In what was to be the norm during my time in Vietnam, it was raining gently as I set off from the town of Tay Son. The temperature was just at the point where I didn’t need to put on my rain jacket, so it was quite pleasant to be riding in cooler conditions for a change.
After a long lie-in, I finally left my fan-cooled hotel. By now it was late in the morning, and hot and humid – enough to have me sweating while packing up the bike. I rode through the town of Nong Khai, heading towards the bridge over the Mekong – heading to Laos.
I cycled away from Mae Sot, heading east. The roads were a stark contrast to those of Myanmar, a visual demonstration that Thailand is one of the region’s wealthier countries.
I said goodbye to Jamie and set off cycling, gradually climbing on a pleasantly quiet road. On my left I could see Mt Popa, an extinct volcano that is a popular pilgrimage site for many Burmese.
Jamie and I rode away from the border on a nice quiet road. There was very little traffic – and almost no trucks – and the people didn’t stare, but smiled and waved. Perhaps most importantly, there was no honking! Myanmar gave a good first impression.
Night, Jamie and I were all headed in the same direction. Night was behind schedule, so he planned to take a bus, but Jamie and I set off cycling from Silchar together.
To get from Bangladesh to Myanmar I would need to cross through India for a third time. This region is more mountainous and less populated, so I was looking forward to it much more than I had the other parts of India.
It’s a new year, and one in which I have much to look forward to. It’s a long time since I’ve written about my plans, so I decided to use this opportunity to write an update on my intentions for 2020. As ever, this is not written in stone and is subject to all manner of changes!
A couple hours cycling brought me to the Bangladeshi border. I went to Indian customs and joined one of the longest queues I’ve ever seen. There must have been close to a thousand people. I was asked to leave my bike outside but, as I went to lock it up, some soldiers came along and told me to take my bike and go direct to immigration, skipping the queue. White privilege, I suppose.
With Ross and Pax leaving Nepal via a different border, this was the point where we split up. I cycled out of Kathmandu alone, retracing my previous route for the first hour or so.