Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Chumphon to Danok border town - 14th/15th Mar

10,200km done.. stepping onto Malaysian soil after 7 weeks away. Headed straight to my home town Penang.. Will take a week rest, off the saddle and spending time with parents and daughter before heading to Kl and S'pore..Left the next day.. No more tipping and overtime payment at the Thai immigration over the counter..
Satit Hotel..
Reaching the border town Danok.. I decided to stay a night. One good meal of Thai food and a goooood massage before heading back the next day..

Left early at 7.30am as I have about 500km to the border town, Danok.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Petchaburi to Chumphon - 13th Mar

checked in at Suan Inn. A 2 months old town resort at bht600/.. free wi-fi.. not bad.

sun setting with only 300+km done today.. I reached Chum Phon
not a single soul on this long stretch of the beach.. of Khiri Khan..
all by my self.... as though I owned the whole beach and ocean..
Can't resist looking at this inviting blue waters, I stopped here, ordered an ice mocha, change into my shorts, I had a half hour swim at the Gulf of Thailand.
A big aquarium here at Khiri Khan.. but I rather check the beach out..
Left Petchaburi late at about 2pm after my lunch. Knowing I can't cover much today, I took my own sweet time stopping at this beach area at Khiri Khan, the narrow strip of Thailand along the Burma border and the Gulf of Thailand.
Another disappointing day at the train station.. Now I realize taking the train together with the bike is not as easy I thought. The problem is, you can't secure a place for the bike until the train arrive at the station and will usually be full by the time it reaches BKK. Moreover, seats for passenger today is left with 3rd class.. 3rd class sitting for 13hours..?? well, I rather be on the saddle of my iron horse, then sitting on an mrt-like seats for 13 hours to hatyai..

Trat to Petchaburi. 600km - 12th Mar

'Marked yellow' my return trip, reaching Petchaburi at about 3pm. almost 600km done from Trat this morning but fail to load bike onto train.
A clearer picture of the palace taken from a poster..
Phra Nakhon Khiri Palace.. hmm, this is the only sign in english..
Loads of tour bus flock here makes me curious.. walking around inside the tramp station, I realize this place is frequent by local tourist only.. I can't find any information, leaflets or signboard written in english.. including ticketing office written in Thai.. anyway I was too tired to go up the hill top.

the streets at Petchaburi.

A very small hill smack right in the center of this town Petchaburi where a Palace stands on the top.
Train station..
Reaching here at Petchaburi train station.. my plan failed.. No seats today. Staying a night here, hopping I could load bike up tmr and relax up to Hatyai.. which would be an experience for me too.
Got through BKK at about 11am, I grab a quick lunch and proceed to Petchaburi with the intention to load my bike on the train to Hatyai..
..What a joke having to use ferry to cross such a narrow river (rather a canal..) in BBK while all ferry service in Cambodia has already been replaced by beautiful bridges paid by Thailand...
Plans changed.. From Trat, my initial plan was to tour the coast at the southeast of Thailand up to Pattaya. After deciding to cut short my trip and reaturn earlier, I cut through to Chom Bon.. where I bypass the coastal area, which is shorter towards northwest. Trying not to enter BKK, I tried to move more to the south of BKK, nearer to the Gulf of Thailand.. yet I ended going through the southern part of BKK, ended up on highway where motorcycle is not allowed.. I was asked to exit by a police officer.. there goes again, having problem with GPS where it keeps navigating me to the 'forbidden' highway.. lost for an hour, I ended up with a ferry crossing.. urgh..!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Boarder crossing at Koh Kong. 11th Mar

After crossing the boarder into Thailand, it was still early so I decided to do another 100km to Trat, covering a total of 330km today from Sihanouk Ville to Trat. To me, re-entering Thailand is always a relief.. everything seem to be '5-star' again.. in terms of amenities, roads, food.. etc etc..That's the owners VW Carman Giare. sad.. a non runner..

hopefully our collectible items don't end up a flower bay or stand like this..
had dinner here at this rustic looking restaurant in front of my room.. it's tastefully done.
That;s my RM20/ room.. reminds me of the kampong house in Pg where i lived some 40 yrs ago..
the cheapest room in my entire trip.. BHT 200/
Heavy downpour when I reached Trat..
Narrowest part of Thailand.. before this fishing village..
Mr Jiri from Germany.. who came up to me saying he spotted me in Laos. he's going to ship his GS1100 to S'pore this October to ride Asia.. Probably a better idea to buy one in S'pore.. wht say you Roy?
this is the Thai side. An hour spent here but a proper carnet is done..
Surprise to get clearance out of Cambodia in 15mins.. after my passport clearance at the immigration, the officer pointed across his office at this small booth which says 'customs'.. I went across but no one in the booth, thinking I had to wait till lunch hour is over.. not knowing the officer is actually taking a lunch nap comfortably in a hammock.. i gently knock and he come up (..quite stone looking) took my LTA photostat copy which was stamp in Poipot, he put another stamp and ask me to go.. as though telling me to quickly buzz off not to disturb his sleep..
casino price.. had my lunch at the jackpot room here for 3,500 Ril.. thats less then a dollar.. should have been free if eric was here.. haha

After crossing the last bridge at Koh Kong.. at one glance at the standard of this hotel in a small town like this, anyone would guess it's a casino again

Sihanouk Ville/ Koh Kong, 230km - 11th Mar

diving spot available across to some of the islands.
the town Koh Kong..
TOLL...? hmmm, so Malaysia.. first toll paid at about 30cts usd.
still contemplating whether to stay here at Koh Kong..
Having arrived here much earlier then expected.. 230km in just 2 half hour, with so many stops taking pictures.. I must say this is the best ride in Cambodia.
This is the longest bridge so far over the river mouth towards Thai Gulf. Except for this bridge in Koh Kong, which is completed in 2002, the rest are all completed only last year 2008. Ferry crossing is now history..
the final section of the hilly area towards Koh Kong.. WOW, 230km is a breeze today.. only 10.30am. Guess I should cross over to Thailand instead of putting up here at Koh Kong.
looks like there is no more ferry crossing.. The 3rd bridge I come across also completed in 2008 with the grant form Thailand. Well, this will certainly boost Thailand's export into this country

Barge and ferry business affected after it is replaced by the bridges.. well, the operator should have moved with times..

approaching another bridge..
not that flat anymore.. the southwest has some nice gradient and corners to negotiate..
half the journey from Sihanouk Ville to Koh Kong.. and I'm about to conclude my best ride in Cambodia so far.. condition of the road is superb, hardy see a pot hole.. more scenic too

stated this slab, it's a Thai sponsored bridge with the date 2008. would have been a ferry crossing if I came last year.. which will take at least half an hour..

view from the bridge.. a long stretch of villages living by the river bank. Ferry crossing was done here before the completion of this bridge less then a year ago.

wow, drinking starts at breakfast time.. smells like 'samsu' a coconut fermented drink like what we have back home.
nice cloudy morning helps to shelter me from the sun.

one of the old bridge, juz outside Sihanouk Ville.
..Sre Amble bridge, a Thai sponsored bridge.
set off early from Sihanouk Ville at about 8am. A 230 km journey to boarder town Koh Kong. Expecting to do some river crossing via ferry, that could be time consuming.