Im just about to leave Bangkok for Cambodia.. The last couple of months since i last wrote has been great, arriving in Malaysia after that long nonstop hitch from Jakarta. I spent few days in Melaka with couchsurfers, hitched down for few days to Singapore, more couchsurfing and busking, a few sessions of juggling and acrobatics on the street paid well. North again up to Kuala lumpur, organized a CS-juggling event which gathered not many but a few people. Some busking over there aswell which gladly paid for some birthday supplies for my host. Left for Thailand, some rides with trucks some with cars, managed to get out of KL easy, waited few minutes on the motorway paystation until a truck brought me to Ipoh. Restarea hitching just like in europe. A couple stopped and brought the 300+ km to their house and then next morning the remaining 40 km to the border to Thailand.
Ailee spinning the poi in KL
Thailand, suddently a new language, after thoose months spent in Malaysia and Indonesia, my bahasa melayu and bahasa indonesia were quite allrite for easy conversations with driver. In thai i couldnt even introduce myself or say thanks. Hitchhiking went ok though, got some rides with cars, some with motorbikes. Next day ive made it to the island of Koh samui where i met my father after not seeing him for over 2 years. We spent one week walking around the island on the beaches.. After a bit over 2 weeks on theese island i hitched towards Bangkok, had a ride with a driver going..fast.. and overtaking in the most breathtaking ways. Arrived in the evening to Bangkok where i met up with Tiphaine in the CS house of Toom. We spent few days before heading north. Hitchhiking was easy, we spent a few days, Ayuthaya, Sukothai looking at ancient temples, museums. Mostly staying in tent but sometimes were hosted in families. After Sukothai, west to Mae sod, next to Burmese border, scruffy border town i think Lonely planet would describe it as but we had interesting time there meeting people helping refugees from Burma in different ways.. North of Mae sod is the biggest refugee camp of South-east-asia, we pass an checkpoint driving a while along the camp, some barbed wire fences, lots of people walking along the road, little kid trying to hitch a ride with our driver then checkpoint again and forest, villages. Beautiful road along the river dividing Burma and Thailand.
One night we were hosted by a police in a kind of police station, he opened the room, moved a few things, put a rifle that was leaning against the wall under the bed instead and welcomed us to sleep in the room. We made it up to Mae hng son, cold night up in the mountains, down to Chiang mai, some couchsurfing over there, few days relaxing after many nights in tent. Easy hitching to Chiang Rai, further to the border of Laos, which we entered on the 24th january.
Laos was harder for hitchhiking, our first day we got a ride with a Thai truck driver heading for the border of China. Stopping half the way we slept in a tent and had our coldest night up in the mountains. In the morning we were freezing and were invited to heat ourselves around the fires the kids had started to get some morning heat. COntinued with another truckdriver we made it to the junction of the north-south "highway". Not many cars, most of them Chinese. Finally a Chinese did stop and we went for hours throught mountain passes. In Muang Xai we were hosted in a classroom in a temple, got a rideto Luang Prabang with a Lao-english couple. Luang Prabang was full of tourists but we enjoyed sleeping well on the sandy riverbanks of Mekong river.. We had to wait few hours to get out of Luang prabang, finally a Lao man with his children offered to take us to Vientiane. He was not the greatest driver in the world and the roads were small, curvy and full of motorbikes on the wrong side of the road. We made it thought. Skipped Vang Vieng and its river full of drunken westerners in tractor tubes. We had not found a couchsurfing host in Vientiane so set up a tent in a park. Three soldiers came just when the tent was up told us we could not sleep there. After some gentle arguing they said we could move 30 m out of their responsibility. Woke up with 30+ Lao people around us doing their morning workout. Next night we set up a tent in a temple garden instead which was better.
Went a bit further in Laos and crossed into Thailand in Thakaek. Just one week in Laos. But somehow it did feel enough for this time. Further some days in flat but amazing eastern Thailand. Mukdahan, Ubon Ratchatani, Nang Rong. Temples, great people and park-camping.. Finally we get a ride the last 400km to Bangkok on the back of a pickup truck(and had a storm so we sat under a tarp) Back to Bangkok, back to the amazing CS house of Toom! Tiphaine went back to Indonesia a few days ago. Now im off to Cambodia in about one hour. Hoping to make it to the border before 8:30 pm not to overstay my visa. I already got my Chinese Visa here in Bangkok. but first Cambodia, Vietnam. Not sure about what to do there but have a few ideas!
Tiphaine and friends in Mukdahan