Menu pressure and the Changing Landscape

Route: Nakhon Pathom to Samut Songkhram
Distance: 90km
Daytime high: 43C (via Deana’s bike computer)

Randy started out this morning with an adventurous bowl of traditional Thai porridge containing donut-shaped thingies that will remain a mystery forever as to what they actually are. He’s far more a food-risker than Deana or I will ever be.

It was a wonderful hotel we had last night, but our rooms were on the second floor and we had to park our bikes in the underground parking. We appreciated that they appreciated that we are very concerned about the safety and well-being of our bicycles so we were grateful when they sectioned off a parking space and put out an orange cone to keep others out. They try so very hard to please us everywhere we go!

By the way, we love Thai food. We love the restaurants and the waiters. But there is one restaurant protocol that we wish was different—Stresses us in fact, and prevents us from enjoying more Thai cuisine—it’s when the waiter brings us a menu that is always in Thai. They hand us ONE menu, then proceed to stand there at the side of the table, expectantly waiting for us to order. No wandering away to let us de-code or try to translate with our apps. We even ask “can you give me 5 minutes” to which they smile their biggest Thai smile, nod “yes” then proceed to stand there. Pressure is on! They are not leaving. We frequently buckle under the pressure and just panic order something. Anything.

As we headed south from Nakhon Pathom and further away from the urban grip of outer Bangkok, the scenery changed. After some fancy road manoeuvres leaving the city we found ourselves on new terrain. We started out with peaceful rice fields waving gently in the sun. Then suddenly very small country roads, with rivers, and reservoirs full of water on both sides. Rows of paddle-wheels were clues to them being shrimp farms. A little while later we were among gigantic palms that towered high into the air and it was all coconut palm farms. Trucks hauled coconuts, farmers pitched coconuts into trucks, coconuts shells lined ditches and mulched forests. Now Deana can see first-hand where her favorite food comes from! Clearly coconuts are an important crop in these parts.

We were standing roadside for a a little sliver of shade when just off in the distance we noticed a pickup truck had stopped and a family of four had assembled on the road to take a look at us three. We noticed them shyly looking, with their newborn in one arm and their other son standing next to them. Kinda like how a family might stand roadside to watch for the Northern Lights, but in this case it was the Northern Tourists. We decided to roll our bikes over to meet them. Their baby was adorable and they looked absolutely thrilled to have us actually speak to them! Once we asked if we could take their photo they lit up! They were excited and wanting to take selfies with us. When we left we could see out of our rear view mirrors that other bystanders were videoing us as we biked away. Now we really feel like we have achieved stardom.

We stopped at a sidestreet for a smoothie. Randy spotted a little reptilian lifeform making itself at home under the steps. Turns out it’s a Baby Asian Water Monitor.

We love whenever we find a Cafe Amazon—it usually means Strawberry Smoothie, nice public toilets, air conditioning, and an adjacent 7-Eleven to re-load with ice and water. Today we rode in anticipation of one for 28km, and when we were all tired, hot, sore-bummed, and stiff-necked we gave up and planted ourselves on the step of a motorcycle dealership to recover a little in the shade. After 45 minutes we dragged our sorry butts up and rolled out and literally 1 minute away we passed a gosh darn Cafe Amazon….Such is the nature of the unknown road ahead.

We didn’t quite make it to the coast today. We are in a little resort with openings & gaps in the walls big enough to let in baby Asian monitor lizards. House geckos are just a given. The surroundings look very jungle-like and sound even more so. As night falls we hear a huge assortment of croaks, squeaks, chirps, & whistles. I’d be pulling the covers up over my head tonight, except that our not-so-upscale resort provides just a single-sized blanket on our queen-sized bed.

Tomorrow we blast out and head to the coast.

Posted in Thailand 2023, Uncategorized.


  1. Lol your ordering process.
    Sorry to be amused 😄
    My wife being Thai makes it considerably easy for my exceptionally poor Thai language skills .
    Sammy just orders for me most of the time and the food is always fantastic!!
    Am not a fussy eater at all so that helps. Travelling Thailand is a breeze while being accompanied by my wife in so many ways what with her being able to speak the language.
    Looks like a noodle soup Randy has there . Possibly my favourite dish there . I ate noodle soup practically every day everywhere we travelled.
    So glad you love the Thai people as much as I do and have noticed how as i did how much they love to be photographed.
    Am really enjoying following your travels
    Until your next post
    Enjoy and stay safe

    • You are lucky to be able to have your wife be able to just order the food. Google translate has a camera option that helps us, but most of the time doesn’t get much of it correct. Usually it takes far too long to try and use it while the waiter is standing there so we get all flustered. Randy also loves the noodle dishes and seeks them out.

      We are dinner from 7-Eleven last night because we are too far from a restaurant and wanted to be back in our resort before nightfall so we’re pressed for time. We notice that there are food delivery services everywhere but we are unable to cross the language barrier to try and order some food delivery.

  2. It’s wonderful to learn about life in Thailand – and what a switch in weather and temperature; here in PH awoke to more flakes of snow accompanied by -14C temperature compared to 43C and sunshine. 💕

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