Day 7

Nong Khai Travel Blog

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Day 7 – October 30, 2007

Moped Adventures:  Day 3…  This country becomes more beautiful to me by the day.  Just when I think I may never see a countryside more amazing again, we get on our mopeds and head in a different direction.  Today’s goal was to drive along the Mekong, visit several Wat’s (Buddhist temples) and to ultimately make our way to one of Thailand’s many national parks.  

As we wound our way along the river the rice patties melded into mountains that rose all around us covered in banana trees and thatched huts.  We cruised through town after town with cows chomping at grass on the side of the road and occasionally running across the road in front of us.  I found it interesting that we would see two or three houses per town that were obviously brand new and very Western looking – usually with a nicely manicured front lawn.
Moped Adventures - Rural Gas station
  Next door would be a thatched hut or a one room house built up on stilts with nothing more than dirt separating the house from the road.  The people looked at us like we were crazy as we rocketed past them since not many Westerners trek quite that far off the beaten path.

We never made it to the park as we got sidetracked trying to find an apparently mythical waterfall.  It turned out to be a fun adventure however.  I learned that large glass 1 liter soda bottles turn into convenient rural gas stations once relieved of their original contents.  The gasoline is cut with some type of ethanol and dyed red before being poured into empty glass Pepsi bottles which are then sold at side of the road “gas stations” which are generally a small hut built out of whatever sticks were laying around with a raised platform to display the bottles…  In any other situation I would have thought that the dye was to differentiate it from drinking whiskey, but seeing as how they dye that red as well, it was quite likely entirely the same liquid altogether.  Once you have made your purchase of however many liters you need, the “attendant” fills your motorbike with a small plastic funnel.

After racing the sunset back to Nong Khai we rewarded ourselves for a hard days worth of moped riding by getting yet another 2 hour massage.

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Moped Adventures - Rural Gas stati…
Moped Adventures - Rural Gas stat…
Nong Khai
photo by: nolan