6:00 AM seemed a bit daunting for a bike ride.
Given that most of my classes don’t start until late morning, I’ve gotten into the habit of sleeping in until 8 or 9 most days. Still, the bike ride sounded like it could be fun. Equipped with our cameras, Mari and I borrowed bicyles from one of our expat friends and as our group of 6 biked the streets of Savannakhet in the early morning, I was struck by how calm it was. The handful of people up and about seemed to move leisurely along and the streets were largely clear of the crazy motorbikers and speeding pick up trucks that normally have dominion. The weather was also surprisingly pleasant for once, the early morning devoid of the oppressive heat of the sun, and as we turned off the main roads onto dirt paths, we remarked repeatedly how enjoyable and beautiful it was. We biked from the city center to Bungwa Lake to That Ing Hang Stupa to Savan Vegas (the casino and only major form of nightlife here!) to the banks of the Mekong, stopping occasionally to take photos along the way. We finally made our way to Lin’s Cafe (a favorite in town), where we wound down our nearly 45 kilometer trek with fruit shakes and coconut waters and samosas and chilled Lao coffees.
My main conclusion? I need to get up early more often. (Also, those padded cycling shorts are totally worth the investment. Ouch.)
PS. I’m breaking with chronology for the first-ish time on here. Deal with it.