Wang Sapung to Chiang Khan

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Wang Sapung to Chiang Khan 82 kilometers via Loei 10th Day of riding.

The best and flattest road for the whole tour of cycling so far from Wang Saphung to Chiang Khan on the Laos Thai border for a rest day. There was even a 20 km dedicated cycling track on leaving Wang Saphung into the big town of Loei but sadly there was no riding today.

The gears on my bike had been smashed over the last 10 days of climbing mountains and finally they called it a day yesterday , so it was off to a bike shop in the big smoke of Loei to fix the bent rear derailer, buy new gear cables and levers before moving onto Chiang Khan in the support vehicle.

A bit of luck to have had the bike worked on all day today in ready for the last two days of riding from Chiang Khan to Baan Muang and onto Nong Khai 206 kms along the Mekong River after our planned rest day tomorrow in Chiang Khan.

Chiang Khan is a district (amphoe) in the northern part of Loei Province, northeastern Thailand.

Chiang Khan was founded in the late-19th century when Lao villagers crossed the Mekong after the French colonised Laos. More migrants later arrived from Vietnam and China. Chiang Khan became a trading hub largely due to its location on the river. People on both sides of the rivers exchanged goods, culture, and language. Trading stopped in 1975 when the communist Pathet Lao seized power from the Lao government and cut economic ties to Thailand. Chiang Khan languished until rediscovered in the early-21st century.

Fishing the Mekong River was formerly Chiang Khan's biggest earner. Declining catches have ruined that. As recently as ten years ago, 100 families derived their income from fishing. Today that number has declined to roughly 40 families. Chiang Khan has now been discovered by tourists. Some 650,000 persons, Thai and foreign, visit the village every year.

Truck Sams and crew on The Long Ride Home in North Eastern Thailand.