Friday, November 29, 2013

31. Chiang Saen - Phitsanulok

495 km

Chinese river freighter, most likely picking up rice.

After five lazy days in quiet, dreamy Chiang Saen while watching the Mehkong river flow by and the lake's water lilies grow  I needed to get some riding done, long distance style. Of course there were suggestions to follow scenic mountain roads through sparsely populated valleys and across dramatic ridges but I wanted to "eat some asphalt" today before turning northbound again soon to follow the Mehkong. This river road will be very scenic and not a thoroughfare, today the riding was most on excellent roads, Asian Highway 2 (AH2) and Thai highways 1 and 101.

Not much can be reported from today's trip except for the fact that now, since the rice harvest is almost completed, farmers have the habit to put the harvested fields on fire; the air is filled with thick smoke, the blue sky is sometimes hidden behind a grey curtain which makes breathing difficult.

One also has to watch out for the long lines of parked pick-up trucks heavily loaded with rice near the entrances to the processing plants.

 I will stay another day in this bustling town since I do a quick detour from here to the ruins of Sukhothai tomorrow, a one hour ride, one way.

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