Cycling Back to That Phanom - 62 km
We checked out, had a small patanko and coffee breakfast, and hit the road.
The option of cycling the same way back didn't appeal much to us, but the alternative 2033 road wasn't that great either according to Tim...
We went for the riverside boulevard cycling path instead.
But that didn't last very long.., however the Uturn sign seemed a bit superfluous!
The views of the Mekong, Lao side, and massive downpours were great though.
And so we u-turned!
We took a few detours which were pleasant enough.
But always ended up returning to Highway 212 unfortunately.
A few times we had to find shelter quickly.
Roadside shops were perfect for escaping the rain and having a drink.
As well as restaurants! (Photo by Ray)
A few hours later arrival in That Phanom, this time we checked in a hotel on the outskirts of town: Zone Station, not bad at all, new, clean, great bathroom, but a bit odd looking design-wise. (Photo by Tim)
This temple was not far from our Zone.
Ray found a new bike and of course, had to try it out...
Lots of Mekong riverside towns participate in boat racing and That Phanom was no exception!
Part of the festivities included (very!) loud (distorted!) music, dancing, and lots of booze, some locals were already suitably wasted...
Off they go!
Dancing in the street!
The local observers were a very cheerful crowd.
Go, go, go!
They seemed well-matched.
Boat racing may be centuries old, but the referees used pretty high-tech equipment!
We decided to celebrate the races with another few beers! (Photo by our waiter)
Stunning views from our restaurant.
Admiring the views and having another beer or not, decisions, decisions...
Plenty of rain on the Lao side.
Those racing boats are real works of art.
Most towns have their own style of road signs (*), I thought this Naga-decorated version looked pretty cool!
The routing, as you can see only at the beginning we were experimenting a bit...