Failing to factor in Māgha Pūjā

Route: Bang Saphan to Chumphon
Distance: 120km
Daytime temperature: absolutely stinkin hot

It’s a holiday weekend here in Thailand. Māgha Pūjā is the second most important Buddhist Festival after Vesak, and is celebrated on the full moon day of the third lunar month.

We actually were aware of this holiday and marked it on our calendars because most business will shut down. We’ve been living an alternate reality—and forgot what holiday weekends really mean. We only planned on riding about 70-80km. Late afternoon we started looking for a room and were shocked to discover they were all full! We moved along to the next little beach town that was bustling with activity. Oh how naïve we were, thinking we could just pick a cute little ocean front resort. We started out picky, then became decidedly unpicky. Then reality slapped us across the forehead—the holiday weekend meant all Thai families were headed to beach resorts for sun sand and swimming. All of them! Sunset was looming and we had no options. We had to summon up strength, guzzle water, install our headlights and ready ourselves to ride in the dark to the next city—to any hotel we could find. Yet another 20km away

So here we are! In Chumphon. We headed to a big fancy hotel and hoped for the best. And here we are. Beside the big fancy hotel. They too had no vacancy, so we are in the itty bitty not-so-grand-but-half-the-price place next door wishing we too had a gorgeous saltwater pool. At least we have a roof over our heads and are grateful.

Earlier in the day (before reality slapped us silly) we sought shade at a highway rest stop with no human to be found (appeared abandoned). From a distance a soi dog noticed Deana open her handlebar bag and came running to see what’s going on. (Soi dogs are “ownerless” dogs. They just live in the streets) Minutes later more soi dogs got the memo and also came. The message spread like wildfire and a whole litter of puppies came bouncing across the empty parking lot too, their tiny tails-a-waggin. We had nothing to share with them—guilt hit us hard—we had to just move along, promising ourselves we’ll pickup some doggy biscuits for future encounters with soi dogs.

Given the intense heat of todays ride, how many buckets of sweat we lost, and the gorgeous pool next door, we have already reserved a room in that resort for tomorrow night. We’ll roll out in the morning for the 50 metre ride down this driveway and up the next. Big day—we better rest up well for it.

Posted in Thailand 2023, Uncategorized.


  1. Always an adventure!! Who are the couple you are with in the last photo? The hotel owners?

    • Tara, those are the workers from the big fancy hotel beside us, that had no vacancy. She helped us procure the room next door in our hour of need, and he actually helped us order take out food then went on his motorcycle-scooter to pick it up for us. Then they let us eat our dinner in their fancy-hotel lobby. Great people!

  2. Ok now im jealous.Amazing.Great pics..Hot here also bikied in 31 c temp….so amazing you guys are SOLID…keep on travelling/biking as Rick Steves would say on his show…ps foot of snow on Frei St

  3. A little surprised you didn’t make it to 2000k. Lol But kidding aside, Well Done!! Enjoy your final days sin bicicletas!

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