Mar 19 2012

Cycling from Bangkok to Singapore

Published by at 8:07 am under Bangkok to Singapore by bike

Big moves require big plans, or at least that’s the way we roll here at When one of our writers found out that he and his partner were being transferred away from Bangkok, it called for a last hurrah — some sort of ridiculous gesture that included both intense (and preferably bizarre) exertion, as well as plenty of planning. A plan was born: bicycling from Bangkok to Singapore. @BrockEats explains:

Uhhhh, wheels? Yes, wheels.

Uhhhh, wheels? Yes, wheels.

Why Bangkok to Singapore? Well, why not? I like to eat. Draw a line (not a straight line) between Bangkok and Singapore and you connect central Thai food, southern Thai food, Malay food, Nyonya food (food brought by Chinese immigrants and then adapted to Malaysian ingredients), Portuguese-influenced Melakan food, and Singaporean food which is a rehash of all that with a little Indonesian influence thrown in. It’s a trail of curries, stir fries, rice noodles, grilled meat, seafood both curried and barbecued, and more cold beer than I’ll know what to do with.

It’s not all about food, though. I might have lived in Southeast Asia for only two and a half years but I’m besotted. It’s got problems, oh trust you me: corruption, poor land management, malnutrition, racism, and more. It’s also poor and developing unevenly, but I just can’t help it: I love it. So this journey is one final swan song, a long tango, the last goodbye. Ridiculous? Maybe, but I’ve never had a geographic lover before.

And by bicycle? I’ve always loved to cycle. It’s quiet. It’s slow enough to see what’s sliding past, but fast enough to actually make some distance in a day. It feels like you are flying. I’ll probably change my tune slightly as I labour up a hill in the middle of the hot season or change my fifth flat tire of the day, but right now I can’t wait to get started. Cycling also takes a while — almost 2,000 kilometres lies between Bangkok and Singapore — so even if we burn it up, we’ll still get a few weeks slowly ticking through rice paddies, alongside the sea, and into the Malaysian hills. I like my goodbyes to take awhile (and be punctuated with many, many snacks.)

We're totally experts, obviously.

We're totally experts, obviously.

But it’s no fun to eat alone, and cycling 2,000 kilometres sort of begs for a sidekick-kind of situation. Luckily I have one friend who enjoys both ridiculous plans AND food in mass quantities: Gaby. So today, we kick off to Singapore: Gaby and I, our bicycles (named Boy and Rhonda), a fair amount of bravado, and hopefully the winds at our back. Wish us luck!

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One Response to “Cycling from Bangkok to Singapore” ...

  1. Willon 19 Mar 2012 at 9:54 am

    Hi guys, sounds like a great trip, but I was wondering what planning you had done in regard to travelling through the far south, especially Narathiwat, which is to be quite frankly as dangerous as parts of Afghanistan at this point. I have been going there frequently over the last few years (family in the city) and the situation is getting much worse. There are essentially no western foreigners in the the Jangwat for very good reason.