Day 6: Ban Thung Maha - Chumphon - Frankie goes to.....the Gulf of Thailand (2022) - CycleBlaze

January 13, 2022

Day 6: Ban Thung Maha - Chumphon

There will be "below average" days on every trip I guess. I certainly had one today. I always knew the ride down to Thung Wua Laen Beach would be predominantly through palmoil and rubber plantations and therefore not very pleasing for the eye. But that easterly wind coming in force from my front left in combination with the undulated topography made it very challenging on top of being rather boring. 

As I said it would still have met my humble expectations and the short below-50 km ride would have been almost irrelevant if I would have found my anticipated destination Thung Wua Laen Beach at it´s usual best: A top beach with a lot of nice food stalls all along the shore. Hard to say how many of the resorts and food stalls were closed due to Covid and how many just temporarily because of the weather. In combination with the filthy and rough beach - definitely temporary! - I lost interest in spending my afternoon and night there. 

Instead I decided to carry on through to Chumphon. You obviously have the quick option along the highways (less than 20 km) or you do it my way: Go down the beach to the right turn for Chumphon but then turn instantly left onto the #4008 after the temple. Plenty of options now. Either all the way down to Sai Ree Beach or - my choice - about 2/3s of it and then inland again along river and canals. Very pleasant way to finish off the day. 

My first choice for accommodation has always been the large and well located Suriwong Hotel. I still got a good fan room for under 400 Baht and the small seafood nightmarket is only 300 m up the road.

I stick to the rules and orders when being a visitor
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Rough times for the local squid population.
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And another one coming soon. I observed this skilled boat builder for almost 30 minutes while he was renovating this 30 year old wooden "ruea tok mhgg"
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The biggest disappointment of my day! I really adore Had Thung Wua Laen but those strong easterly onshore winds did not only make my cyclng hard but roughened up the Gulf and washed tons of litter ashore. No way I was getting my eagerly anticipated swim and decided to continue to Chumphon.
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Much better conditions a bit inland while meandering along the river and the irrigation canals towards Chumphon. Always important to finish off the day on a high.
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That´s what you get for 390 Baht (10.50€) in Thailand: A basic but spacious and clean room with fan. More than enough for one night.....
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The small nightmarket in Chumphon is all about seafood. Crabs, shellfish and....
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....grilled squid (phla mhgg yang) made to order. While I was down in New Zealand this was just and only snapper-bait for me, here it´s one of my favourite meals....
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Ban Thung Maha to Chumphon via Thung Wua Laen Beach
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Today's ride: 67 km (42 miles)
Total: 423 km (263 miles)

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