A Month on the Beach

Thailand part 1 - Island Hopping - Day 180

No one wants to hear about our lazy vacation from a vacation in Thailand. How we sipped from coconuts while laying around on gorgeous serene beaches, or the awesome snorkel spot right outside the front door of our beach side bungalow in crystal clear waters. So we'll keep this short.

Finally! Our much anticipated month long break, after five months in the mountains the beach sounded like pure bliss. We spent a couple weeks in Southern Thailand, island hopping from: Krabi to Koh Lanta to Koh Tao to Koh Pha Nang. We had imagined buckling down: reading, working on some projects, or maybe even doing some freelance work, in-between swim sessions. Turns out, we quickly adopted the beach bum attitude, eating and swimming our days away, just like every summer vacation. 

Southern Thailand, the beach vacation epicenter of the West. Tourists crowd the sidewalks and gaudy resorts are smashed into every available inch of space. We had mentally prepared for the tourist infestation but it was disheartening to witness the objectification of Thai culture. Western accommodation comes with higher price tags, making things difficult on a bikepacking budget. We still managed to snag $20 rooms while grubbing on cheap street food though. 

The beaches were like baby powder and the waters like glass. Koh Tao and its' underwater world was our favorite spot in the South. After heading north to Chiang Mai, we understood why so many expats lived there, it has western comforts while retaining its own personality…and the food is amazing! The cooler weather, hills, and better dirt road infrastructure confirmed our preference to cycle in the North instead of the South. 

We got a great taste of home: Olivia’s folks came out to visit for a week. They selflessly lugged over our replacement tires, spare bike junk, and a couple new camera lenses we ordered online, which we are eternally grateful for. Eric’s parents made sure we ate proper Christmas meals. And we were allowed to crash our friends Stephan and Emma Tynes’ honeymoon. It was so great to have old friends to ring in the New Year with. 

All around the break served its’ purpose, we were fat happy babies. Our muscles got their much needed rest and our pants started to feel snug again. Our bodies had recuperated and it felt good. Mentally, it became confusing living a bit in-between worlds of adventure and our new lazy lifestyle. With so much time off the bikes we began to feel like “tourists,” and aimlessly traveling left us feeling stagnant and purposeless. A sure signal that we prefer bike touring over backpacking. 

The itch quickly crept in and our bikes were ushering us back on track. We decided not to extend our Thailand visas and instead begin our Southeast Asia cycling in Myanmar! A couple visits to the Myanmar embassy in Chiang Mai, three grueling bus rides in two delirious days and we had made it to Inle Lake, Myanmar. Don’t worry Thailand, we’re coming back for you in a few weeks! 



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