How it all happened

My name is Risto and I’m currently cycling around the world. I have already made my way to Indonesia, so let me summarise how it all happened.

I started backpacking with my friend in Langkawi, Malaysia, on the 5th of September. After 2 weeks we flew to Hanoi, Vietnam and embarked on a train journey all the way to Saigon. Next up was Cambodia, where I finally decided to buy a bicycle and continue pedalling around South-East Asia.

This was my second bike trip. In 2017 I cycled from Portugal to my home country, Estonia.

It was fairly easy to find a bike from Phnom Penh. Same can’t be said about finding panniers and touring equipment. In the end I decided to order necessary stuff from Amazon. That meant an extra week in Phnom Penh. Good timing, cause there was a Water Festival going the same time.

Finally the day had come and I was ready to go. A bit scared and happy at the same time. Being aloine on the other side of the world, I had no idea what to expect.

First bigger stop was Siem Reap. One of the main touristy areas in Cambodia with thousands of temples to visit, including world famous Angkor Wat. 400km from Phnom Penh, it took me around 4 days to get there. It was quite easy ride and although I did get lost couple of times, local people helped me back on the road.

My friend already waited for me in Siem Reap. We spent 3 days there, visiting temples and just resting. Coincidendally found 2 more Estonians, with who we went and explored Siem Reap bustling nightlife.  

Just when I had gotten used to a comfortable life, it was time to move on. This time towards Pattaya. I said good bye to my friend and together with rain, started cycling. Border crossing from Cambodia to Thailand went smoothly. Border officers stamped my passport and just like that, I was on my second country, Thailand.

People were very friendly, wanted to talk to me and take pictures. I spent my first nights of my trip in roadside hostels. Hostels were easy to find, which is relieving considering I didn’t have camping equipment.

Just before Pattaya I had my first accident. Didn’t take that long. There was a truck on the side of the road that I managed to hit. Broke my arm and my knee. Thankfully there were a gas station nearby, so I went there to clean my wounds. Instead I was greeted by 5 ladies who took care of me, cleaned my wounds and in the end fed me a nice dinner.

One can say it was an accident with a happy ending. I left the place with a good mood and soon I was entering my second bigger destination, the city of Pattaya.

In Pattaya, I met my friends from Estonia. We wondered around the town and saw an amazing sunset. Everyone, including my hostel workers were very worried about my wounds and helped me in any way possible.

Next stop was Bangkok, the biggest city I have ever been to on a bike. I felt a bit scared, especially considering I just had an accident on an empty highway. All turned out okay though, I managed to find my hostel without any problems. Unfortunality I only stayed for one night. My friend was waiting in Phuket and I was running out of time.

So in the morning I continued my trip towards Phuket. It was quite of a long stretch, nearly 1000km. First night while looking for a place to stay, I managed to get surrounded by angry dogs. So far I had been lucky with dog encounters, that changed in the minute when 8 dogs wanted to rip apart my legs and panniers. This region had a lot of angry dogs who loved to chase cyclists. Thankfully I managed to survive the attacks unharmed. 

Just before Phuket, the road became very hilly. The sun was high up in the sky and temperatures very hot. All this made it very hard stretch to cycle. The views were amazing though, that kept me going.

In Phuket I met with my friend, who I tried to lure into a bike trip as well. Didn’t go so well and he was not interested. Had to continue alone, which was fine with me. We spent couple of days enjoying the city life and resting. Had to pass swimming and beach though. The wounds were still too fresh.

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