Cycling 114 km from Chiang Khong to Chiang Rai.
The Mekong is the source of all growth and life of the whole region we travel through on this tour. The locals call it “Mae Khong”, which literally means “mother khong”, and reflects the great importance of the river to the Lao and Thai people.
On our journey, we had shared many nice moments with the mighty river: We had started our tour at the Mekong in China, had crossed it multiple times (by ferry, small boat over a bridge), we had enjoyed a romantic dinner at its banks, rode two days upstream in a boat on it and even went for a swim inside – but today it was finally time to say goodbye to our old friend.
We cycled for another 40 km along the Mekong shore, took one last group picture there and then turned South to leave the big stream behind. Passing close to the “centre” of the Golden Triangle, (where the Border of Laos, Burma and Thailand meet), we could witness that the area is still smuggler’s territory: The Thai police arrested a couple of people from burma who tried to get their goods into the country by riding their motorbikes on small paths through the fields.
There was a rather strong wind which luckily came from behind and helped us reach Chiang Rai a bit sooner than planned. In the evening we went to the nightmarket in the city centre, tried some of the barbecue specialties and then went to a massage parlour to have our backs and legs knead, twisted, and stretched in the typical Thai style. We are more than ready now to tackle the last three stages to Chiang Mai!