MALAYSIAN Adventure Bikers

Discussion in 'Asia' started by deaninkl, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. stubzi

    stubzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Phuket, Thailand
    Theres some great roads all around South Thailand, especially up the east side. If you check out the GT-Riders forum and look at the South and Phuket there are some great posts on there from 'Captain Slash' with detailed routes.
  2. scubasimon

    scubasimon Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    69
    Thanks for the tip! Will certainly explore that before the trip :-)
  3. Fastoman

    Fastoman n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
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  4. deaninkl

    deaninkl Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    153
    Location:
    KL, Malaysia
    Again a great Malaysia Ride report.

    MODERATORS.....are you reading?? I think this has become the official Malaysian Thread and deserves a sticky????
  5. nikhuzlan

    nikhuzlan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    120
    Ride Report : Danok - Betong on Route 4001
    Sometime in August I had a few days in my hand, and having bought an F800GS, the call to go for a long ride was irresistable. A suitable route needs to be planned, and a border needs to be crossed.

    I however did not want to do the time tested ridden to death routes of Hat Yai then Phuket or Koh Samui. Instead I elected to explore the border areas that is being called the hotbed of Separatist Movement in Thailand, and since 2004 an average of 2 were killed per day.

    With such reputation, not many were keen to cover this 1350km 2night 3day ride. I however managed to gather three good buddies, one with a Boxercup and another with a Gixxer K5. Both these gentlemen rode with me previously on a 1400km scooter trip last year.
    As their bikes were not suitable for the trip, they each bought the Aprillia Pegaso 650 Trail.
    The trip in brief: from Danok we took a right turn into some rural roads that crosses the restive Southern Provinces of Songkla and Yala, traversing a number of National Parks before main roads presented itself to Betong. There were times when we were in the jungles of Southern Thailand I felt some doubt about where we were heading, especially when tarmac ended and the gravel road led us ever deeper into the depths of tropical foliage. Luckily we always managed to find 'normal' roads and eventually reached Betong, having ridden 260 km in about 5 hours.

    Having had a good time and assessed that the roads can be tackled with bigger DPs, I organised another trip, this time with a bunch of GS Riders.
    For this trip, I planned a Route took us from Hatyai to Samnak Teao, San Kala Khiri Nat'l Park, then to Sathon, Prakop, before we joined Rte 4001 to Ban Lalae, Kabang and Than Tho, where we joined the main road that winds its way on the banks of Bang Lang Dam towards Betong.

    Pictures below tells the story.

    Here's the Route, on GPS
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    The Riders ( less the photographer )
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    Our first night was at Hatyai.
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    Our rides awaiting the next day
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    We started off with breakfast at a stall run by Kelantanese speaking ladies in the middle of Hatyai town. In the Southern Thai Provinces the Muslims there speaks Yawi, a language identical to the spoken language of the Kelantanese people.
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    After about 40km on the main highway from Hatyai to Danok I led the group left into the kampongs and after another 10 minutes riding we ended up in a rubber estate, the first of the many gravel sections we will be riding through.
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    We reached a kampong or village, again populated by Kelantanese speaking muslim Thais. It is clear that whilst they are not wealthy, we later found out that they are rich with hospitality.We stopped for a drink, and the villagers brought out some pulut and rendang for us. When we wanted to pay, they refused, saying that they are happy we stopped by, and to treat the food as Hari Raya food. Really nice people.

    The 'cafe'
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    We left after half an hour, and I led the group through more estate roads.
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    The first challenging stretch caught Fazlee out. He was on his GSA. It was on a fairly steep downhill incline, muddy and slippery, and Fazlee slid his front wheel into a deep rut, leaving his bike unmovable.
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    It took 5 of us to pull his bike out.
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    The journey continued at a leisurely pace
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    After about 40 minutes we reached this beautiful tarmac that winds its way into the San Kala Khiri National Park. The road was clean and smooth, with good grip so the bikes can be ridden hard and fast. That the road was devoid of traffic added to our enjoyment. The National Park seems erriely quiet, no sounds of birds nor any trace of animals.
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    Then it was time for some photos....great poser value...
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    Part TWO to come........
  6. nikhuzlan

    nikhuzlan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    120
    Ride Report : Danok - Betong on Route 4001 Part 2

    We continued towards Sathon, then Prakop. The nice smooth roads eventually turned into rural tarmac, dotted with potholes and eroded surface. Photos do not do justice in showing the quality of road......
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    This is a poor area but, like Indonesia, parabolic dishes are common.
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    We stopped at Ban Lalae ( Ban means Kampong or village in Thai ), another Muslim community deep in the South. Again the hospitality was overwhelming, and again they refused payment for the food and drinks. We decided to leave them some money anyway, saying that even if they do not want to take it, at least they can treat it as a donation for their mosque fund.
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    Bidding us farewell.
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    The route ahead takes us deeper into uninhabited area and very very close to the Malaysian border.
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    As we left, the rain came. This worried me as I secretly knew we would be in trouble if this rain continued into the gravel section ahead. The rest had no idea as they have never passed through the route and hence have no idea what awaits them.
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    As we got closer to the dirt stretch, I was happy that the area was clear of rain, although I also knew that it will be a matter of time before the deluge catches up.
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    We rode on, and the road was ominously quiet, with absolutely no traffic. We observed as we got deeper into the jungles, nature was reclaiming the road back, with creepers and foliage covering the road shoulders
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    After another 30 minutes of riding on rural tarmac, the road ended and ahead lies a jungle track.
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    We rode on, the rest having faith in me that the jungle track will eventually lead to a better quality road.
    It would be a totally different story of it rained here as it did earlier on
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    The track was bumpy and slippery, but it was a piece of cake for my long travel suspension of my GS800. The Adventures and GS12/11 did not have much of a problem too....
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    Plenty of mud crossings to keep the riding interesting
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    Then, a minor disaster struck. Minesh, on his GS1200 was tearing along at a fairly fast speed, amd his tyres slipped into a rocky rut. After a short struggle the bike went downnnnn
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    As I was the last bike, with Minesh ahead of me, the rest was oblivious of this little mishap, but Fazlee turned back upon realising we were no more behind.
    Fazlee found out hat making a u-turn on his GSA is no easy task, so after heaving and puffing.....
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    He did it the traditional way
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    After picking up Minesh's bike, which suffered minimal damage ( just light cosmetic scratches ) we rode on.
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    The road got worse
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    We reached a section that had a fallen tree trunk across the road. Thankfully someone who have passed by earlier did a partial job of hacking the obstacle. it was still a challenge geting through as it was slippery as hell.....
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    With everyone safely through, we continued
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    These steep pebble strewn incline would have been a major challenge had the rain came....
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    We rode on for another 20 minutes on gravel, but with no incident. Eventually we ended up on a pristine stretch of tarmac that would do justice to an S1000R.
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    This beautiful road led us to the highest point of Yala Province, atop of a hill that's about 2500ft high.
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    We stopped for some photos.
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    The road onwards was really good, but being the camerabike, I maintained the last bike position as the rest blasted off to enjoy the twisties.
    On my last trip i remembered vaguely that there was an uncompleted bridge that began with a chasm just after a blind corner. I was a little worried it may catch out my friends who rode ahead.
    Luckily the bridge was completed.

    The Bridge
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    The same bridge the month before. Notice the lack of any signs for early warning.....
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    The heavens opened up as we reached the main road and with 3 of the bikers ahead, Minesh, Iqbal and me decided to wait out the rain by stopping at Than To for a drink.
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    Heavy military presence was noticable. Note the two Humvees to the right of Iqbal
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    From Than To the road was a real treat, with straights of not more than 200 meters between corners. And the corners were never ending all the way to Betong, 88 kms away. We however rode with restraint as it was wet. In dry conditions it would have been FUN
    We stopped to take some pics of Bang Lang Reservoir.
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    We rode on for the next 20 minutes in damp weather.
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    we met our group that went ahead at Ban Sakai, about 35km from Betong.
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    Onwards to Betong
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    Welcome to Betong
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    Our home for the night was Sweet Home Hotel.
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    Parking was secure, very important for bikers....
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    This is the way a GSA should look, dirty with no trace of shine.....
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    Then it was dinner. This awesome but simple dish was the pinnacle of our dinner that night.
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    The next day we crossed the border at Betong and had an uneventful ride home. The South Thailand Route is a real interesting one. Subsequently I organised another ride to cover another part of the border, this time beginning from the East Coast town of Golok, using the less travelled border roads towards Betong.

    That RR will follow soon.........
  7. nikhuzlan

    nikhuzlan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    120
    Jobless Wanderers Thailand, Laos & Cambodia Tour.

    I found myself with a bit of time on my hands, and a choice of three bikes to ride. To the North of Malaysia there's Thailand, Laos and Cambodia that awaits, with thousands of kilometers of roads that passes through all types of terrain bar desert and snow.

    There is the usual base planning and as on all long trips, the Routes, the night stops, the spares and most importantly, riding buddies needs to be organised and roped in. I also had many discussions with friends who have ridden some of the routes as well to get some heads up on what to expect.

    I have never ridden further than South Thailand in all my years of riding as long distance motorcycle trips was never at the top of my riding agenda, preferring short quick day rides around Kuala Lumpur. However, with time on my hands, and a suitable bike in the garage, I felt the time is now appropriate for me to do some 'real' riding.

    I have no illusions of me being a hardcore adventurer, so the trip was planned to allow plenty of rest time between journeys, and night rides are a no no unless its on a well lit highway. Hotels are chosen only if there's air-con, hot water and safe parking for the bikes.
    This is a self centered selfish biking trip. We are not doing this for the nation, or world peace, or to assist in finding a cure for cancer. Its about having fun with riding buddies, its about exploration and discovery of the places we will be passing through. Hence, we do not have anytimeline nor schedule to keep.

    April-May also happens to be the hottest months in the three countries but we willstill go nevertheless.

    There's three of us, Mustakim on a F650GS, Ivan on an R1200Adv and me on my trusty R1200GSB. With a small group, flexibility can be built in, plans can be adjusted easily as we go along.

    We left Kuala Lumpur April 6th 2011, and the trip is to be completed in about 6 weeks, so return will be sometime mid May.

    Here are some pics of the trip, and the full story will follow soon......

    The GPS Log of the whole trip. About 9,500kms covered on all types of roads/tracks.
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    L-R Ivan, Me and Mus at Kanchanaburi, with the Bridge over River Kwai in the background.
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    About 50kms from Mae Sod, the border town between Thailand and Myanmar. What started out as a promising road of twisties eventually turned into gravel and broken tar for about 110kms, and only became better as we approach Mae Sariang.
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    Laos, between Phou Khon and Luang Prabang. We stopped here for a short break. The two huts would not be out of place if the clock turns back by 300 years....
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    Laos, between Phou Khon to Vang Vieng. Not the best day for photography due to the hazy skies.....
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    Vientiane, Laos. Patuxay Park. Just before we got chased away by the guards.....
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    Cambodia, on the way to Siem Reap.
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    Angkor Wat. Feel really special being able to ride my bike in.....
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    The full picture story will follow soon.....cheers
  8. Meor

    Meor Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    16
    Fantastic reports & images Capt. Nik! tq
  9. nikhuzlan

    nikhuzlan Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    I am not terribly good at writing. Maybe lazy, but probably more due to lack of talent. So i guess I will let the pictures tell its thousand word story.
    When i first mooted this idea of a long 4 Nation ride ( Malaysia is quite irrelevant as we will be covering just 1100kms and two days riding on highways but it is still a nation we have to ride through, hence the inclusion) there were a number of friends who wanted to go along. As the plans were drawn, it became apparent that at least a minimum of 26 days were required to make the trip meaningful.

    Having no illusions that we are in the class of hardcore ironbutters, our riding were limited to just two long sectors, one nearly 800kms, the other just under 600kms. Most of the sectors were planned not to exceed 350kms per day.

    Eventually only three were confirmed,Mus on his 650GS, Ivan on his 1200GSA and me on my 1200GSB.

    Seeing that all three of us are at the moment unemployed, we chose to call ourselves the " Jobless Wanderers ".

    We are all newbies of sorts when it comes to riding long distance; me with '0' experience on trips longer than 3 nights, Ivan and Moose are both new riders, each with less than two years on the saddle. Moose however have doen part of the route late last year so that's something that gives us some security.

    Ivan only has little offroad experience on any bike, so his baptism of fire will be on the first dirt section we will encounter after Mae Sot.
    Earlier we all rode our bikes into Lata Kijang, a 25km off road loop with a water crossing bit. This kinda helped give some confidence for this trip.

    Ivan Water Crossing
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    Moose Water Crossing
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    The plan was for us to cover the West border of Thailand all the way to the Northenmost town of Mae Sai, then down to Isan Province to Nan, and into Laos. From Laos we will decide if we will be entering Cambodia from Thailand or Southern Laos. After that we will proceed home. Total distance planned was almost 11,000kms. As it turned out, we covered much more distance than 11,000km overall, but significantly less on the bike. You will know why as the story unfolds.

    I had a small dillema as to which bike I initially want to use, but after it was decided that Laos will be in the picture the choice of riding the GS became inarguable. The scooter would have been the best choice if it was all tarmac, The Harley great as it has soul, but less comfort and carrying capacity. Both however will fall apart on rough roads.

    Choices.....
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    Day 1, 6 april 2011.

    6th April saw me astride my GS leaving the house for the Wunderlich store where the other two are waiting.
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    I fitted the Wunderlich spotlights on my bike before we left, and Moose had to rush home to get his Ipod. David, the owner of the store loaned us a spare battery and a set of Rally Tools which we carried in case its needed.

    As we were leaving, rain came and the raincoats came on.
    1730hrs, Leaving.....
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    The idea was to ride to Hatyai and stay the night there. Hatyai, the biggest Southern town in Thailand has about 200,000 people, and has no attraction for me. The town looks unplanned, crowded and unappealing.

    Our Route for the first day. 550kms.
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    It rained so heavily after Rawang and visibility became so bad we decided to wait out the rain. After 15minutes of keeping a lookout for oncoming traffic from our shelter, we continued.
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    We reached the border at 2230, after buying insurance at Changloon. Crossing the border was a breeze, taking all of 15 minutes then its a short 60km ride to Hatyai.
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    Day 2, 7th April 2011

    The three JWs before leaving the USD25 a night Diamond Plaza Hotel.
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    Leaving Hat Yai Town. The plan was to ride 550kms to Chumpon where we plan to stay the night.
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    Highway 41, the main artery that links the South to the rest of Thailand is a straight two lane dual carriageway that passes through non-stop busy towns, a chore to pass through but needs to be travelled as there is no other way North.

    Ivan on Highway 41
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    Approaching Chamai. This is our first fuel stop in Thailand.
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    Reality check. Fuel was twice the price compared to Malaysia.
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    We decided to have lunch at the service station RnR. As we were enjoying our service station cuisine, the unmistakable sound of Harleys drifted into our ears. As the convoy rolled in, I was delighted to see that they were all friends from Malaysia on their way to the Phuket Bike Week. The boys were from Red Garage, and they had two custom bikes on trailers for the competition there.

    Red Garage Convoy
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    These guys left KL at midnight, and have been on the road for 12 hours, with another 400kms to go. They were on custom Harleys with very little suspension and zero weather protection. We look pretty silly next to them in our Adventure gear. RESPECT.
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    As we approached Surat Thani, the heavens opened up, and a deluge like nothing I have ever seen before. The 'cheap' Givi raincoat proves its worth here, and even in such heavy rain we were dry. Visibility dropped to just two bike lengths and at times we were riding at 25km/h. Eventually we reached a roadblock and were diverted towards Surat Thani as the highway was flooded.

    Rain.....
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    It was decided that we forget about Chumpon and stay the night at Surat Thani. The USD35 ( expensive for Thailand )rate was acceptable given that the Diamond Plaza Hotel there was brand new.

    Unloading.
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    Dinner was at a nearby restaurant, nice ambiance with good food that was cheap......
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    We turned in early, and the plan tomorrow is to head for Surat Thani, just 400kms away.
    The route we covered today, from Hat Yai to Surat Thani.
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    The story will continue......
  10. nikhuzlan

    nikhuzlan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    120
    Day 3, 8 April 2011
    The plan for the day was to head for Hua Hin, 400kms up North. We woke up to a foggy morning, probably due to the continous rain that has been pouring over the past week.

    Fog
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    844kms covered, 400kms ahead, 0900hrs.
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    Floods ravaged this part of Thailand and the waters just receeded a few days ago. Traces of the big floods were everywhere.
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    We made good speed, and covered significant mileage until we stopped at this big RnR for fuel. The kangaroo made us think somehow we have lost our way and landed in Perth.....
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    Mandatory coffee at Amazon, a coffee chain tied up to many RnRs here in Thailand.
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    We picked up a magazine to get some info on the cultural sites along the way.....very enlightening....
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    We journeyed on and passing Chumpon the roads were under construction
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    Ivan relieving some butt numbness.
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    We stopped at Ang Thong, the narrowest point on the Ithmus of Kra. Thailand is only 11kms wide here, the rest being Myanmar. We were making good time, having covered 350kms in 3 hours. We decided to continue on to Kanchanaburi, bypassing Hua Hin. Another 400kms awaits to be covered to the destination.
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    Ivan, with the landmark hill that marks Cha Am.
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    We kept on riding into the west, the sun casting long evening shadows behind us.
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    Kanchanaburi. Traffic lights became a constant interruption to the smooth progress we were making.
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    Moose led us to this hotel which unfortunately was full. We luckily found another USD20 per room board nearby. The Ploy Guest House was a nice place to stay.
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    Total Mileage. Our average speed for the 1500kms is 100km/h and the speed never exceeded 160km/h. That's not bad at all.
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    The Day's route
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    That night Moose called Nana, a vivacious local girl Moose met in Luang Prabang. She's attached to a hotel here, and we all got together for dinner.
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    Street food looks good....
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    Education opportunities abounds.... Lecturer looks a little dodgy....
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    We heard plenty of laughter coming from this pub....lots of happy people there....wonder why.... :twisted:
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    Air Massage....got us all curious....lots of blowing going on....?
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    This place.....very popular....
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    I kinda like Kanchanaburi. There's some history there and the historical linkage to Malaysia is stronger that we think. Tomorrow we have a free day, and we will play tourist here.
    Cheers......for now....
  11. rickypanecatyl

    rickypanecatyl SE Asia adventure tours

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,911
    Location:
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Great job guys! Amazing photos both Burung and Nik!

    Its nice to see some action on this part of the forum!

    Anyone know the costs of shipping a bike to Sabah? Time? Is Klang, JB best?
  12. Frankko

    Frankko Midnight Rambler

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    653
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Sawasdwee Krap Khun CApt Nik...


    Awesome pics and good storyline


    Thanks
    Love the picture of Ankgor Wat!!
  13. nikhuzlan

    nikhuzlan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    120
    Hiya Frank, how's Afghanistan? Its all good here, Simon n Lisa's settling in with many good things happening to them.

    Next bit of the JW story coming soon.

    In the meantime, here's a picture of the Malaysia Airlines B737-400 about to land in Siem Reap. What's the relevance to this RR......? Read On....
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    Cheers....
  14. nikhuzlan

    nikhuzlan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    120
    Day 4, Saturday, 9april2011.

    Its a non-riding tourist role playing day today. We woke up without the alarm clock blaring in our ears, ambled to the lobby with our laptops to update our FB, and have breakfast on the banks of River Kwai.

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    For our tour we have our own personal Tuk Tuk.
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    River Kwai
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    A Panaromic view, the bridge on the right, the floating restaurant on the left....
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    One of the numerous plaques there, this one honoring the 700 American servicemen.
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    This plaque is dedicated to the Malays and Indian Coolies who died building the Railway. Most of the deaths came from these group of workers but its the caucasian POWs that are celebrated there. We later found out that the Malayan's deaths outnumber all the other deaths put together.
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    We visited this 100baht private museum called the JEATH Museaum. Apparently JEATH stands for Japanese-English-American-Thai-Holland, probably linked to their deaths there. Unfortunately there were also no mention of the Malays and the Indians who died in more numerous numbers.
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    This home-made Mercedes has no place in this museum
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    There were plenty of life sized dioramas of the Western Soldiers building the railway.
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    After spending 30 minutes there it became apparent that this private museum does not really reflect the Death Railway story. The exhibits are inaccurate and unauthentic, and arranged in a tasteless and macabre manner.

    The Railcar that was used to transfer the workers in the museum courtyard.
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    After a long walk, foot massage is the way to go.
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    Then a visit to the War Memorial was in order...
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    Paying Homage
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    Moose at the Memorial
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    Ivan
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    More plaques
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    The Jobless Wanderers
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    The real museum, a treasure trove of information, a labour of love by a British national. The exhibits and stories told there are world class.
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    Walking back we met this local resident, a beautiful and friendly Golden Retriever.
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    Dinner done, its time to turn in, with 550km awaiting to be covered before we hit Mae Sot.
    The bikes at Ploy Guest House.
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    So far, the ride itself has nothing we can shout about, the roads were good, mostly straight, and we have not seen anything rural in the whole 1500kms we have covered so far. We expect more of the same on our way to Mae Sot.

    We would be better of on a Goldwing or a Harley Ultra Tourer. BUT, I think the interesting bits will begi from Mae Sot onwards.

    More to come.
  15. Frankko

    Frankko Midnight Rambler

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    653
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Things are good. Workload has picked up and I am kinda busy at the moment.

    I am enjoying the report and the pictures as well.

    I sent the link to Saskia... with Lisa as an inspiring figure she wants to learn to ride with a clutch and go for a ride Next July.

    If you are not in the kingdom we might even go to KL and visit you... just need to get the bikes ... I hava a full year to find them so it is good.

    Peera (spelling ) should be making it back from Mongolia by now:clap

    Simon N Lisa, I am happy you are enjoying KL!!

    My best wishes to all my friends in Asia..

    Ride on:D
  16. nikhuzlan

    nikhuzlan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    120
    Day 5, Sunday, 10April2011
    After a quick breakfast we rode to the Bridge Over River Kwai, in the hope of getting a photo opportunity at the site with our bikes.
    A quick jump over the pavement and we were aligned with the bridge in the background.
    Moose
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    Ivan
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    The Jobless Wanderers
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    From Kanchanaburi we rode towards Suphan Buri, then Chainat. It was highway all the way, passing through many towns, big and small.
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    Chainat
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    Uthai Thani
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    We encountered heavy traffic at Nakhon Phanom. Lucky for us it was Sunday. Can't imagine how it will look like on normal days.....
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    The heat was really bad. I can't recall riding in conditions hotter than this 38-39 degree temperature....
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    We were really tired, and took another break after just coverig 85kms.
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    After a 1 hour break, we were feeling suitably refreshed, we rode on, passing this cruiser...
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    Approaching Tak.
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    From Tak we took a left turn away from the main highway, and instantly everything seems to change. It got cooler, there was almost no traffic, and the road surface improved.
    But we got wet nevertheless.....
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    after almost 1900kms of straight roads, what lays ahead brings a smile to all of us. We had to cross a mountain range to get to Mae Sot and ride on the road that winds through it. Nice....
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    We had to pass through a National Park, and this roadblock marks the end of it.
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    Then rain came as we approach Mae Sot.
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    We found Ban Pruk Sa Guesthouse easily enough. USD20 gets you secure parking, clean bed with hot water and air-con. Run by a local Thai married to a Frenchman, the place was well kept and spotless.
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    2000kms covered, the average speed has dropped to 77km/h from 100km/h of the last few days.
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    Our route on this sector. just over 500kms. Tough ride due 37-39 degree heat.
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    Mae Sot is pretty quiet...but its Sunday. It is actually a vibrant border town, but we were staying in the town centre, 7kms from the border to Myanmar.
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    Looking for dinner...
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    Food, as always, was good and cheap. Probably why the elephant came for dinner here too....
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    In our 5th day the riding stayed uninteresting, the only challenge came from fighting the heat, which made us unable to ride more than 1 hour per go. The roads were Thai Highways, meaning its straight but mostly busy, and passes through main towns rather than around, so numerous intersections needs to be crossed.
    The surface is ok to good, not quite as excellent as what we have in Malaysia. Some parts, although smooth, can be slippery. I am looking out for stretches that can rival the Jeli - Banding - Gerik, Simpang Pulai - Gua Musang, Sg Koyan - Camerons, Klawang - Titi and Ulu Yam. We have not seen rural Thai yet, the roads passing through continous habitation. That will change in the North I guess.
    To be continued.
  17. nikhuzlan

    nikhuzlan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    120
    Day 6, Monday, 11april2011
    We woke up with anticipation as we will be riding the famed 1864 corners of the Mae Hong Son Loop. Much has beeen said about the road by the few who've ridden there. All agreed that it is about the most challenging non-extreme riding they've ever done. There's even a certificate that you can buy at the Community centre at Mae Hong Son.
    Today we will see for ourselves.
    With the owner of the Guesthouse
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    Then a good breakfast spread at a cafe run by probably a Su Kyi supporter, judging from the political paraphenalia inside.
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    We met this cyclist who started from Chiangmai and is on his way south.
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    We rode through town to get to the Myanmar border.
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    This is the Mae Sot - Tachielek border.
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    The Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge in the background.
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    Onwards to Mae Sariang, the mid point town on this sector.
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    Expecting 375kms of nice corners......little did we know.
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    It looks very promising at the beginning.
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    20 minutes into the ride we passed by a roadblock. We were waved through.
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    Then we knew why. We were at the entrance of Mae Lai Refugee Camp. Housing about 130,000 with some who have spent their whole life there, this camp is just 20kms inside Thailand. The displaced are various Myanmar minorities.
    The Camp.
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    The Main Entrance.
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    These kids probably have been in the camp since birth.
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    The uniform attap roofs dotting the area with the shrub covered Karst outcrop in the background gives an Ewok village look, and almost any moment Chewbacca may come grunting.
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    The houses are packed very thightly, with just enough walking space in between.
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    The road kinda opened up after the Refugee camp. Gears were changed later and lean angles became leaner???
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    Then these two ahead stopped dead. As I got there I saw the road kinda turns sharply on a steep incline, off cambered and strewn with loose pebbles. We went down slowly, ready to 'jatuh bodoh'. But we found it not too difficult and went through without a tumble.
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    The road improved to a broken tarmac surface.
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    Then it becomes this
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    We met this young man from Switzerland who is cycling around Indo China. He is on his way to Mae Hong Son and Pai. He says the roads are really tough. We gave him some water.
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    That was the last dirt stretch, and the road gradually improved all the way to Mae Sariang.
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    I rode ahead and stopped at this National Park where the guard took my picture.
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    Onwards to Mae Sariang.
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    You will never miss Mae Sariang with this landmark smack on the crossroads.
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    We had lunch here.
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    Moose has ridden this bit so he heads off to ChiangMai and we will RV with him in two days. Ivan and I will head up to Mae Hong Son to complete the 1864 corners.
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    The road from Mae Sariang to Mae Hong Son is just awesome especially the last 65kms. The corners flow into each other, visibility was excellent, sometimes showing 4 apexes in a row. Traffic was almost non existant.
    Change in vegetation was noticable.
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    Fancy Restaurant....
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    More
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    We stopped here for a drink with another 70kms to go. The locals were friendly.
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    We passed another one street town, and Songkran seems to have started early.
    This one missed me.
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    They got me, but only my arm got wet.
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    This one missed me but got Ivan.....
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    The road after that town was awesome. No photos, too busy enjoying the corners.
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    Then I stopped, 7kms from Mae Hong Son. The view, too good to pass....
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    60+kms of roads like this.....
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    Arrival at Mae Hong Son.
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    Our 18USD Hotel. Parking was at the doorstep. Great.
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    Across the road a night market is starting up.
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    As darkness falls the night market becomes the focal point..
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    We had dinner here. Good food fast wifi.
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    The Mae Hong Son is a road that needs to be done for the experience. It is not really enjoyable when on most of it, but it will be something you will think about with a smile. And be glad you did it. The bit from Mae Sot to Mae Sariang needs to be done on a DP bike to really enjoy the road and scenery.
    Tomorrow is our 7th day, and we head for Pai then Chiang Mai.
  18. aki

    aki Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    130

    Hi Rick,

    The best is sending by Mas Kargo, cost depends on the size & weight of the bike. Delivery within 2 weeks KLX250 maybe RM800 or less (estimation)
    The other option is sending by forwarding agent but 4-6 weeks delivery is common, cheaper of course but only a few hundred ringgit maybe RM600 (estimation).
  19. nikhuzlan

    nikhuzlan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    120
    Day 7, Tuesday, 12April2011

    The morning of our seventh day on the road found us by the Lakeside Cafe for breakfast. It is gonna be a short journey to Chiangmai. We plan to stop at Pai for lunch.

    The Lakeside Cafe
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    The temple across the lake.
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    After breakfast we rode 100 meters to the Mae Hong Son Community Center. Our certificates cost us Bhat100.

    Ivan with his Cert.
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    Me with mine.
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    On the road.
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    Starts docile, nice flowing corners.
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    It got tighter as the elevation increases. We stopped at this lookout point. There was not much to see as the haze mutes all the colors.

    The Lookout Point.
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    We met this Swiss from Zurich. He was on a rented bike, carried minimal luggage and was doing the loop as well, but on the opposite direction.
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    We left after an hour there.
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    The road ahead winds and turns for at least 120kms, with rapid changes of elevation. On occasions we had to use first gear on the hairpins. Check out the video.
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    Approaching Pai, Songkran brigade was battle ready....
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    Pai.
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    Pai River.
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    Popular bamboo bridge; links backpacker's hideout to the main town.
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    These young adults are exchange students, the two girls are from Singapore, the boy is from France.
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    Songkran has started in Pai.

    Kids ready for battle.
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    Songkran Action
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    Ivan caught in the crossfire.
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    The little monk getting a piece of the action.
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    We met Stefan, a Swiss riding a rented ER6. He waited by our bikes, amazed that we managed to 'Rent" the GS. We told him we rode from KL. He intends to bring his bike over to Malaysia and do the full Indo China end of this year.
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    Saw this tree...just had to take a snap
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    Great communication......
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    Although equipped with great airbags, I don't think she can avoid scrapes if she falls.
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    Back on the road.
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    As usual after a couple of Kms of reasonably flowing curves, the road got tighter.

    Check out this video of the stretch from Pai to Chiangmai..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kGmqpQEerg

    After 45 minutes we stopped at this quaint resort about 60kms from Chiang Mai for coffee. Its run by a Thai who was recently divorced from her German husband.
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    The Lady.....
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    We continued on to Chiangmai
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    The number of roadside water fortresses kept increasing.
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    Our target in Chiangmai was to get to Riders' Corner where Moose will be waiting. Ivan has also arranged for his wife and daughter to come to Chiangmai and is now waiting with Moose.
    When we got into Chiangmai we saw all out waater war near the moat.
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    Jennifer and Kayla at Riders' Corner.
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    The Jobless Wanderers Reunited.
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    With Phil and his wife....
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    In the meantime, Songkran continues....
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    That night we all got together for dinner.....
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    We ate here before returning to the hotel.
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    We stayed at Tri-Gong Rest House. As always these establishments are family run.
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    We planned for a long stay in Chiangmai to wait out the Songkran. Traffic is dangerous with lots of drinking going on. Water attacks while on our bikes is not the best thing.....
    I have my own plans for the period.

    Our Route for today.
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    Here's a short Videoclip of a section from Pai to Chiangmai.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kGmqpQEerg

    Cheers
    End Day 7, Tuesday, 12April2011[/quote]
  20. nikhuzlan

    nikhuzlan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    120
    Day 8, Wednesday, 13April2011

    We have a few non-riding days that we planned when we arrived Chiangmai. Ivan and his family will do the touristy bits. Moose will do his chillout bit.
    I need to be home to attend to some urgent matters. The story follows......

    As I walked out on to the main street, I saw this man getting the blessings from a group of Monks.
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    I stopped a Tuk Tuk and for Bhat100 he agrees to take me to the Airport.
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    Chiangmai International Airport
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    Flew Air Asia back home. They use Aerobridge in Chiangmai but complain to everyone if they are asked to do the same in Malaysia.
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    Met Dinesh who used to work in my Charter Operations as a Cabin Crew. He moved into Air Asia in 2008.
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    With one of the crew on board
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    10kms above Surat Thani travelling at 15kms per minute. Just a week ago we were in pissing rain.......
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    The sight of the Sepang Racetrack tells me that we will be landing on Runway 32Right. Beautiful Malaysia.
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    I was in KL for three nights, made a trip to Kuala Terengganu for a meeting then it was back to Chiangmai. Good break. In the excitement of planning and anticipating the trip i overlooked the fact that there is a real possibility that I will miss my family when on such a long trip.
    This break is good, really good.
    KLIA LCCT. Returning to Chiangmai.
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    I arrived in Chiangmai at 0900 and went for breakfast at my favorite cosy cafe, which was just next to our Guesthouse.
    Pretty no......?
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    Tired of explaining to people what we are about I made these stickers in KL and pasted them on my bike.
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    In the meantime we hung around with Simon and Lisa, two British Adventurers who left home 8 years ago, and now holds multiple records for overlanding. They have amazing stories to tell, along with great photos and videos.They stayed at Riders' Corner.
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    Simon's fully kitted GS1100.
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    Outside Riders' Corner the Thais were going rabid with the Songkran
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    All sorts of vehicles were roped in.....

    Pick-ups
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    Monster Trucks
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    Low Rise Pick-up
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    Eventually the call of battle was too hard to ignore and Moose with Simon and Lisa joined in....
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    As dusk sets in the moon claws up into the darkening skies....
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    Apparently, in the heat of battle, someone was reported to have drowned in the moat. Rescue 911 came into the scene
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    We then sat down with Lisa to discuss our Route into Laos and Cambodia as they were there recently.
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    Simon, Moose and Ivan played around with the bikes.
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    Then it was the Bar for a couple of well earned beers after a hard day at the battlefield.
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    We should be leaving Chiangmai for the Second Chapter of this ride. We have covered about 3000kms so far, and are into our 10th day of the trip. We are all hopefull that the Songkran will be over by tomorrow, the day we plan to ride out.

    Our original plan was to ride to Chiangrai, but we decided that Chiangrai is just another big Thai City, so we chose instead to hug the North Western Border of Thailand and ride through Mae Salong to Mae Sai, before stopping at Chiang Khong for the night.

    Turns out we did the right thing.

    More to come.