Most Sunday mornings I go out for a ride. There are exceptions – especially during rainy season – but I really enjoy the opportunity to explore other areas of the city and, when possible, leave the concrete jungle altogether in search of the real one.
Sometimes I’m joined by someone else. Markus and I used to ride regularly. Then his travel schedule for work got busy. Then he and Tam packed up and moved to Germany. Since then, Stuart and I have ridden several times. Sadly he and Piyawat are packing up for Phuket. My biking partners keep leaving! Maybe I’m pushing them too hard?
In any case, one thing that strikes me when I get outside the main part of the city is how much wildlife there is. Not just the mangy soi dogs that nip at my heels (I’m thinking I should buy some pepper spray) and not just the cows, water buffalo, horses and pigs I see in some of the small family farms. I’m talking real wildlife, especially birds. This could be an Audobon Member’s paradise.
Above, some males have a little squabble.
It is pretty difficult, even with a 10x optical zoom, to get very close. The birds notice when I stop at the road sdie and shyly move away.
As I think I’ve mentioned before, there is a 4-km stretch of road out near the airport that is popular with cyclists. It was built as part of a very ambitious plan to connect the eastern suburbs with the city. It is three lanes in each direction with wide shoulders. The problem is, it just peters out and never actually goes anywhere.
So the road is closed to all except local traffic and since it is an agricultural area still, there isn’t much of that. This makes it the perfect place to ride.
Well, last Sunday I did some exploring to the north and west of the road, riding through some neighborhoods, running into several dead ends, until I managed to come across another section of the road that I didn’t know existed.
In the distance, this stretch of the road connects to a frontage road along the Outer Ring Expressway. The cars you see are doing driver training, using the closed road to practice driving.
The funny thing about this stretch is, unlike the stretch to the east that successfully bridges two khlongs (canals), we can see where the funds ran out on this one:
The road rises up an embankment and then stops short, with not much in the way of barriers! If you continued directly ahead about 1 km, you would connect with the stretch of road that I regularly ride.
Here’s a map showing the two segments. It was taken before construction on the westernmost segment was complete. Oops – I guess it still isn’t complete, huh?
On the way back today, I explored a new route and discovered that Thanon On Nut (On Nut Road), which connects to Sukhumvit at the end of the Skytrain line, actually goes all the way out to the new airport. Some 16 kms!
Riding back along this road, I spotted another bird:
What an interesting contrast of modernity and tradition, huh?
Birds are one of the hardest for me to take pictures. That is why I stay with food and foot pictures, hehe. That is a very interesting bike ride. Amazed me they built disconnected section of the road. Happy riding!
Haha… having seen many (and I do mean many) similar roads in India, I find it rather funny that Thailand isn’t all that different.
What kind of birds are those? They’re really cool looking!
I was thinking about the first time I went back to Taipei, and it was a big city and all, but I arrived at night.When I had to return to the US, it was during the day time, and I saw all these farm plots on the way to the airport.It was really surprising to me what a huge contrast it is from taipei. And it’s only 20 minutes away from where I live
Love the pictures of the birds.( Herons?) I saw a similar pose on the National Geographic channel where the male birds fight with each other inorder to get to the female bird. It’s almost like a mating dance. yeah Vivek is right, there are numerous roads in India especially in the remote areas, where they suddenly end, sometimes with no barricades.
How far is the drop in the 3rd last picture. I think you need a longer lens. Maybe it’s time to upgrade to something like the Canon PowerShot SX 10 IS. (20x optical zoom with image stabilization).
ahh… messed up the link. http://www.canon.ca/english/index-products.asp?lng=en&prodid=1382&sgid=23&gid=2&ovr=1
@ElusiveWords – The drop’s probably about 25 feet. Enough to hurt. Re the camera, actually I don’t use my 10x zoom very much. I have my eye on a Panasonic Lumix LX3 because of its excellent low light performance, macro and manual focus. Shooting food in restaurants a lot of the time, those would be the most helpful features.
@stevew918 – I wonder if/when they will finish the road. With all the new housing and businesses sprouting up near the new airport, I could see the need for it.
@TheCheshireGrins – Herons? Cranes?
@Dezinerdreams – @ZSA_MD – From what you have both shared many times, I suspect India would feel kind of familiar to me. There is a fair amount in Thai culture that can be traced back to Indian culture, including the use of Sanskrit, Brahminist ceremonies, and many of the royal/governmental traditions. I don’t know that unfinished roads are specifically linked to Indian culture, but who knows?
@Wangium – This one shows it even better: http://www.airliners.net/photo/-/-/0542555/M/
That sounds like a pretty good camera too. I just did a quick read in:http://www.dpreview.com/news/0807/08072102panasoniclx3.asp You’re right about the low light capabilities.
@ElusiveWords – I use dpreview for most of my camera research. When I was in Japan, two of my friends (both of whom I had dinner with at the Okinawan restaurant) had just bought the same camera and, in fact, those photos of the food were shot hand-held with the LX3. Had I used a tripod and a longer exposure setting, I’m sure they would have been even better.
*gasp* no food picture?!
@yang1815 – Yeah, I know. I do actually write about things besides food.
@yang1815 – Oh, another really random thing: was talking with a friend in KC about going to ride part of the Katy Trail for a day or two. Don’t know if you would have a way to get down there with your bike or would be interested, but maybe that’s a potential opportunity to meet up.