Ways To Beat The Heat

By Stephen Ewashkiw | March 11, 2014

11,106 km so far.

People in Southeast Asia have changed their behaviour to work around the extreme heat that permeates life here. As newly arrived visitors, we are starting to adjust our own routines to, if not beat, at least manage, the heat.

Sun Rise And Shine

As you know, we have started getting up earlier than is our norm. The forecast is for 37C/99F for the foreseeable future (Jane’s note: like, the next couple of months) so we are having to get on the road early.

We are also planning shorter days as well, adjusting our daily average down from 75 km+ to closer to 55 per day. Add this to our early departure, and we arrive in town with time to spare. This gives us more of a chance to see the places we ride to, which, after all, is what this trip is all about.

Today we rode a bit more than 60 km before noon, arriving in Chiang Rai in time for lunch at a vegetarian cafe on the edge of town. A combination of devout Buddhism and the proliferation of Seventh Day Adventists means that vegetarian restaurants abound in Thailand.

I don’t care why they are so many. I just plan on taking advantage of it.

(Don’t miss: Our complete guide for visiting Wat Rong Khun / The White Temple) →

Sleepy Time

One of the benefits of the incredible heat in this part of the world is the prevalence of siesta. Hardly anything happens between 11:30 and 3. It is just too hot to even bother. Even school is shut during the afternoon in many places we have visited, with the children not returning to their desks until the heat is starting to wane.

market stalls chiang rai thailand

Market doesn’t shut down for the heat, Chiang Rai.

I took siesta this afternoon, which consisted of some route planning and beer drinking, as Jane went walkabout in Chiang Rai. Here is some of what she saw.

Elephants and monkeys…

elephant carving thailand

Elephant carving, Chiang Rai.

…Buddhas and more Buddhas…

big buddha statue

All this from just a single grain of rice?

…geometric things…

awnings chiang rai thailand

Many awnings, Chiang Rai.

…interesting signs…

signs in thailand

Deep thoughts, Chiang Rai.

…and many things to eat.

fish in thai night market

These fish would make great comic book characters, Chiang Rai.

Some days we will almost certainly have to ride more than 75 km, but I forsee us taking nice relaxed siestas part way into our ride, after a satisfying vegetarian lunch at a roadside stall, under the shade of a tree or in one of the many roadside shelters that dot the landscape here.

In fact, I am kind if looking forward to it.  

Want to see the route map? View it on Ride With GPS.

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