Travel|June 8, 2013 11:55 am

Touring Southern Thailand on My Motorcycle Days 3 and 4

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIt’s day 3, and I should be on my bike heading south to Chumphon. Instead, I’m laying in bed wondering who’s beating on the back of my eyeballs. I went a little overboard with the beers last night. Anyway, the chain on my bike is really lose, and the soles of the Bering riding boots I bought at the infamous Chom Chom market (on the Thai Cambodian border) are starting to come lose. Plus my ass is sore as hell from the ride down.

…so, it’s one more day in Hua Hin to take care of a few chores, and, more importantly, to enjoy the beautiful beaches and cool nightlife. I liked Hua Hin much more than I expected. It’s known worldwide as a retirement spot for old white dudes. As such, I expected it to be either totally sleazy (like Pattaya and Patong) or totally sleepy, a place where people go to die. It was neither. The first restaurant I went to was a cool wooden pub that was right across the street from the beach. The front and sides were totally open, and there was bar-style seating along the walls, facing outside.

Screen shot 2013-06-08 at 11.45.41 AMI sat down and ordered some food and a beer. While waiting, I picked up a magazine off the bar. It was a local, English language magazine. Reading it, I was amazed at how much cool, big-city type of stuff was going on. There were live plays, beauty pageants, community organizations, golf tournaments, yoga classes, motorcycle riding clubs, running clubs….you name it, and it’s going on in this not-so-sleepy retirement town. If you want to learn more, check out Hua Hin Today.

In the fun boozing blocks, there are lots of bars, and, of course, the bar girls that go along with them. They are low-key, though, not at all like the above-mentioned Pattaya and Patong hot spots. I thoroughly enjoyed the Hua Hin nightlife. You can have your fun without it being so much in your face.

With my chores finished up and few beers sucked down, it was time for bed, almost. I don’t have cable TV up at my place in Buriram, so I was excited when I flipped on the hotel TV and saw that it had all sorts of American channels. In fact, I was so excited that I decided to grab a few more beers and suck down some good old American drama. I shared a few beers and the rest of my evening with “Dog the Bounty Hunter!”

It’s day 4, 8 AM, and I’m on the road again, the 4 south heading to Chumphon.

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This leg of the trip isn’t too long, about 300 kilometers. The road has thinned out quite a bit, with most, but not all, of the big trucks gone. It’s Typical Thai landscape. Shophouses line the streets. Tropical forests fill in the background. A fun ride but nothing overly spectacular. After about 5 hours on the horse, I pull into Chumphon and make my way to the “Salsa” guesthouse. After pulling all the gear off the bike, I look down and notice this huge nail sticking through the side of my tire!

This could have been a disaster! Fortunately, the tread on these Pirelli Scorpion tires has a very sharp angle on the outside edge of the tire, which seems to have pushed the nail out to the side instead of it driving right into the tube.

After checking into the hotel, I took a walk around looking something to do. I didn’t find much. Undeterred, and dying for some entertainment, I went to the owner of the hostel ,who, by the way, is very nice and great at speaking English, and asked him what to do in Chumphon. His answer, “get on the ferry and leave town.”

Chumphon is on the mainland and has the red marker on it. The islands are down Koh Tao is the first island down to the right....then Koh Pa-ngan...and, finally, Koh Samui.

Chumphon is on the mainland and has the red marker on it. Koh Tao is the first island down to the right….then Koh Pa-ngan…and, finally, Koh Samui.

Chumphon is the jumping off point to the super beautiful Koh Tao, or “Turtle Island.” From Koh Tao, you can hop over to Koh Pan-ngan and catch a full moon party. From Koh Pha-ngan, of course, you can catch a ferry over to Koh Samui.

So, there’s not much to do in Chumphon–you just go there to catch the ferry. A few beers and some street food downstairs in the common area and then off to an early night of sleeping, which I was actually quite happy about.

Day 4 was done!

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