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Road trip II: Damnern Saduak

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Revenge of the Tau

The 5th of December is not only party times for the Dutch. It’s also the birthday of the Thai king. This year it’s on a Monday, so we had a long weekend. Time for another road trip!

After the failure of two weeks ago -I picked up our Hijet from the shop only on the night before (2 new belts, a new head gasket and a refurbished compressor)- we decided to take it easy and pay a visit to Benz parents in Damnern Saduak, famous for its floating market. Not that we go to that market, that’s for tourists. Not how we roll ;)

Day 1: Bangkok to Damnern

We left Saturday around noon, a good 3 hours later than planned. No problem, we figured, it’s only 110 km west of Bangkok. What we hadn’t realized is that we were not the only Bangkokians leaving town for the long weekend. By the time we finally were out of Bangkok, Benz had been driving through hellish, hectic Bangkok traffic for 3,5 hours straight. Poor girl.

When I took the wheel traffic miraculously disappeared, the GPS directed us to a small road surrounded first by shrimp farms then by coconut plantations. Needless to say, Benz was a little jealous. We explored some small back roads, got lost in the fun way and at 5pm we finally arrived at Benz’ parents home. 5 hours – 110 km :(

Lost in Ratchaburi

Benz’ dad drove with us to a local market to get dinner. After dinner Benz’ mom, and her friends, joined us.

Benz told her family for the first time about our plan to drive to Holland. Luckily the reactions were positive all around. Benz’ mom even gave us an antique lucky Buddha charm for the trip. Nice! The rest of the evening we sat outside next to the canal, talking and drinking beers until midnight.

Day 2: Amphawa

The morning was a lazy one. We washed the car while Benz’ mom cooked up a nice lunch: moo satay, rad na and raw shrimp. By 3:30 we left their place, looking for a different place for the night, hoping that a resort or home-stay would allow us to set up our tent, which was still in the back of the truck.

Because of the long weekend, everything was full and no one wanted to deal with some weirdos and a tent. When we finally found a remote place -a weird home-stay in an old coconut plantation- which wanted to put up with us, it was almost dark, the soil was rock hard and the only place where we could pitch the tent was right below a coconut tree. Ever seen a coconut fall out of a tree? They crack a skull or tent poles easily. So we pussied out and rented a bungalow.

Our bungalow at the home-stay near Amphawa

In the evening we sat in our camping chairs in between a couple of coconut trees and were soon joined by Benz’ friend from high school: the lovely Pae who brought delicious fried chicken. When the only other people staying in the home-stay gave us a huge plate of barbecued shrimp, we cracked open a few cold ones and wondered why we ever decided to leave Thailand.

Day 3: Going back to BKK

Wanting to get a head start on the holiday makers who were all returning to BKK this day, we left early.

Bought some boxes of food and coffee to go, turned off the GPS and used Google Maps to try to get as close to home as possible while staying away from the main roads.

A fun experiment, but a royal pain in the behind. Dear Google Maps, why are your back-roads light gray on a white background?

Anyway, a short, uneventful trip later we were back home, feeling very happy we can actually drive 300 km without breaking the truck.

Again we have learned quite a few things:

  • Tau does a lot better on the frontage roads than the actual highway.
  • Driving through cities in busy traffic is exhausting. We should switch positions (no, not that kind) every couple of hours.
  • Pae can be a bit of a naughty girl (yes, that kind).
  • There are oodles of temples in Ractchaburi. Almost as many as coconut plantations. Sweet.
  • We better camp in the wild then bothering with asking resorts, etc.
  • We are absolutely in love with Tau-chan! He’s awesome. So you’ll have to excuse the many pictures of him below.

Next up, driving to Koh Lanta for New Year. Let’s see if we can cover 850 km in 2 days.

Posted from: Thailand

One Response to Road trip II: Damnern Saduak

  1. yeah!!!! good luck guys!! you look bad ass in your ride!
    i’ll keep an eye on your updates, have a safe trip,
    ciao!

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