About Me

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I am married to my loving husband for more than 38 years now. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, until 11 years ago when I lost my youngest son. Since then my life is forever altered but yet unbroken....

My Travel Journal

"There isn't much I haven't shared with you along the road and through it all there'd always be tomorrow's episode" - Elton John

I started traveling around the world since early 80s when I had the opportunity to combine business trips with vacations. Then later when my rezeki is in abundance, there were numerous other trips along the way for vacations, most of the time with hubby and the kids when the timing is right. I have also started to compile the journal and photo-pages covering almost more than 25 years of world wide travel. Some destinations I visited just once, others many times. Many of those places are the obvious famous places people would like to visit but some, the casual traveler doesn't even think to try. I have placed links to my travel at the side bar of my personal page, My Life Reflections, and will be updating them from time to time.

My wish is to continue my travel and complete circumnavigate the globe, insyaAllah…

Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017 Travel in Retrospect

"Travel opens your eyes and helps you learn who you are..."

Another year has passed. Once again it is time to look back on our travels in 2017 and to look forward to the coming years.

Hubby and I love to travel because it makes us appreciate our blessings, especially the gift of health, wealth and time. Travelling gives a sense of adventure and freedom and allows us to get away from our mundane life. We experience other cultures, get to know places we have only seen on TV or on the web. We get to try new food and meet new people.

Highlights from our 16 nations 2017 travels:

1. Thailand:
Betong - Krabi - Phuket - Songkhla -  Satun - Pak Bara - Hatyai - Thung Son -Chumphon - Cha-am - Chai Nat - Nakhon Pathom - Khao Kho - Phu Tubberk - Sara Buri - Thap Sakae - Khanom - Kanchanaburi - Phitsanulok - Phetchabun - Ayutthaya - Had Lek - Prachin Buri - Kamphaeng Phet - Lamphang - Pai - Ban Rak Thai - Santichon - Mae Hong Son - Mae Sariang - Mae Sot - Tak - Suphan Buri - Khun Sarai - Dannok

2. Cambodia:
Koh Kong - Sre Ambel - Kampot - Pret Chak - Phnom Penh - Bavet - Siem Reap - Poipet

3. Vietnam:
Ha Tien - Ho Chi Minh - Unicorn and Dragon Islands - Moc Bai

4. United Arab Emirate:
Dubai - Abu Dhabi

5. Saudi Arabia:
Madinah - Makkah - Ta’if - Jeddah

6. England:
Cambridge -Leeds - Gateshead - Rydal Mount - Liverpool - Gloucester - Bibury - Cirencester - Castle Combe - Bath - Warminster - Midsomer Norton - Stonehenge - Southampton -  Bicester - Oxford - Heathrow - London

7. Scotland:
Carter Bar - Edinburg - Pitlochry - Inverness - Culloden - Drumnadrochit - Fort Augustus - Fort William - Glasgow - Gretna Green

8. Ireland:

9. Wales:
Holy Head - Bangor- Snowdonia- Cardiff

10. France:
Paris - Versailles

11. Uzbekistan:
Tashkent - Kiva - Bukhara - Samarkand - Shahrizabz - Termez

12. Turkmenistan:
Darvaza - Ashgabat - Mary

13. Tajikistan:
Dushanbe - Khujand

14. Argentina:
Beunos Aires

15. Peru:
Lima - Sacred Valley - Pisac - Machu Pichu - Chinchero - Cuzco

16. Brazil:
Foz de Iguazu - Rio de Janeiro

Yes, another year has passed us by. And we're all a little older. Let our age not dampen our spirits. So, we’ll enjoy each day and live it up before we're too damn old to do anything.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Q6 4-Nation Ride

"If you never try, you'll never know..."

(Sre Ambel, Cambodia)

This kembara biking trip will be the last trip for 2017 and will be our 6th in a row since 2012.

Hubby and I are going for the year-end ride crossing borders of Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam over a duration of 24 days. The first seven days we will be riding with the KKB gang to Ayutthaya, Thailand. The next ten days we will ride solo from Ayutthaya to Cambodia and into Vietnam. The last seven days we will join the JBMC and the Truecolors gang in Pai, Thailand and will ride back home with them.

Part I: KKB gang - Malaysia/Thailand
Date: 24 – 28 November 2017
Route: KL – Hatyai - Chumphon – Kanchanaburi – Phitsanulok – Route 12 - Phu Tubberk - Khao Kho - Petchabun – Ayutthaya
Total Distance: 2,465 km

Part II: Solo Ride – Thailand/Cambodia/Vietnam
Date: 28 Nov – 10 Dec 2017
Route: Ayutthaya – Koh Kong – Kampot - Ha Tien - Phnom Penh – Ho Chi Minh – Siem Reap – Prachin Buri – Kamphaeng Pet - Pai
Total Distance: 2,990 km

Part III: JBMC and the Truecolors gang – Thailand/Malaysia
Date: 10 - 16 Dec 2017
Route: Pai – Mae Hong Song – Mae Sot – Kanchanaburi – Chumphon – Dannok – KL
Total Distance: 2,630 

My Reflection: musmun.blogspot.com

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Day 01: KL - Hatyai

“The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday..." - Steve Maraboli

(The start of our 24-day riding adventure)

Day 01: 23 Nov 2017 (Thursday)
Route: KL - Hatyai
Distance: 535 km
Hotel: Golden Crown Hotel, Hatyai

Around 7.30 Started from Bidara House with Tuan Shawal who stayed the night at our house. At R&R Rawang met Tuan Syed. Stopped in Simpang Pulai to refuel then rode direct to Juru for Bawal Goreng lunch. In Changlun had our documentations prepared, changed some Bahts and ready to cross Malaysia/Thailand border at Bukit Kayu Hitam.

(The new Thailand Immigration Office at Dannok)
(The new numbering system, a two hours wait)

The border was very crowded with locals and foreign visitors. Even with the new numbering system, it took more than 2 hours to stamp our passports. Performed our prayers at Masjid Talardtai along the way to Hatyai. Our bike slipped on the pavement in front of the mosque and I hurt my wrist a little.

(The early starters, three bikes)
(Prayer stop at Masjid Talardtai, Hatyai)

Had our early dinner at Khalid Restaurant before we checked in Golden Crown Hotel for Baht850/night. After an hour of foot massage, went to Aji stall for Pulut Durian. Met my niece Ailyn and hubby with the rest of their gang who convoyed by cars.

Day 02: Hatyai - Chumphon

"Without music, life is a journey through a desert..." - Pat Conroy

(Meeting five other KKB bikers)

Day 02: 24 Nov 2017 (Friday)
Route: Hatyai – Route 41 - Chumphon
Distance: 479 km
Hotel: Nana Buri Hotel, Chumphon

Started riding early morning towards Route 41 for coffee break. Met the rest of the KKB gang, Zali, Taufik and Chon there. From today onwards the KKB gang will ride together until we split and ride solo into Cambodia.

(A very wet morning to start the day)
(A glass of Route 41 iced cappuccino)

Stopped for lunch and prayer break at Thung Son PTT. Refuelled at O'Valley Surat Thani then rode direct to Chumphon in the rain. Checked in Nana Buri Hotel at Baht800/night. Had roti telur dinner at Fareeda Restaurant.

(A cozy hotel near a Muslim Restaurant and mosque)

Day 03: Chumphon - Kanchanaburi

"It's the friends we meet along life's road who help us appreciate the journey..."

(Flash flood in Petchaburi town)

Day 03: 25 Nov 2017 (Saturday)
Route: Chumphon – Cha-am - Kanchanaburi
Distance: 478 km
Hotel: Luxury Hotel, Kanchanaburi

Started riding after breakfast. Lunch and prayer break was at Husna Restaurant in Cha-am. Along the way to kanchanaburi there were flash floods everywhere because of the heavy rain.

(The huge bird statue near Prachap Khiri Khan)
(Lunch break in Cha-am)

Arrived Kanchaburi around 5.00 pm. Planned to stay the night at River Kwai Hotel but it was full. Most hotels were full too because of the peak season and also there were some major events held in town. The largest biking adventure tour event in Asia was also held in the area of Srinakarin Dam about 40 km from town.

Decided to stay the night in Luxury Hotel, our favorite boutique hotel for Baht600/night. Walked quite a distance to the night market for Nasi Ayam dinner, Bought Thai durian which tasted not as good as ours.

(Looking for lodging in Kanchanaburi)

Day 04: Kanchanaburi - Phitsanulok

"This life is a constant journey of growing and refining who we are..."

(WWII Bridge over the River Kwai

Day 04: 26 Nov 2017 (Sunday)
Route: Kanchanaburi – Chai Nat - Phitsanulok
Distance: 428 km
Hotel: @me.2 Hotel, Phitsanulok

After breakfast, rode to the River Kway Bridge for some photo shots. On the way to Phitsanulok detoured to Chai Nat and headed to the Nasi Ayam Restaurant but they were out of food. The same situation, the last time we came.

(The KKB gang)
(WWII Exhibition at River Kwai)

Instead, had seafood fried rice at a Seafood Floating Restaurant by the Chao Phraya River. Late afternoon we checked in @me.2 Hotel in Phitsanulok for Baht700/night. Dinner was at a Muslim Restaurant near the Pakistan Mosque.

After dinner we had an hour of strong foot massage somewhere near the hotel.

(Chow Phraya River at Chai Nat)
(Lunch at a Floating Seafood Restaurant)

Day 05: Phitsanulok - Petchabun

"Sometimes it's the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination. - Drake

(Phu Tubberk at an altitude of 1,560 m)

Day 05: 27 Nov 2017 (Monday)
Route: Phitsanulok - Route 12 - Phu Tubberk - Khao Kho - Petchabun
Distance: 265 km
Hotel: Smile@me Place Hotel, Petchabun

Breakfast roti telur near the Pakistan Mosque. Rode the twisting roads of Route 12 then to Phu Tubberk. Had seafood fried rice lunch at Phu Tubberk Mountain Restaurant. Rode the twisties from Phu Tubberk to Khao Kho. This was our 2nd biking trip to Phu Tubberk and Khao Kho this year. Hotels in both Phu Tubberk and Khao Kho quoted above Baht1000/night because of peak season, so decided to ride to Petchabun and stayed the night there.

(A panoramic view from the peak)
(The gang at Phu Tubberk)
(The campsite near the peak) 

It was already dark when we reached Petchabun. Went to Aminah Restaurant to have dinner but the Restaurant was already closed. Fortunately the owner was willing to prepare seafood fried rice for seven hungry bikers.

Checked in Smile@me Place Hotel in Petchabun for Baht350/night.

(From Phu Tubberk to Khao Kho)

Day 06: Petchabun - Ayutthaya

“Taking the journey towards ourselves is the hardest journey we have to make in this life and yet the most courageous...” - Mimi Novic

(Riding the alternative route to Ayutthaya)

Day 06: 28 Nov 2017 (Tuesday)
Route: Petchabun - Ayutthaya
Distance: 278 km
Hotel: Rose Gardens Hotel, Ayutthaya

Rode out of Petchabun and on the way stopped at Fai Rose Restaurant for breakfast. Rode direct to Ayutthaya and had lunch at Khiua Muslim Restaurant. We stopped at one Honda Showroom then later checked in Rose Gardens Hotel at Baht550/night.

(Breakfast at Fai Rose Restaurant)
(A colourful mosque along the route)
(Historical Parks in Ayutthaya)

Tonight we rented a tuk-tuk for Baht400 return trip to Pak Wan Halal Restaurant for dinner. Dinner was not as good as expected.

(Spoon and fork container)
(Traditional massage session)

Day 07: Ayutthaya - Koh Kong

"The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams..." - Oprah Winfrey

(Border crossing at Had Lek)

Day 07: 29 Nov 2017 (Wednesday)
Route: Ayutthaya – Chantaburi - Koh Kong
Distance: 476 km
Hotel: City Hotel, Koh Kong 

We had breakfast together with the gang at Khiua Muslim Restaurant. This morning we split from the rest and rode solo towards Thailand/Cambodia border at Had Lek. The rest of the KKB gang will ride back to Malaysia.

(Riding out of Ayutthaya)

The suburb of Bangkok was heavy with traffic. Reached Chantaburi late afternoon and had lunch in one Pakistan Restaurant in town. Performed our prayers in the restaurant before heading towards the Thailand/Cambodia border.

(Lunch break in Chantaburi)
(Riding towards Thailand/Cambodia border)
(Some major road works along the route)

Border crossing at both borders was swift and efficient. Submitted the usual documentations at the Had Lek Thailand border and no fee was paid here. At Chan Yeam Cambodia border paid Baht100 each for entry card and passport stamping. No conveyance was needed for our motorbike. The border business hours was from 8.00 am to 10.00 pm.

(Swift border crossing process)

It was already dark when we entered Cambodia. There was no toll at Koh Kong Bridge. Checked in Koh Kong City hotel for USD15/night. Feeling tired, we had packed fried rice for dinner in the room.

Day 08: Koh Kong - Phnom Penh

"Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventures..."

(The dusty road of Sre Ambel)

Day 08: 30 Nov 2017 (Thursday)
Route: Koh Kong - Kampot – Prek Chak/Ha Tien - Phnom Penh 
Distance: 447 km
Hotel: Boeung Meas Guesthouse, Phnom Penh 

Breakfast was at the Muslim Restaurant at the Port. After refueling we started riding towards Kampot. The road was quite good with minimal traffic. 

(The Koh Kong Bridge in the background)
(The fishermen boats at the pier)
(Floating restaurants along the river)
(Passing through the National Park)

The traffic became busy once we neared Sre Ambel. At the Sihanoukville/Kampot junction we nearly missed being hit by an overtaking tanker. Luckily we stopped and jumped off the bike to avoid being hit. A few locals stopped to assist and get our bike upright again. From then on we rode carefully as the road was full of lorries overtaking each other recklessly without much care about other vehicles.

(Coffee break at Sre Ambel)
(The KeTaM taking a rest, too)

Reached Kampot in time for lunch. A local guy helped us locate a Muslim Restaurant near Masjid Al-Kamar. After performing our prayers at the mosque we rode direct to Prek Chak, the Cambodia/Vietnam border to try our luck to enter Vietnam with our bike. 

(Riding on the right side of the road)
(Crossing many bridges)
(Paddy drying on the hot tarmac)
(A white horse statue at the roundabout)
(One of the many mosques by the highway)

At Ha Tien Vietnam border, we were allowed entry but without our bike. We had to engage a local guide if we want to ride our bike into Vietnam, which could cost us a lot.

(KeTaM was denied entry into Vietnam)
(Prek Chak Cambodia boder)
(Ha Tien Vietnam Custom and Immigration Complex)
(Will enter Vietnam through other means)

Decided to stay the night in Phnom Penh and had to ride in a massive traffic jam which started 60 km from town. Checked in Boeung Meas Guesthouse situated near Masjid Al-Serkal at USD13/night.

(Riding on un-tarmac short cut road)
(Masjid Al-Serkal next to our hotel)