The idea to go cycling around U Thong was a joint decision between Annie, my wife and I. It was a bank holiday, so it allowed us to go cycling further afield. U Thong is a district in Suphanburi.
On arriving there by car, we parked up in a local Wat Pathumsarawas temple complex and then set off cycling. The weather was good, being fine and slightly cooler than normal. Not having a plan of action, we set off on our cycle of discovery. The road along the khlong (canal) looked the most inviting.
The local Ratchpreuk, Cassia fistula linn, was in full bloom, this shower of blossom certainly made Annie look good as she was wearing a similar coloured cycle jersey.
As we cycled, we came across an excavation site, possibly dating back to the King Ramathibodi I, period. What struck me was the fact that they seemed to be using modern day materials to renovate an ancient site.
The roads were quiet and pleasant to cycle along. In one place, I spied a motorcyclist that was carrying far too many items for recycling. I stopped to take a photograph of him and his bike. He was more than happy for me to take his picture with his overloaded bike.
Unknown, we cycled out towards the Wat Khao Tham Thiam. This is one of the oldest areas in the area, dating back to the Dvaravati Period. Here, they had erected a huge modern day Buddha. The site had certainly attracted the tourist and stall holders alike.
Nearby, up a series of steps, climbed up to the Luang Por Pu Yai caves. I knew exactly what I was about to encounter as I climbed up the steps, wearing my cycle shoes with clips. Not really a good idea to do.
There, as I had expected a small shrine in which to worship Buddha. Golden Buddhas were there, including a reclining golden one. Remarkably, the cave floor had been tiled with electric points and lights fitted. Again, this didn’t seem t fit in with a place that dated back to the Dvaravati Period.
The rest of our cycle was bathed in beautiful blue skies.
We had refreshments in U Thong Nakhon Village. In the distance, peering above the horizon was the beautiful Wat Khao Phra Si Sanphet. I showed off displaying my technique of drinking afternoon tea out of quite an elaborate Buddhist cup.
It was here that I had Phad thia gui, a delicious Thai dish with chicken.
Towards the back end of our cycle tour, we came across cotton growing by the road side. I had seen cotton growing wild in the UK, and believed that it wasn’t of good quality. I knew cotton grew in the US and in places like Egypt, but I had never stopped to consider cotton growing in Thailand.
Our cycled proved that by cycling away from the usual tourist track, you could discover fantastic sights and see the real Thailand. How people live and work in their own untouched environment.