It’s the Good Friday long weekend and we decided to ride up to Betong, Thailand. The distance between Singapore and Betong, Thailand is approximately 740km, and the plan was to start riding through the night and arrive at the Malaysia-Thai border by morning.
DAY 0 (13 Apr, Thu) – overnight ride.
We rendezvoused at Petronas Gelang Petah on Friday, 0000h-0030h (Thursday night, really) to gather for a pre-ride briefing. At 200cc, my Pulsar was the only “small capacity” bike with the rest of the bikes (2A and CL2 big bikes) having multiple times my engine displacement, and so, the plan is for me to push off first as an “advance party” with Sufi and Siu Hon with their Honda CB400X and Yamaha XJ6 Diversion as my riding buddies (aka “escorts”). The plan was to link up with the rest of the group at R&R Sungai Perak (approximately 580km) in the morning. The big bikes will be traveling at a faster pace and should catch us up as we near Sg Perak. Continue reading “Long Weekend Ride to Betong, Thailand”
Almost 2,000 kilometers over a 4-day trip around Peninsular Malaysia, and what a tour it was! And the attractions that I got to visit could really been summed up in two words – NOT MUCH. Well, if you live in this part of the world, you’ll know that the year end is the north-east monsoon season, and that means rain, rain and more rain. Not a single day went by without the skies opening up and dumping it’s liquid load on me. Well, at least I got to test my Pirelli Angel CT tires throughly in wet weather – and it was good.
I’m going on a motorcycle tour (again)! Not gonna do anything too crazy like the last tour. This time, I plan to just circle Peninsular Malaysia. You see, I’m heading up to KL tomorrow to attend an ex-classmate’s wedding dinner. Again, it’s one of those “since I’m already here, why don’t I just head to….” kind of idea. Don’t plan to be away for too long – probably just for a couple of days. But then again…. who knows? =P
Yes! I’m on the road again! And yes! It’s with the Pulsar 200NS!
I had some business to perform in Kuala Lumpur and since I’d be travelling alone, I decided to take the bike instead of the car. And after the eventful low battery situation, getting stranded by stalling my engine and the good samaritan who saved my day, I’m on the Malaysian North-South Highway (NSHW), again.
And I’m glad I did. Because, at approximately 230km from KL, there was a really bad accident. A container truck from the opposite direction had lodged itself onto the middle divider and turned on its side. The cabin looked quite smashed up. And traffic from the opposite direction were directed onto this side of the road – I suspect to facilitate emergency vehicles to access the accident site quicker. But all these mean one thing – massive jam. I suspect that it’ll take at least an hour or two to clear the jam. And thankfully, the bike was nimble enough to squeeze through the traffic, and I still managed to travel at somewhat freeway speeds on the shoulder.
08 Aug 2016, Monday. I didn’t want to wake up this morning. No, it wasn’t because of the “end of holiday” syndrome, but my entire body was aching. For the first time in a very long while (and the first time on this trip), I lay in bed until 9am. The hotel’s breakfast was from 7am to 10am. So I knew I was gonna miss breakfast if I didn’t pull myself out of bed. So reluctantly, I dragged myself out of bed, washed up, got changed, and headed downstairs to fill my stomach.
While at breakfast, a mild, throbbing headache started developing. “Oh, oh. Not good.” I said to myself. I recognised the signs. I think I’m falling ill soon. Being only 240km away from home, it wasn’t difficult to decide my destination for today.
07 Aug 2016, Sunday. I woke up this morning freezing under my sheets. And there was no air-conditioning! What happened was that I had turned the fan on last evening, and since the oscillation wasn’t working, it was pointed directly at me. The temperatures up here in Cameron Highlands dip to the low 20’s deg celcius at night, and can get quite cold.
I had initially planned to head towards Bukit Tinggi today – somewhere near Genting Highlands. I’m not sure if it was the cumulative toil of the journey or the descent, but when I got to the foot of Cameron Highlands, I felt really, really exhausted. Travelling on a fully luggage-loaded small cc motorcycle on a winding mountain pass is not fun. Also, my tires are reaching their end of life and I didn’t dare lean into the curve as much as I would have liked.
In this condition, I was certain that I wasn’t in the condition to make the climb up to Bukit Tinggi. So, I decided to head to Malacca instead.
06 Aug 2016, Saturday. I got a room in the same hotel as Michel and Pim. And after breakfast, we got ready to leave Georgetown, Penang. Michel and Pim will be heading north into Thailand via Sadao. And for me, southbound. And to think about it, when we last met, they were southbound while I was heading north.
05 Aug 2016, Friday. Border crossing day. Will be heading into Malaysia this morning. I didn’t like Hat Yai very much. Not that there was anything wrong with the town. It was just that after visiting the other places in Thailand (and Laos, and Cambodia,) Hat Yai just wasn’t too exciting. Many Singaporeans making their way into Thailand or beyond typically make Hat Yai their first night stop before punching further up north.
04 Aug 2016, Thursday. After a good night’s rest, I felt much better in the morning, and figured that I should be well enough to ride again. I took the anti-clockwise southern route from the pier to Chaweng Beach when I arrived, and figured that I’d like to see the rest of Samui on the northern side and continued anti-clockwise direction on the ring road to head back to the pier.
The 3 Singaporeans I met 2 days ago also took the Raja Ferry to Samui. But they intended to leave Samui on the SeaTran instead. Raja Ferry and SeaTran are the 2 main ferry operators between Don Sak / Surat Thani and Koh Samui. I too thought it’ll be nice to try the other ferry operator back.