Underboning the World - 2 Symbas, 1 Couple, No Sense

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Underboning, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. MrBob

    MrBob Out there

    Joined:
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    9,726
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    Gunbarrel, CO, etc.
    "It also was kind of a self-imposed ban from the internet since I have been spending way, way too much time online and not enough time riding, relaxing, and spending time with Re."

    I'm glad you're keeping these priorities. Sharing your trip with us is appreciated but living in the moment should be one of the priorities of travel.
    Love your culinary reporting. I couldn't find food like that in my one-horse Colorado town to save my life and I could move overseas just for the food.
  2. Underboning

    Underboning Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    745
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    Back in PDX again!
    It rained overnight, but we awoke to a sunny morning, and after a shower, headed out to look for breakfast. On our way out, we ran into Will and Toby. We discussed our plans for the day before continuing on. As we ambled up the street, we spied our favorite breakfast of roti canai and curry. We stopped for this and coffee before heading back to the room. When we returned, we found Will and Toby hard at work on their bikes. Toby's bike needed a new oil seal around the transmission input shaft, and Will had discovered that the backing plate on his rear brake was warped, and consequently, allowed the brake shoes to twist. Fortunately, they have a comprehensive toolkit and a selection of spares. Toby seemed to be having no problem installing his oil seal, whereas, Will was not having as much luck straightening the backing plate. While he worked on the oil seal, Toby also discovered that the tensioner for his primary drive chain was very worn. Lucky for them, a local Enfield enthusiast (!) had come to meet them yesterday and apparently had a cache of bikes and parts. While we headed for Gunung Brinchang and the mossy forest, Will and Toby were going to check to see if he had either of the needed parts.

    Gunung Brinchang is the highest peak in the area, at 6,666 ft, and it was quite a beautiful ride. Once we turned off the main road, the ride got a little more challenging, as the road was quite steep. The last three miles were so steep that we found ourselves in first gear for about two of the three miles, and in a couple of spots, we almost needed an even lower gear. The mossy forest was supposed to be about a mile before the top, but we didn't see it on the way up. At first, the top of the mountain seemed a little disappointing, since all you could see were trees and cell phone towers. Once off the bikes, we saw what looked like a fire lookout tower. When we reached the base of the tower, we could see that it was open to climb. We scaled the four flights of narrow, steep, metal steps to the top.

    [​IMG]

    The view from here was spectacular, out one side we could see the mountains covered in clouds, whereas on the other side were miles of tea plantations. We were soon joined on the tower by a German couple who were touring Malaysia in a rented car. They saw our bikes, and they (or really, he) wanted to know about our trip. We chatted with them for nearly an hour before climbing back down the tower, posing for a few pictures, and heading back down the hill. We looked for the mossy forest again, but didn't see any indication of where it should be. Our brakes got a thorough workout on the way down the hill but made it with flying colors.

    Halfway down, there was a sign for the Boh Tea plantation and visitors' center. We pulled into the parking lot, parked under a tree, and walked through tea fields to the visitors' center.

    [​IMG]

    The tea plants were neat to see up close, since they look much like bonsai trees. While they are low and compact, their trunks are surprisingly thick, and most of them were covered in moss. In the visitors' center we watched a short film about tea production, toured the displays of machinery, and walked through the tea processing plant.

    [​IMG]

    The plantation has a beautiful tea room that is cantilevered out over the fields, so we stopped for a cuppa and some shortbread. While we were enjoying our snack, it began to rain gently. We decided to head back to the bikes and tried to beat the rain back to Tana Ratah. No such luck.

    Shortly after we pulled out of the parking lot, it began raining in earnest. At the entrance to the plantation, we found a covered parking spot and pulled our bikes in to wait for the rain to stop. The sky grew increasingly dark and the thunder rolled through the hills. After 30 minutes or so, the rain lightened enough that we decided to make another attempt at getting home. We still had another three miles of twisty, narrow road through the plantation before we made it back to the main road, but unfortunately, it began to rain even harder just before the junction.

    [​IMG]

    As we pulled onto the main road, the sky really let loose, so we nipped across the intersection and pulled under the awning of a closed business near a bus stand.

    [​IMG]

    Soon, the rain became truly torrential, and the streets began to flood.

    [​IMG]

    (click the above image to see a short video of the rain)

    After another 15 or 20 minutes waiting on the bikes, we decided to take a seat in the bus shelter since the water around the wheels was getting deeper. Eventually, the rain slackened, and we decided to make a run back to Tana Ratah. We didn't get too wet in the final eight miles, but we were a little chilly by the time we parked the bikes. Our plans to go hiking this afternoon were obviously canceled, so we hung out on the porch and made plans to try hiking tomorrow. After taking a shower, we decided to warm each other up. Later, we went out for dinner and stopped for beer and cookies, which we enjoyed while doing some writing in the room.


    24 slow, wet miles.
  3. Underboning

    Underboning Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    745
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    Back in PDX again!
    Yesterday's rainy ways started up again in the middle of the night. We both woke up several times overnight to the flash of lightning and boom of thunder. The rain drummed on the roof all night and into the morning, so clearly, our plan to get up early and hike in the hills needed to be changed. When the alarm went off, instead of hitting the snooze button, I simply turned it off and snuggled up with Re. :evil Eventually, the rain seemed to lighten, so we finally rolled out of bed. After getting a shower, I pulled up the weather and radar on the laptop and saw that there was plenty of rain in the area and that the chance of rain for the next several days in Tana Ratah was 70% or greater. The major activity in the Cameron Highlands is hiking the many trails through the hills around Tana Ratah. Our fear was that they would be rivers of mud due to all the rain, so we needed a new plan. While we enjoyed another breakfast of roti canai, curry, and coffee, we discussed some alternate plans. We still have our Thai visas that we got in Phnom Penh and decided we would head north for some beach time and to be in Thailand for Songkran (the Thai New Year).

    The rain had pretty much stopped by the time we returned to the Twin Pines. Will and Toby were just getting ready to leave for Penang, so we wished them luck and said maybe we'd see them there. While we loaded our bikes, another guest asked us about our trip and we spent about 45 minutes chatting with her and her son. This did delay our start, but miraculously, by the time we hit the road, the sky was nearly blue. We returned to the E1 on the same road we came in on, and it was an even better ride going back down the hill.

    [​IMG]

    What had been an occasional slow chug up the hill turned into a fourth gear, 45 mph roller coaster ride back down the Titiwangsa (tee hee). Too soon we were back on the E1 riding north, back to Georgetown. We considered bypassing Georgetown and heading straight back to Hat Yai, Thailand, but considering the massive car bombs in Hat Yai and Yala town last week, we decided to stop in Georgetown instead. From Georgetown we can get through the troubled area and as far as Trang in one day, hopefully avoiding any possible unrest.

    We crossed the bridge, made our way north into Georgetown, and pulled up in front of the Star Lodge, only to find that they had no A/C rooms. Bummer. Fortunately, the Star Lodge is affiliated with two other guesthouses, and the 75 Backpacker Lodge had a room available. The 75 is nowhere near as nice as the Star, but it was only for one night. Somewhere along the way between the Cameron Highlands and Georgetown, the funnel that hangs from my helmet lock broke. We use the funnel on a nearly daily basis to refuel the bikes, so we need to replace it ASAP. We walked to Mydin, which is Malaysia's version of Big Lots, and sure enough, found a new funnel for about 17 cents. We also picked up some detergent while we were there before stopping at a hawker stall for banana and Milo (like Nestle Quik) milkshakes. Good and good for you! Since dim sum is becoming our new favorite dinner, later that evening, we returned to our usual place for another fantastic meal. Since the dim sum place is halfway to the mall, we continued to McDonald's for an ice cream cone before calling it a night.


    185 miles in 5 hours. Because we both find the name, Titiwangsa, so funny, we have decided to rename a certain sexual act in its honor. Henceforth, that activity will be known as, “Doin' The Titiwangsa.” :lol3
  4. Underboning

    Underboning Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Back in PDX again!
    Breakfast in Georgetown only means one thing: roti canai from Yasmeen. After a good night sleep, Re walked to Yasmeen to find that her roti man had missed her terribly. He wanted to know where she had been and was so happy to see her that he kissed her on both cheeks before making our roti. After breakfast we walked to Little India to a well-stocked motorbike shop, where we picked up another 2.5 x 17 tube to add to the collection and a couple of new spark plugs for good measure. One tube and two NGK plugs for 6 USD, what a bargain! On the way back to the room, we stopped in at the Star Lodge and found that they had a room for us, so we carried our gear to our new room at the Star.

    After changing rooms, Re decided she wanted to try a sponge she bought in Nilai that appeared to be a type of “magic eraser” sponge. While the metal cleans up pretty well on our bikes, the white plastic leg shields and side covers are stained, and no amount of scrubbing with a rag seems to make any difference. After wiping the plastic off with a wet rag, Re went over the white bits with the new sponge. The outcome was amazing: the sponge removed nearly all the stains and seemed to work on the chrome too. So now she is riding around on a bike with shiny white bits.

    After a shower, it was time for lunch, so we headed for our favorite Hainanese chicken and rice place and another delicious lunch. Re has decided that she needs to find a recipe for Hainanese chicken since it is impossibly juicy but still has a crisp skin. After lunch we returned to Mydin to get the toothpaste we forgot yesterday and to look for more sunscreen before we head to the beach. We found toothpaste but no sunscreen at Mydin, so we continued on to Komplex Komtar, where we searched the pharmacies but left empty-handed. They did have sunscreen, but it was extremely expensive: a five ounce tube of SPF30 was between 9 and 10 USD. Ouch! After picking up a watermelon and a pineapple, we returned to the guesthouse to work on some travel plans and relax. Later that evening, we went out to the hawker stalls for wonton mee and fresh juice. After walking around Chinatown and having some tea, we headed back to the Star so I could Skype with my parents. We ended the evening with a nightcap at the corner bar.
  5. Underboning

    Underboning Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
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    745
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    Back in PDX again!
    Since we had a spare day before we had to leave for Thailand, we decided to stay in G-town one more day to do some shopping and eating. You know the drill by now: roti from Yasmeen and their delicious coffee, too. A quick shower and then we walked up to the pharmacy to look for a wrist brace for Re. Since somewhere in India, she has had an on again, off again problem with her middle finger on her throttle hand. She has knuckle pain when she rides, and it cramps and locks in a circle when she's off the bike. She researched it on the internet a while ago, and found out it's referred to as “trigger finger,” and it's just a form of tendonitis. The recommended treatment is to wear a wrist brace upside down at night to keep the fingers straight and to take anti-inflammatories and put ice on it. Ice is hard to come by, so we've tried substituting cold beer bottles, but it's been acting up lately, so we're on the hunt for a wrist brace. Both pharmacies that we know of were closed today, perhaps because it's Sunday, so we once again walked over to Komtar and wandered through the drugstores there. Re did find a wrist brace and then went in search of a tank top. Both of us are getting awfully tired of the same three shirts so Re decided to buy something sexier and made out of cotton. She eventually found a couple of flattering ones and bought them.

    After returning to the room to drop off our purchases, we went out in search of lunch. We walked to the Sky Hotel to get some delicious pork and rice. It turned out that everybody else had the very same idea today, since there were no tables and a very long line at the counter. We debated waiting around, but instead, walked across the street for more Hainanese chicken and rice. It was an exceptionally hot day, so we went back to the room, flipped open the laptop, and did some research as to which Thai islands we could take our motorbikes to. We lazed away the rest of the afternoon before finally walking out to dinner at around 6:00.

    On our way to dinner, we spied two familiar Royal Enfields parked in front of a guesthouse on Lebuh Chulia. After two days in Batu Ferringhi, Will and Toby apparently came into Georgetown so they could hit the Thai embassy for their visas first thing in the morning. When we found them, they were chatting with a German couple who have just completed their one year motorcycle and scooter journey from Germany to Malaysia. We didn't get their names since they had to leave shortly after we arrived, but he rode a 650 Honda of some sort, and she rode a 300cc step-through scooter of some sort. Tomorrow morning, they take their bikes to the port to send them by ship back to Europe. It was too bad that we didn't get to talk to them more, because it sounds like they had quite an adventure as well. Will and Toby were also in good spirits, since some friends of theirs had brought a few items the forgot in Australia, and they met them in Batu Ferringhi. Both of them raved about the food in Georgetown and said the one thing they wanted to eat that they hadn't gotten yet was dim sum. Even though we just had dim sum two nights ago, it's never too soon for more. We said we'd show them the way, so they went to grab their jackets.

    They returned with their jackets and two girls they just met in the lobby who also wanted to go for dim sum. One girl introduced herself as Celine, from France, and even though Will asked the other girl, who was from Belgium, to repeat her name three times, I don't think any of us ever understood what her name was. We all walked to the dim sum restaurant and found that it was packed. There was only one small table open, so we all crowded around it. Since Re and I were familiar with many of the dishes, we were elected to pick for everyone. Given our limited table space, we did it in three rounds, and all ate til we didn't want any more. The food was really good, and the company was even better, since both of the women had also been traveling for many months now. We finished off our meal with a round of egg tarts and one more pot of tea before paying the bill. Dim sum for six with dessert and five pots of tea came to a grand total of 50 ringgit (17 USD). I love Malaysia.

    We had told Will and Toby about the corner bar before they invited the girls along to dinner, but we weren't really sure that they would want to go. We decided to leave it up to them, so I described it as best I could, including the rats occasionally scurrying along the sidewalks. I think they were lured by the promise of cheap beer and didn't really believe us about the rats, so they opted to come along. We found a table and some chairs and spent the rest of the night talking about travel and many other subjects. One of us finally noticed that it was 1:00 am, and since we are supposed to be riding 200 miles and crossing into Thailand tomorrow, Re and I decided to call it a night. It was a great evening. Hopefully tomorrow morning isn't too ugly.

  6. gasandasphalt

    gasandasphalt Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
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    525
    Location:
    S/W New Mexico
    Howdy,, Glad you guys are back and all is well....:1drink
  7. sturmgewehr

    sturmgewehr Adventurer

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    Olathe, KS
    Disappointed by the lack of an embedded link somewhere in this sentence, Otherwise this is a STELLAR ride report! :deal
  8. KYSYM

    KYSYM n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
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    Location:
    Bluegrass Horse Country
    Glad to have you back on-line. The trip reports are well written and compelling to read. (great adventure, occasional suspense, and great personal stories)

    All that is icing on the cake, a major point of interest for this reader are your mechanical descriptions, repairs and experiences with the bikes. (I have a 2010 Symba, and have selected tires, spare parts maintenance strategies and other elements for the machine based on your reports)

    I would appreciate it if you can comment on other accessories you have found useful, specifically;

    1. What is the make and model of hand air pump you are using for fixing your flats?
    2. What is the specific style of Dariens you have selected (They seem to be holding up!)
      I am looking at the DarienLight Jacket #260 but didn't know if that's what you are using.
    3. What kind of strap do you use to attach your fuel cans to the front rack? (I know about the Ikea Cutting Board)
      Give us a closeup if you have a chance! (Some of your readers call for Cheesecake photo's, I call for closeup of gas cans....it takes all kinds...)

    Thanks so much for your great reports, both informative AND entertaining!

    KYSYM...
  9. bluegreen

    bluegreen Adventurer

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    Vancouver BC
    Subscribed !! You guys rock!!
  10. Jim K.

    Jim K. Long timer

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    Jan 14, 2011
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    1,660
    Location:
    New Haven, Ct.
    Great to have you back! Try not to feel too pressured by our incessant demands for more entries (and cheesecake!) Ride your own ride & get back to us when ever time & WiFi allow. Our pathetic attempts to live vicariously through your trip is not your responsibility!
  11. pirate63

    pirate63 SUPA 10 PILOT

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    brisvegas,oz
    Well said jk,
    But it is an awesome report:D
  12. CMS

    CMS Been here awhile

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    Jan 19, 2006
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    Location:
    Southern,OHIO
    Just found your posts ,so glad you are ok, I'm sure it takes a lot of your time to share your adventure with all of us, and a break was surely overdue. Thank you for sharing as you can see you do have a huge audience/family here on the tube. I agree with an earlier post, enjoy and have fun first,tell us about it later. CMS
  13. Underboning

    Underboning Been here awhile

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    Jul 31, 2007
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    745
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    Back in PDX again!
    Re's always happy to show off a little!

    [​IMG]
  14. sturmgewehr

    sturmgewehr Adventurer

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    Olathe, KS
  15. Archimedes

    Archimedes Adventure Researcher

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    The Americas
    :lurkJust found this post and need to get caught up. I'm still on my own two year tour but cant resist this kind of stuff, you guys are awesome!:clap
  16. Oldandslower

    Oldandslower Oldandslow

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    Marion, Indiana
  17. Underboning

    Underboning Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    745
    Location:
    Back in PDX again!
    It was an early morning after a relatively short night, but fortunately, neither of us was any worse for the wear after last night's festivities. While I began packing up the room, Re again, headed out to pick up breakfast. At Yasmeen, Re had to break the bad news to her new boyfriend/roti chef , Mohammad, that she would be going to Thailand for several weeks. He was apparently a bit upset and wanted to know when she would be back. As she left, he kissed her on both cheeks and said he will cry until she returns. Some guys might be jealous, but I am not worried at all. You see, there's this love that can never be. For many, many years ago, Re found her one true love: pork. And since Mohammad is Muslim, I'm safe (for now). :lol3 After breakfast, we continued packing the bikes for what we hoped would be an early start, but once again, this plan was derailed by a friendly person who was interested in our bikes and trip. This morning, it was an Australian gentleman who spied us loading up and wanted to know more. Consequently, we didn't end up boarding the ferry until about 10:00 am.

    Once we exited the ferry, the ride to the Thai border was warm and fast. Before we crossed back into Thailand, we filled up our tanks and both jerrycans with inexpensive, Malaysian fuel. We are going to miss being able to buy 15 liters of fuel for 10 USD. Sigh. The border formalities were easy, quick, and free (since we already had our visas). The only problem was that our temporary import permit for the bikes is only valid for one month. I had read on HUBB that the TIP should be valid for as long as your visa, but after speaking with several Customs officials, that is apparently incorrect. I was told that if we need more time, I should be able to get it extended at another Customs post. I don't imagine we'll be in Thailand for more than 30 days, but you never know. Immediately after we crossed into Thailand, we stopped for lunch at the convenient (and more importantly, air-conditioned) McDonald's at the border. After lunch, we continued our ride to Trang, where we spent the night. The afternoon ride went by fairly quickly and easily, but it was interesting to note the differences between Malaysia and Thailand as we rode. Malaysia seems like a much more western country than Thailand. Whereas the roads in Malaysia are excellent and well signed, the roads in Thailand are a little more basic (but still very good). In Malaysia, most people seem to have adopted western-style clothing, while in Thailand, there's still plenty of western-style clothing, you still see a wide variety of traditional dress as well. Another thing you see a lot in Thailand is little motorbikes with sidecars. They are everywhere and are used for deliveries, taxis, and as mobile restaurants. Conversely, I can only recall seeing one of these combinations in Malaysia, and it displayed a handicapped sticker.

    There are many other differences, but these were the few that struck me on the ride today. We arrived in Trang at around 6:00 pm and were fortunately, able to remember our way to the hotel where we stayed two years ago. My GPS doesn't cover Trang very well and was of limited help. One of the reasons we did not want to return to Trang is that there are few decent, inexpensive places to stay, and the one we stayed at last time was more than a little dingy. But, the price was right, so we returned to the Ko Teng Hotel once again. What a difference two years makes! The prices were still cheap, but they painted and did some other work to the rooms, and it was much nicer this time. As a bonus, they allowed us to pull our bikes into their cavernous lobby overnight. After unloading the bikes, we walked up to the night market, where we bought salads, fried chicken, sticky rice, grilled pork, and Thai iced teas. We sat on the steps of some government building and ate our yummy food. For dessert, we bought some sort of thick pancake filled with shredded coconut and coconut jam. It was hot off the griddle and delicious. On the way back to the room, we picked up some cheap Changs.


    225 miles in about 8 hours. So far, we have spent 74 days in southeast Asia and have spent 3666 USD, for a daily average of 49.50 USD. This number seems high, but crossing into Laos cost 130 bucks, Cambodia was 45 USD, and our 60-day Thai visas were 80 USD. These expenses alone add 3 dollars a day to our average cost.

  18. Underboning

    Underboning Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
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    745
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    Back in PDX again!
    One drawback to our hotel is that they do not have rooms with one big bed. So this morning, after the alarm went off, Re came and snuggled up in my bed. One thing led to another... and so we got up later than planned. :evil But actually, we didn't, since I forgot to change the time when we crossed back into Thailand. When the alarm went off at 7:00 am, it was really 6:00 am local time. We decided to take advantage of our free hour to actually go out and enjoy breakfast. We found the morning market, where we had some fried dough and really excellent and strong coffee. Back at the hotel, we packed up the bikes, showered, and rode out the front door, heading north for Koh Lanta.

    While the roads weren't as good today, it was a pretty ride.

    [​IMG]

    The road wound its way through large tree covered hills with dramatic limestone faces. We also found ourselves cruising through pineapple orchards and watermelon fields. The roadsides were lined with fruit stalls, some places advertising three pineapples for 20 baht (66 cents). Unfortunately, we had no way to carry any of this delicious fruit, so we rode on. After a couple of hours, we arrived at the first ferry of the day, where we paid a grand total of 56 baht (under 2 USD) for both of us and both bikes for both ferries. What a bargain!

    [​IMG]

    After all the cars and trucks boarded the first ferry, we made our way up the ramp and onto the large, flat deck.

    [​IMG]

    This ride only took about 15 minutes. It was nice to catch glimpses of the ocean between the islands, and the water was beginning to turn a nice shade of green. Once we disembarked from this ferry, we made the 8-mile ride across Koh Lanta Noi to the next ferry, which would take us to Koh Lanta Yai. This short ride was fun, since it wound up and back down the spine of the island.

    [​IMG]

    The second ferry ride was similar to the first but much shorter, and the water got even greener.

    Our bungalows were only about a 20-minute ride from the ferry dock so we pulled in around 12:30 pm. We were both hungry, so we ordered lunch and then unpacked our bikes while we waited. We were both a little underwhelmed by our bungalow and its proximity to the beach. While we could see the Andaman Sea from our porch, it was about 150 ft from the beach. I know lots of you are going, “waaaa,” right now, but we really thought we'd be closer to the water and that the beach would be wider. The other odd thing about the location was that only two of the ten bungalows were occupied. It is getting toward the end of the season on Koh Lanta, but we didn't expect it to be this deserted.

    [​IMG]

    We did have a nice lunch overlooking the water and later, walked on the beach and waded in the surf. One of the nice things about our bungalows is the collection of local cats. We met a couple of adult cats who were nice and friendly, but our favorite was a young kitten who was full of energy and apparently, had no fear.

    [​IMG]

    Because of this, we christened him, WFO.

    A little later, we walked up to the main road to check out the dinner options and pick up some water at the 7Eleven. Since my last haircut was about a month ago, I was beginning to feel like a long-haired, hippie freak, so we took advantage of our open air bathroom, and Re gave me a haircut. After a quick shower, we hopped on the bikes and rode out in search of dinner. We picked up a couple of recommendations from Travelfish.org, but we didn't have any exact directions, so we planned to do a little bit of riding. As I bounced up the dirt path toward the main road, I heard a rattling from my chain case. I assumed that the bouncing had caused my chain case to shift, so when we got to the main road, I tried to adjust it by hand. No such luck. I ended up removing the chain case under a street light and found that two of the four bolts that hold the rear sprocket to the hub were loose AGAIN. FFS. I didn't feel like fixing this in the dark, so we rode slowly back toward the bungalows. On the way, we found a small noodle stand, where we had dinner. We stopped at the 7Eleven for some Changs and cookies before calling it a night.



    105 miles in about 3.5 hours, including two ferry rides. I shed a small tear when we had to stop for petrol today, and 7.5 liters cost 11 USD. :cry
  19. Underboning

    Underboning Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    745
    Location:
    Back in PDX again!
    We are (hopefully) heading to the island of Koh Phangan today and plan to be there for several nights. We may not have much in the way of internet access for a while, so don't panic! :D We'll be back soon, with more updates and hopefully some bikini pictures, too!
  20. Ronnie Ventura

    Ronnie Ventura Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
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    Location:
    Ipoh, Malaysia
    Glad you guys headed out west of the strip :) Koh Lanta and other islands of the Krabi province deserve more visits from the traveler than it does now. Beautiful place; more relaxed, less commercialized than say, Hatyai and the rest of Songkhla province. Koh Phangnga is in the Phangnga province, along with its more famous big brother - Phuket. ("Koh" = island.)

    And, oh: photos do not do justice to Re "Underboning" ... She's a real stunner in person, trust me on this :) Colin "Underboning" is a very lucky man!