Day 26: Koh Kong to Trat: Beach Break

Distance: 104.2km

Total: 1425.2km

Thai FOD: The King of Thailand died in October 2016. Since then, a year of mourning was declared. His body will be cremated in a temporary crematorium which is under construction at a cost of 1 Billion Baht.

Everyday Randomness: finally running into someone as mad as we are who is also cycling! Unfortunately, it was a very brief encounter so we didn’t get his story!

There were potatoes on the menu so it was an obvious choice. The right choice it turned out as the sausage, egg, and fried potato breakfast was to last us a long time. 

Leaving Koh Kong was great, not that it was terrible (but there really wasn’t much going on at all there) but because despite its underwhelming town, it’s surrounds are very picturesque.  

After the impressively long bridge there were a couple of really steep hills as if the road was preparing us for Thailand already! We arrived at what initially appeared to be market but transpired to be the border crossing. Strangely, when leaving Cambodia they take your finger prints which seems a bit futile. Though it took longer than our other border crossings, there were no issues and we were waved through any secondary checkpoints.

Undulating is a mild description of the up and down nature of the road. It was literally proper hills. I was looking at my panniers thinking that I didn’t remember them being so heavy! To make up for the hills the coastal views were beautiful and the road was surprisingly quiet. We also cycled through the narrowest part of Thailand:

Thankfully, the hills abated and we stopped for coffee at a cool looking spot in what was a literal ghost town. Here it was starkly evident how much more sophisticated Thailand is compared to Cambodia:

Progress picked up considerably after the caffeine injection and we turned off and onto the coast road which was in unbelievably good condition. It was essentially a road of resorts but at the end it opened out onto one of the nicest beaches I’ve seen in Asia and we just had to get in! The water was warm!! It was so counter intuitive as an Irish person to not turn blue once in the sea! 

We continued on the coast road for as long as we could, turning back onto the main road we still maintained a great pace. The inevitable search for lunch places began but as anticipated there was literally nothing between the border and Trat. We eventually found a place for water at least and snacked on nuts and Oreos, which went down a treat.

We were about 35km from Trat at this point so it was clear that we were just going to have to push on and get lunch there. With about 10km to go we came across a 7/11, one British couple had mentioned you could get ham and cheese toasties there which sounded divine to us at that point in the day. Oh and they really hit the spot, so much so that we got another sandwich straight after (shredded pork and chilli). Two sandwiches for just over a euro is really hard to argue with! I don’t think we’ll be getting many of them but we certainly enjoyed the novelty aspect of the whole experience!

Delighted with ourselves, we thought we’d have an easy spin into Trat. It was more of a Bohemian rhapsody entry to be honest as a thunder and lightning storm broke out with about 6km to go. I was soaked to the skin by the time we made it to Pops guesthouse. Not the ideal time to bump into a fellow cyclist as we were literally creating water pools wherever we stood. We excused ourselves to have an actual shower!

With the rain continuing and having just returned to Thailand, the only appropriate thing was to go for massage. Fortunately, we were just beside the Thai School Massage which we figured might actually give massages as opposed to any other services! Turns out they do a great Thai massage, or thigh massage more accurately! My flexibility was tested to the max! Besides the elbow on the sole of feet, I survived the rest with limited wincing! For €5 it was an exceptionally good value hour and I was definitely feeling different after it, tomorrow will tell if that different is good!

The night market was the best we’ve been to. It was huge and buzzing, particularly for take aways. The take away scene did make it a bit difficult to choose where to go as we couldn’t play the numbers game but we found a spot easily enough in the end. We bravely ordered the chilli paste dish which certainly packed a punch but a manageable one! 

My nose led me to a pancake stand and we had banana and egg pancake with condensed milk and it is heaven. I would’ve gone back for another but they are actually so filling! 

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