienced rider than me and for being very patient with me!
Yes, I hope to encourage all lady riders to do the same too!