The sgBikerBoy 2016 Trip – Day 1

I slept really early last night. By 10pm, I was already in bed. I set my phone alarm to 0400h. I’m generally a morning person, so getting up early was not an issue. In fact, I wanted to beat the possible morning Causeway jam and also anticipated some delays as Malaysia was supposed to start implementing the VEP system today.

It was with mixed feelings of excitement and trepidation that I begun the trip. Is this trip even possible? What if the bike breaks down? Can I really reach Chiang Mai? I woke up before the alarm went of. 3:40am. And since most of my stuff were already packed, I left home at approximately 4:00am. The plan is to reach Penang by noon, and that will give me some time to roam the island and also to get withdraw some cash from the ATM machine there.

Singapore to Penang. Total time - approximately 9hrs.
Singapore to Penang. Total time – approximately 9hrs. Distance covered – 720km

I had initially thought of pushing up a little further – perhaps to Alor Star. But I’ve not visited Penang since 30 years ago, so I thought I’d just stay here for the night. Also, I was conscious of the fact that I started the day really early, so I thought I should get some early rest too.

The view from somewhere along the way after Kuala Lumpur
The view from somewhere along the way after Kuala Lumpur

Although done road trips to Malaysia multiple times, I have never went beyond Kuala Lumpur. So I had assumed that the entire NSHW (North-South Highway) journey would be as boring as the stretch from SG to KL. Boy! Was I wrong! The roads and views started getting really amazing somewhere between Ipoh and Taiping. Little bit of winding highway makes for some high-speed fun tilts! Really, if you’ve not done beyond KL before, I highly encourage you to try!

Anyway, found myself a nice accommodation with private parking space – which was important to me. I didn’t like the idea of leaving my bike out in the public street carpark.

Hutton Lodge. RM55 for a room with shared bathroom facilities. Not bad.
Hutton Lodge. RM55 for a room with shared bathroom facilities. Not bad!

It was almost 1:30pm after I’ve checked in, and I was a little hungry then. So off I went to seek for some Penang Food.

What better way to eat in Penang than having Penang food?
What better way to eat in Penang than having Penang food?
RM5 for a plate of yummy Penang Fried Kway Teow.
RM5 for a plate of yummy Penang Fried Kway Teow.
Interesting street art in Penang
Interesting street art in Penang

So after lunch, I did some banking stuff and also did a little shopping. Feeling physically exhausted, I went back to the room and slept for an hour. And by the time I woke up, it was about dinner time! And where better to have dinner than at the famous Gurney Drive Hawker Centre!

The famous Gurney Drive Hawker Centre
The famous Gurney Drive Hawker Centre
Penang Asam Laksa
Penang Asam Laksa
Yum, yum, yum!
Yum, yum, yum!
That spikey shellfish looked interesting. I didn't dare try it as I didn't want to risk ruining the start of the trip with a bad tummy.
That spikey shellfish looked interesting. I didn’t dare try it as I didn’t want to risk ruining the start of the trip with a bad tummy.

Okay, I’m not feeling very wordy today. Probably need some rest now. Tomorrow, I’m heading to Hat Yai. Hopefully the border crossing is going to be easy.

Goodnight everyone!

11 thoughts on “The sgBikerBoy 2016 Trip – Day 1”

  1. Thanks for your day 1 update on your current long distance Chiangmai trip. You are doing something that I dreamt of doing it as a group for end of 2016 so it will be good to get a few pointers.

    1. Hi Jameson! That’s so nice to be able to ride in a group. You know, with the hectic lifestyle in Singapore, trips like these are not easy to gather people to do together. So instead of waiting around, I decided to “Nike” it. 😊

  2. Hi D,
    Great start! I recently made my trip to Cha-Am inspired by the Wondering Wasp & your blog! I didn’t have the time to spend as much on the road as you had, but it was an awesome ride and back to SG. Hope you have a great adventure!

  3. Hey Tomas! Great trip! =) Hope it was a smooth one for you – as there have been reports of unrest in various spots in southern Thailand.

    Yes – Juvena the Wasp is still buzzing out there. She’s been on the road for more than a year already! Solo too! Quite an amazing girl! I’ve also been following her travels! I’d love to do a RTW trip someday too!

  4. Hi,

    I really enjoy your blog. May I ask how fast were you Travelling and how many stop did you make before Penang? I’m leaving on Monday 16th January and it’ll be my first time “scootouring” (I ride a Suzuki Burgman 200) to Hatyai…

    Regards
    Leon

    1. Hey Leon!

      For legal reasons, I’m not gonna state how fast *I* was travelling. But let just say that on the NSHW, one can comfortably do 130kmh or so (indicated) with the Pulsar 200NS. Fuel stops are quite plentiful along the highway, and all the way up to Penang. There are generally signboards telling you how far the next fuel stop is – typically 40-60km or so. My 200NS has a 12L tank and does 25km/l on the NSHW – much lower than the typical 38km/l or so on the usual highways. So that gives me a range of less than 300km. I cannot recall EXACTLY how many fuel stops I took, but it’ll probably be something like this:

      1) Start of journey.
      2) Somewhere between JB and KL (Ayer Keroh?)
      3) Somewhere near KL (about mid point to Penang)
      4) Somewhere between KL and Penang (cannot remember where)
      5) When I reached Penang.

      If you’ve not been to Malaysia before, they have this system of payment first before fuelling. So estimate how much you’ll likely need, may payment at the counter and the counter staff will activate your pump number, proceed to refuel, then head back to counter to collect change (if any). I think too many Malaysians drove off without payment, and so all pump stations seem to adopt this measure of payment before refuel.

      Oh, BTW, you do know that from Jan 2017 onwards, (with the exception of Malaysian passport holders), all other visa-free nationalities are permitted only TWO visa-free overland entry into Thailand, ya? After which, one must apply for a entry vi$a from the respective Thai Embassies to enter Thailand overland. This doesn’t apply for air travel though.

      1. Hi D,

        Thanks for all the information. I’ve done multiple times as far as KL but this will be the first up to Hatyai.

        About the fuel payment, don’t they accept credit card payments?

        1. They do accept credit card payments. In this case, you swipe your card at the pump before you fuel up. IIRC, they seem to hold RM200 for every transaction, and only reverse it a couple of days later – very much like how hotels hold a deposit amount on your credit card and reverse it when you check out. But then again, that was a very vague recollection of my experience and things might have changed.

    2. Eh , Leon .
      You just posted yesterday you had your bike fix with Nonett Salihin …
      Good luck with your trip …
      do bring spare tong for petrol …
      ~Jat~

        1. The spare tank is just to keep your mind at ease .
          To know if your calculation were wrong for each petrol stop .
          If you are confident , You don’t really need it .
          Safe trip today moving off .
          Hope to read yours too soon .

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