2010 Tour De Isan Charity Bicycle Ride
This past month I had the privilege of participating in the annual Tour De Isan charity bicycle ride. The ride, which contributes 100% of donations raised by the riders to the Thai foundation for the blind and OperationSmile charities, began on July 18th in the North-Eastern city of Nong Khai. The ride’s sinuous route followed the mighty Mekong river for the duration of the nine-day journey. The Isan region traversed by the ride has been referred to as untouched and untarnished by the modern world, reminding many of its visitors of the yesteryears of Thailand.
The organizers of the fully supported charity ride, the TourDeAsia bicycle touring company, structured the ride with eight days of riding split into two halves separated by a one day break in the city of Nakon Phanom, for a bit of rest and relaxation. Riding through Thailand’s North-Eastern region during the rainy season provided riders with an endless view of vivid green rice fields, mist-covered mountain ranges, and the constantly churning brown waters of the Mekong. The ride culminates with an arrival in Ubon Ratchatani during the height of the annual festival of the full moon and the celebration of the International Wax Carving Exhibition and parade. This year’s ride concluded on July 26th. Daily side trips were available to riders interested in seeing and experiencing more of what makes this region of Thailand so unique.
Dates for the 2011 Tour De Isan are July 6-16.
For more information about the Tour De Isan please visit www.tourdeasia.org
For more information about the Thai Foundation for the Blind please visit www.blind.or.th
For more information about OperationSmile please visit www.operationsmile.org