Nong Khai to Chiang Khan

120 miles pedaled, heading north, alongside the Mekong since leaving Nong Khai. The first day to Sangkhom was relatively flat, with frequent detours through villages to see day to day life whilst avoiding the highway despite traffic being very light.

The river valley is clearly very fertile with acres of vegetable crops and swathes of tiny red hot chilli peppers variously being watered, weeded or picked by straw-hatted workers.

Red hot chilli peppers

Setting off at first light, just after 6am, makes for much more pleasant cycling before the sun gets high and temperatures soar. Today we completed the 68 miles from Sangkohm by 12.30pm allowing time to chill in an air-conditioned room before venturing out to explore once the heat recedes.

Today’s ride was more undulating and scenic with views of beautiful, tree-clad hillsides in Laos across the river. Farmers are busy harvesting rice, mostly by hand, with small, hand-cut sheaves being loaded using pitch forks onto pickup trucks and curious tractors. However, two tiny combine harvester type machines on catapillar tracks were causing much interest amongst the locals, and no doubt putting many out of work.

The traditional …..
… and the modern

Much time and effort appears to be expended in spreading the rice crop out on plastic matting to dry each day.

Rice drying in action

One thought on “Nong Khai to Chiang Khan

  1. I’m very envious! Gavin it’ll be especially interesting for me to hear about the parts that we did together almost 19 years ago and the bit that I did when I came down from Laos on the big one. Have a good trip.

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