I plowed ahead on a big, ugly highway with big, ugly, stone throwing, fume spewing trucks driven by maniacs who didn’t seem to care if they lived or died–a couple of them did, in fact, lose their lives on this day.
I got rained on. I got a ticket from the police, and I got lost on the wild and willy streets of Bangkok! I only salvaged the day by stopping short of my destination, getting a nice hotel room, and downing a fridge full of cold beers–the super-delicious BBQ chicken being served up on the sidewalk outside my hotel helped too!
I also spent some time on Google Maps figuring out the best way to get the hell out of the city.
I woke up on day two fully prepared to enjoy myself. Unfortunately, Bangkok wanted to chew me up a little more before it spit me out! My plan was to follow this route…
As you can see, I was staying in a hotel where Expressway 1 meets the 305, which is not an expressway! I packed up the bike and hit the road. My plan was to take the 305 heading towards Pathum Thani and then hop on the 346.
That didn’t happen!
Why? Because the 305, while just a regular freeway heading east, is an expressway heading west, starting at expressway 1.
NO MOTORCYCLES ALLOWED!
Shit! I couldn’t get on the 305 west and there was only one other road to take. It took me around the Rangsit Market and then spit me back out on the 305 East–going right back to my hotel! I had only been on the road for 5 minutes, and, again, I was totally screwed!
As I completed the 10 minute ride, in the opposite direction I wanted to be going in, to the U-turn area, I fantasized about punching a Bangkok city planner in the face! That made me feel better, but it didn’t change the fact that I was stuck in this god forsaken city again!
I hit the U-turn spot and headed back towards the 305/1 junction, still not knowing what I was going to do when I got there. I approached it slowly, and I saw a small street that ran along the 305. I took it for a few hundred meters, rolling right alongside the freeway that I so desperately wanted to be on. Finally, the small street dead-ended into a market.
I didn’t even think about it. I just hit the gas and flew up the expressway on-ramp! I just couldn’t bear the thought of spending one more minute riding around in circles on the streets of the most poorly planned city in the world! Plus, it was early, so I thought it likely that the Thai
mafia police were still shaking off the their lao khao hangovers from the night before.
And what if I did get caught? Who cares! It’s only a 400 baht fine, and I would gladly pay that to get the hell out of Bangkok! As it turned out, there were no cops, and I finally clawed my way out of the big black hole!
I hit the 346 and cruised to Bang Len without incident. From there I jumped to the 321 and shot down to Nakhon Pathom, where I picked up the 4. I shot past Ratchaburi, blew through Phetchaburi, and headed for Hua Hin.
Slowly, the big, ugly, towering trucks of terror began to vanish. The traffic thinned. Steep, beautifully carved limestone mountains began littering the landscape. Finally! I was out of the industrial nightmare of the big city and its surroundings. I had arrived at doorstep of Southern Thailand.
Hot, sweaty, and dreaming of a cold beer I rolled into the resort town of Hua Hin, one of Thailand’s most popular beach destinations for retired Western expats. Unsure where to go, I pulled over, parked, pulled off my gloves and helmet, scanned the terrain and spotted exactly what I was looking for, a white dude sitting in a car.
I approached him and motioned for him to roll down his window. After a short greeting, I explained that I was traveling alone and wanted to find the area of town where there were hostels, some place where I could find other travelers to talk to. Smiling and happy to help, he told me to go the next traffic light and turn left, “there are lots of hotels right on the beach,” he said.
Splendid! I rolled down the hill and found the place he was talking about. After a quick look around, I chose this hotel.
A few pictures from around Hua Hin