... and New Year in Chiang Rai

After finishing my almost seven months pilgrimage in Angkor I enjoyed one day of doing nothing and hangig by the pool. On the 25th of December I got on the bike again heading to Thailand and I was so happy to be on the road again that I rode all the 150km to the Thai-Border in one day. I crossed the border the next day and took a train from there down to Bangkok.


In Bangkok I left my bike in a guesthouse and took the train way up north to Chiang Rai to visit some friends to spend New Years Eve in good company. Here I will relax a little bit doing nothing before heading down to Bangkok again and then after eight months back home to Switzerland...


Happy new Year! May all your wishes come true!

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  • #1

    Guido (Dienstag, 03 Januar 2012 20:42)

    Hallo Philipp, war schön, Dich rund um Angkor getroffen zu haben. Ich durfte ja am letzten Tag nochmal eine Runde Autoscooter ("Car bum bum") spendieren, auch der malariakranke Onkel hatte seinen Spass und bedankte sich bei mir fürs Doxyciclin, das habe ihm geholfen (sein Arzt gab ihm nur Artemisin, was oft nicht genug ist bei der tropischen Malaria).
    Auf der Rückfahrt nach Pattaya hatten wir auf Thaiseite einen Platten, ansonsten lief sie überraschend ohne Bullshit ab.
    Leider saßen sowohl am Flughafen wie im Flugzeug kranke hüstelnde Menschen neben mir, und nun muss ich wohl selbst noch einen Infekt auskurieren, kaum dass ich in Deutschland bin. Einen Tag vor Abflug fiel mir ein Inlay aus dem Mund. Trotzdem habe ich hier einen Kohldampf, da werden die in Angkor weggeradelten Pfunde schnell wieder drauf sein.

    Eine schöne Zeit in Chiang Rai wünsche ich. Kann selbst meine Freimeilen noch bis Ende Juni nutzen, weswegen ich doch in Pattaya geblieben war.



Coming home 2

Coming home 10 months after I have left
Coming home 10 months after I have left

Going for a big journey is one thing, but coming home is another. Just today I've got a qoutation from Albert Camus from a cycling buddy:


"What gives value to travel is fear. It breaks down a kind of inner structure we have... Far from our own language, stripped of all our props... we are completely on the surface of ourselves. But also, soul-sick, we restore to every being and every object its miraculous value."


I think this is very true and gets the very point of the adventure of going for a big journey. And now coming home is another adventure. And it breaks down another inner structure again. After so many months on the road with no home but the tent or a hotelroom, the routine of getting on the bike every morning, looking at the sky and the weather, the impression of so many so different people, animals, landscapes, sounds, smells coming home is like another big adventure. An adventure at least as big as the going away. Coming home with all these impressions, life will never be the same again.


After two months of asylum at my parents house in the north east of Switzerland I found a place to stay in Zurich in April. So it was time to go for the last bit of my journey: riding the 80km back home to Zurich. I took some small roads through the hills of the Hinterthurgau, crossed the Lake of Zurich on a ferry and reached Zurich Wollishofen almost exactly 10 months after I have left the town by bike (see photo).


This is the end of my journey.

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From +30 to -20 degrees Celsius

Snowcovered hills back home
Snowcovered hills back home

Taking a plane with a bicycle always makes me a little bit nervous since there seem not to exist any definitive regulations and it always depends partly on the goodwill of the clerk at the check-in desk. After organizing a carboard-box for the bike and a taxiride to Bangkok International Airport I was checking in as early as possible with 38kg instead of the allowed 30kg. The woman at the counter did some phonecalls but in the end gave me boardingpass and ticket and I didn't have to pay any overweight!! Yeeeesss! It could have been 40$/kg overweight!


After one night in Colombo my plane to Switzerland took off at noon on February, 3 and by sunset we landed in Zurich. The temperature outside: minus 11 degrees Celsius and still dropping! And it dropped as far as minus 22 degrees the following night. The next day - exactly eight months after my departure - I cycled the last few km back home through a beautiful snowcovered landscape.


Total time: 8 months

Total km: 8'864 km

Total countries: 7 (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kirgistan, China, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand)

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The dewdrop has reached the ocean

After more or less eight months and 8800km of cycling I have reached the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand.


After two weeks in Chiang Rai I missed my bicycle. So I took a bus down to Bangkok again just to take my bicycle on the train and head for the Cambodian border at Aranya Prathet where I crossed the border three weeks before. I decided to make a little detour through Cambodia before heading south to the sea. I passed through the colonial City of Battambang and continued from there south to the borderprovince of Pailin, known for gemstones and beeing the last "Khmer Rouge Resort". From here I cycled straight down to Trat at the Gulf of Thailand and took a boat to the remote jungle-island of Koh Kut (picture).


The Island is the perfect lonely-beach-paradise and endpoint of my pilgrimage from the Central Asian deserts over the Himalayan Plateau to the jungles of Southeast Asia. So I pass my remaining days here at the white beaches of Koh Kut.


On february, 2 my flight leaves at 7 p.m. from Bangkok International Airport direction Switzerland...

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