Kao Yai – Saraburi – Ayutthaya

After saying our goodbyes to the Gang Zu Club we have a great morning relaxing in the campsite, enjoying water on tap! Simple pleasures! 

The trees all around us start shaking and a number of monkeys appear poised and ready to grab anything they can. We turned our back for 2 seconds and one of them is off with our packet of rice. He shamelessly rips it open in front of us and starts stuffing his face. A couple more join the feast.

  

beware the monkeys!
 
There is a big family next to us and before they pack away to head home they bring us some leftover chicken soup for breakfast. Thai people are so nice!

In the middle of the day we escape the sun and head down one of the jungle walks which leads away from the camping. The track follows the river for the majority of the way. 

We come across a clearing near the river and we contemplate a swim but there are large signs saying ‘No Swimming, Crocodiles!’

I start telling Paddy that the signs are probably there to just prevent people from going in the water and there can’t be that many wild crocodiles so close to a campsite. He raises his eyebrows at me, smiles, and points to the river bank. I peer over and see this fella basking in the sun. 🙂

  
The jungle walk is great and we see some amazing butterflies, lizards and the secret twitcher in me is roused when we catch a sight of some amazing birds. Our journey is accompanied with a soundtrack of distant gibbon calls the whole way too.

  
The evening is passed quite happily cooking near our tent and before bed we feel the time is ripe to watch the first programme in the 1973 BBC TV series The Ascent of Man presented by Jacob Bronowski. 🙂

Paddy’s brother included the whole series on the external hard drive he gave us for Christmas and we’ve been waiting for a good time to start it. The book of the same name was a familiar object in both our homes while growing up… (This will make Kate And Em laugh!)

After another night at the campsite we pack up our gear and carry on through to the other side of the nature reserve.

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The road on the other side is even more spectacular than what we’ve seen so far and we have to stop more than once to cool down our breaks during the decent. We’re glad we didn’t come up this way!

Onwards to Muak Lak, this is the most picturesque scenery we’ve cycled through and on the way a guy flags us down on his motorbike so he can give us some ripe mangos.

Onto 3224 where we join up with the Pa Sak river. We find a suitable camping spot under a large bridge and set up camp.

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Another friendly Thai comes down to check out our set up, give us a bag of apples and take a quick selfie.

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We set off early the next morning and keep north of the river all the way to Saraburi where we find ourselves caught in the big interchange with the M1! Bit of a hairy stretch but Paddy keeps his cool and we manage to get away from the motorway soon enough. 

We stop to cook for lunch next to the canal and then get going again onwards to Ayutthaya. It is very flat again by this point and we follow the canal pretty much the whole way. We pass a HUGE snake on the road. 

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We arrive into Ayutthaya at 3 and locate the train station so we can suss out how to get the bike on a train to Bangkok the next day. We’re told to come back the next morning at 11.30 to catch the cargo train at 12.15. 

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We cycle past some of the celebrated temple complex while locating a cheap hostel, it’s nothing to Angkor but it’s still a shame we’re not planning to stay to explore for at least 1 day.

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We need to get to Bangkok ASAP to organise our visas though. 

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