Ayutthaya to Nakhon Nayok to Srimahapho (Prachinburi)

We are decidedly non-tourists, but we do like our 7-Elevens, takeout food at the Khaohom Resort, Lollygagging poolside, and the little “Big C” experience.

Its hard to compete with the sights and experiences at Ayutthaya, but as we left the area we both agreed we aren’t really the “touristy” type for very long. You’ve seen one ancient ruin you’ve seen em all! Now that we are halfway through our trip we can stop and notice smaller things.

Like 7-Elevens and our dependence on them. In a land where we know not a single Thai word, 7-Eleven feels like comfort food. We choose routes now that will ensure rest stops there. They have all the right things! Air conditioning, an ice machine, pineapple turnovers, cold lemonade, and beer for Randy. Unless of course it’s between the hours of 2 and 5pm, in which case they aren’t selling to him or anyone else. There’s regulations around that, and apparently it’s because they don’t want school aged children getting their paws on beer. Randy feels quite confident that no child, rabid dog or otherwise is getting hold of any beer he be in possession of after a 100k ride (not during a ride, mind you), but he’s not about the change the laws, so he wanders a few doors down and gets his beer from an independent seller who is a little flexible on the issue.

Night before last we checked into the Khaohom Resort and it turned out to be a cute little, super clean, roadside motel-style accommodation near Srimahapho. The operators there spoke no English but we managed to communicate anyways. Too exhausted after our 106k day to seek food so we looked at a takeout menu they had and with the help of google translate selected a dish and hoped for the best. A half hour later the friendly Thai guy on the motorcycle brought our food right to our door with steaming hot pots full of shrimps with glass noodles, along with real plates & cutlery. Such a nice experience. That wonderful young Thai man assured us (with the very little English he knew) that he was there ALL night and would watch our bicycles ALL night while we slept. He then did his rounds on his bicycle, diligently riding up and down the length of the row of rooms (there were only about 10), ensuring ours, and the other two guests’ security.

Yesterday we saw the most crazy busy 7-Eleven. It was at a busy intersection, almost no parking, a steep driveway to get into it, and street vendors were setup all around it, almost right up to the doorway. Pork balls, noodle dishes, BBQ bananas, chicken on sticks, fresh fruit of every origin, bags of strawberries (bought some of those!), clothing enough to dress an entire country, flip flops, brooms, veggies, dollar-store housewares, dried mangos, you name it. There were vendors lined right out to the street and almost a half kilometre down the road.

We had two fairly hard days of cycling. The heat compounds our efforts exponentially. The first day was 106km in 36c heat and the second day was about 63km in the same but the added dimension of strong headwinds. It’s like an open-air convection oven and we are roasting inside of it!

So, when our hotel in Prachinburi showed a pool, we just knew we needed to have a rest day, sitting in the shade staring at the pool, occasionally cooling off in it, and wondering how everyday citizens deal with the heat. Since we could not in good conscience just sit motionless ALL day, we ventured across many lanes of traffic on foot and checked out a Thai shopping mall & grocery store called The Big C. Randy read somewhere that it was a “little” one, but hey….we needed to see how Thai people experience grocery shopping.

The Big C is like an open-concept shopping mall/food court/Walmart-style department store/movie theatre/shoe store all combined. There was a KFC, a DQ, and a Mr. Donut among a whole bunch of Japanese & Thai foods. Parking outside was predominantly for scooters & motorcycles and cars were relegated to the outer perimeter of the parking facilities.

Walking through the aisles of the Big C was an experience. Mostly hunting down snack foods, we saw things that simply don’t appeal to us. Like Basil Seed Drink with Peach Flavor, or the Shredded Seasoned Cuttlefish, or the sheets of Roasted Seaweed. We left the Grilled Seaweed Giant Sheet Paprika Flavor behind in favour of Gummi Bears.

We noticed that ground meats and pork chops etc were sold in a scoop-it-yourself style, much like we do with our fruit and veggies, and then they are weighed. Not quite sure about how refrigerated these meats were, but they did appear fresh.

Prices of things are such that if it’s an internationally recognized brand, expect the prices to be similar to home. Domestic brands that we are unfamiliar with are super-bargains. Shoes were going for about 180 bhat which equates to about $7.50 and there was great selection. Clothes were equally bargain priced.

We typically spend evenings planning the next day. Looking at maps, doing Google Street views, checking out hotels on Agoda.com and looking at weather. Temperature and sunshine don’t vary much. Pure sunshine every day, 35 or 36c. Still not a drop of rain has fallen since we arrived.

7-Eleven
The guy we met at a roadside bicycle shop.
The Khaohom Resort
Takeout food! Baked shrimp and glass noodles.
Our Thai menu that we couldn’t read.
The forecast seems pretty consistent
Strawberries! (Not really a bargain…$6 for a kg) but worth every bit!
Breakfast at the Hotel.
Weird dessert thing at our hotel breakfast buffet.
Our pool at our fancypants Hotel! ($46)
Parking at the Big C
Good thing we have any space in our bags for shopping!
Not a chance….
Ugh. Floaties in drinks seem to be popular here
The fresh meat section of the Big C
Giant Milkweed. Growing everywhere here!
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7 Comments

  1. I so enjoy all your posts. Anita … all those shoes!! You are right … good thing no extra room. The food certainly does not sound appealing to me (not a seafood lover). Yes, I have to agree with you …. I’d be looking for those 7-11 stores too. Take care you two ….

  2. I’m enjoying your daily posts also. Randy those temp. must be tough to endure everyday for you.
    Here the weather is fairly mild 5c, not bad for a supposite brutal winter. I have to say I wouldn’t mind some warm weather. O’ wait I’m going to Jamaica on Monday ya mon alright.
    Cheers

  3. I really enjoy reading about your adventure Anita & Randy . Your pictures are fantastic and capture so much of the way life is over there. I do agree 7/11s are sounding like a life saver. The markets with the open meat though yuk! I’m sure I would come home skinny from that trip as the food there does not appeal to me.
    The heat on the other hand sounds devine! You have certainly had some cute accommodations. Keep the posts coming and continue to have fun!

  4. OMG you two I ‘ve just read all your blog & what a CRAZEE, courageous and inspiring ride! Our South India 740 k coast to coast trip with Dave and Co. was amazing and the Indian people so friendly and warm hearted…..Interestingly ALL the dogs lazed around and we saw 5 crocs thankfully from a bridge, and a few pigs…..go figure when they don’t eat pork, lots of sacred cows & wonderfully ornate temples & festivals no doubt quite tame in comparison to your challenging marathon but well worth it. Thanks for posting this so we too we can vicariously live your adventure(s).

    You shall have such wonderful memories of even those most harrowing of times upon your safe return.

    • Sometimes it’s those harrowing stories that we remember the most, and in such vivid detail! India would be fascinating…it’s on my “possibly” list for some future trip

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