A Biker Bar Night Out
We rode for eight hours or so. Five of those hours were trying to leave Bangkok. I was chief navigator, which is probably the main reason. A few people have subtly suggested I couldn't find my way out of a sack. But honestly, it really didn't help that motorbikes aren't allowed on any of the highways, and the only roads straight out of Bangkok are highways. Bikes have to meander down little zigzag roads to go the same route, and there's billions of the buggers.
We bought 3 maps. We could see the roads on the maps, we just couldn't see them in real life. A huge number of people tried to help us. Once when we stopped, one man drew us his own map and explained it fully (in thai), while another girl phoned a friend so she could explain in English where to go. Everyone was amazingly patient, except for us. Personally I was chewing my own face off with frustration. The roads were huge, and there were police everywhere.
Anyway, amazingly, somehow we made it out, and rode for a pleasant few hours through fields and little towns, past a million 7-Elevens selling packeted seaweed, and nice wooden stilt houses. For lunch we stopped at a roadside shack. An old gentleman with few teeth but a very smiley face chatted to us for a bit and told us he was paying for our drinks. But it was all a big lie- he had secretly paid for everything, before zooming off in his truck, and we didn't find out until we tried to pay.
We rocked up to Chai Bhagan, a little town kind of in the middle of not-very-much, and were chuffed to find a hotel at all, let alone one with a swimming pool and AC for 9 quid. The day seemed charmed.
Then we went next door...
There was a little rustic-looking open air restaurant, like a beach bar. But it had a brand new shiny white Harley parked under a spotlight in the middle, and biker-gang photos all over the walls. We'd found a Thai biker-bar by accident!
Tor in his bar
The owner, Tor, came over and we swapped ride tales. He told us he held a biker fair there every year, and there were photos to prove it. Then he plied us with cold beer and surprised us with a sneaky fish dinner. None of it appeared on the bill....
a wonderful life..
He wandered off to suddenly play excellent acoustic thai music live onstage, with a guitar and harmonica. We even got that John Denver song dedicated to us and our adventures, and he rocked away with his hound curled up by his feet. He was very, very cool. His friend appeared and fed us more beer, then the table opposite bought us a monkey. It was all getting amazingly surreal.
a couple of primates
the monkey purchasers..
By the end of the night we were very drunk, and very happy, and Adam wandered home with a monkey round his neck. Thailand was proving damn fine.