I get up late -- no rush to get to the city center this morning -- I just lollygag my way down the relatively quiet streets, taking in the sights. It's Chinese New Year so many people must be off on holiday.
I check in at the "Granny Bike Hostel" in the old city, close to the Grand Palace. I'm not a big fan of hostels (being not-so-youthful myself) -- sleeping in bunk beds in a room full of people isn't a great way to rest -- but I'm in need of some social contact and this place is for cyclists. The owners are a super-friendly Thai couple. I hang out for a couple of days with a Quebecker named Thierry who is on an around-the-world bike trip and an American woman who has just completed a trip around southeast Asia (she has a crazyguyonabike blog). A number of other cyclists pass through while I'm there: a Polish woman whose trip was cut short by a knee injury, somme Swiss and some Germans, a Polish guy... all on cycling adventures of various durations. I spend the days eating, doing some "light tourism", and getting my stuff sorted out in preparation for my flight to Europe. I'm happy to discover that Bangkok has a Decathlon store. I pick up some new shoes and some warm clothes which I will surely need for the French winter. I had ditched all my warm stuff when leaving Taiwan (I never missed it in SE Asia).
The day before my flight I ride out close to the airport, unpack the bike, and ditch it at a temple. After 8,000 kilometers this 250-dollar Giant bicycle doesn't owe me anything, it's fully depreciated. Next stop: Paris.