About Me

My photo
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I am married to my loving husband for more than 39 years now. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, until 12 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…

Monday, 24 December 2018

2018 travel in retrospect...

"Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world...” - Gustav Flaubert

Travel is about so much more than just the destination. It is about getting out in the world and doing something exciting. For the most part, the world is a pretty safe place for travelers. Whether you're travelling on a bike, bus, plane, train or boat, try to be aware of your surroundings.

After traveling the world for the past decades, I've learned a lot about staying safe and enjoyed every trips. Travel improves my mood and reduces stress. I notice that people who travel more frequently are more satisfied with their physical health and well-being.

Highlights from our 2018 travels:

Thailand: Phatthalung/ Prachuap Khiri Khan/ Kui Buri/ Petchabun/ Phu Tubberk/ Khao Kho/ Chai Nat/ Samut Songkhram/ Chumphon/ Ranong/ Phang Nga/ Phuket/ Chaam/ Trat/ Pattaya/ Rayong/ Krabi/ Pak Bara/ Sg Golok/ Narathiwat/ Pattani/ Songkhla/ Nakhon Si Thammarat/ Hatyai/ Betong
Cambodia: Koh Kong
Myanmar: Dan Singkhorn/ Isthmus of Kra
Turkey: Istanbul/ Kars
Georgia: Alhaltsikhe/ Khertvisi/ Tbilisi/Gori
Armenia: Gyumri/ Koyayk/ Lake Sevan/ Yerevan/ Ararat Plain,
Nargono Karabakh: Shushi/ Stephanakert
Azerbaijan: Baku/ Gobustan
Bugaria: Sofia
Iceland: Reykjavik/ Keflavik/ Hvergerdi/ Vik/Dyrhólaey/ Reynisfjara/ Skógafoss/ Eyjafjallajökull
Ireland (S): Dublin/ Liscanor/ Clane
Ireland (N): Belfast

Yes, another year has passed and I still have a lot more in my bucket list.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

A free and easy year-end ride...

“Traveling puts things into perspective. It allows us to realize that there are far bigger things than our problems…” 

Date: 7 – 15 December 2018
Route: KL – Phatthalung – Kui Buri – Phetchabun –Chainat – Samut Songkhram - Chumphon – Krabi – Pak Bara - KL
Total Distance: 4,640km

A few weeks before our planned year-end ride we shared our routing with the gang. Yami/Zue and Fauzilan/CT decided to join us in this trip. Another couple, Ajilong/Sha would be joining us along the way as they started riding a day later.

The first two days we will be riding together with five TCB riders, Mat Put, Zali, Akbar, Pok Deng and Sir Taufik until Kui Buri where we will split ways. The TCB riders will be riding into Cambodia through the Had Lek border and later into Laos through the Stung Treng border.

Riding a motorcycle is exhilarating for many people. One can experience a sense of freedom and adrenaline release while admiring the beautiful scenery along the way. As usual, to make long rides less boring, we visited some attractions along the way to break the monotony and made the journey more interesting. Attractions visited during our trips:

(Route 41, Phatthalung)
(Phu Tubberk Highlands, Phetchabun)
(Route 12, Khao Kho)
(Fantasy Resort, Chai Nat)
(Mae Khlong Train Market, Samut Songkhram)
(Rajabakhti Park, Hua Hin)
(Dan Singkhon Myanmar Border, Prachuap Khiri Khan)
(Rest & Recreation Area, Thap Sakae)
(Isthmus of Kra, Kra Buri Ranong)
(Myanmar is just across the river)
(Samet Nangshe Viewpoint, Phang Nga Bay)
(Khao Tanan and Sunflower Field, Thung Bu Lang)
(Pak Bara Beach, Satun)

Day 01: KL - Phatthalung

“Traveling has humbled me and has broadened my perspective in so many ways. Traveling has given me a sense of gratefulness for the comforts that I am able to enjoy…” 

(The KeTaM, ready to tayar golek)

Day 01: 7 Dec 2018 (Friday) 
Route: KL – Bukit Kayu Hitam - Phatthalung
Distance: 623km (7:24hrs)
Hotel: Phatthalung Chaikanathani Hotel

For the next ten days I will be skipping my physiotherapy sessions for my frozen shoulder and enjoy the ride.

By 8.30 am we were already at Rawang R&R and met with the rest of the bikers. After breakfast and refueling, eight bikes started riding towards north. Stopped at Simpang Pulai to refuel and a short rest. Bought some giant karipap to eat later as we will be skipping lunch.

(Briefing and reciting of doa before the start of the ride)
(Three of the four lady bikers)
(Cloudy sky and clear traffic)

After refueling full tank at Petronas Changloon, we completed documentations at one of the coffee shops under the bridge and changed some bahts. We expected some delays at the border as there were many cars and motorbikes entering the border through Bukit Kayu Hitam border today.

(Refuel and a short break at Simpang Pulai)

The Thai border clearance took us almost four hours to complete. The backlog was at the custom clearance. Too many vehicles entering Thailand and only a few open counters to attend to the large crowd. As it was almost dark, we decided to have early dinner at Restoran Kak Jah in Danok and performed our prayers there.

(Sweating buckets at the border)
(A large crowd and a very long queue)

We rode direct to Phatthalung, about 151km from Bukit Kayu Hitam. Arrived around 8.00 pm and checked in at Chaikanathani Hotel Phatthalung for B600/night.

Day 02: Phatthalung - Kui Buri

“Better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times…”

(The gang at Route 41, cheerful and energetic)

Day 02: 8 Dec 2018 (Saturday)
Route: Phattalung - Prachuap Khiri Khan – Kui Buri
Distance: 587km (7:03hrs)
Hotel: Kui Buri 3BB Budget Resort

(Our favorite lodging in Phatthalung)
(A large dining area for special functions)
(The heavy rain cleansed the dust and grime)
(A morning briefing in the light drizzle)

It was raining heavily early this morning.

We had nasi goreng for breakfast at the Muslim Restaurant in front of Masjid Darul Islam Phatthalung. We had to wait for a while as the the owner had to fetch the cook from her house. While waiting, we humored ourselves by allowing the owner and his brother to interview and took video of the gang. He later uploaded our photos and video in his fb and thanked us for visiting his stall.

(Masjid Darul Islam in Phatthalung)
(The gang after breakfast at the Muslim stall)
(Riding out of Phatthalung in the rain)

It was already late when we started riding in the rain and stopped at Route 41 for photo shots and bought t-shirts at a discount using Pok Deng's BMW member card. As a compliment, we received free Route 41 stickers.

(A brief stop at Route 41 rest area)
(A souvenir shop and cafe)
(Getting ready for onward journey)

It stopped raining and the weather was getting better. On the way to Khun Sarai we stopped to refuel at PTT O’Valley Surat Thani. We used to stay at the O'Valley Hotel situated behind the PTT. The room was a little bit pricey but the Tom Yam Kung and crispy fried garupa dishes served in the hotel restaurant were very tasty and yummy.

(Riding in sunny clear weather)
(Coffee stop at the Amazon Cafe)
(A tall glass of iced cappuccino to quench the thirst)
(Suddenly it started to rain heavily again)

We were drenched wet when we arrived at Khun Sarai R&R in Chumphon. There are two Muslim eatery areas at this R&R but we loved to have our meals in the main building. The sambal belacan dan fresh ulam are complimentary. After a hearty late lunch of hot steamy soup and omelette rice, we performed our prayers at the surau. There are two Muslim praying areas situated on both sides of the main building.

(Khun Sarai R&R in Chumphon)
(My favorite omelette rice and soup)
(Drenched to the skin and shivering cold)
(Riding with care on a slippery wet road)

We started riding in the heavy rain towards north. It was already dark and still raining heavily when we reached Prachuap Khiri Khan. We planned to have dinner before we check-in the hotel but unfortunately Maria Halal Restaurant was closed. According to the owner, the shop was struck by strong storm last night and damaged parts of the roof. We tried to look for other halal restaurants nearby but none were opened. 

(Arriving at the resort in the dark, tired and wet)
(A small cozy clean room)

To add to our list of bad luck today, all hotels along the beach were fully booked. We started looking for a lodging along the route north and found a small budget hotel in Kui Buri. We were lucky that there were still rooms available. The 3BB Resort cost us B400/night.

We were not very hungry, so we had a mug of hot Horlick before we retired for the night.

Day 03: Kui Buri - Phetchabun

”Adventure may hurt you but monotony will kill you…” 

(Bronze horses @ Amazon Cafe, Phetchaburi)

Day 03: 9 Dec 2018 (Sunday)
Route: Kui Buri - Suphan Buri - Phetchabun
Distance: 620km (8:15hrs)
Hotel: Petchabun Hotel @Me Place 

(A budget hotel along highway 41 at Kui Buri)
(Getting ready to continue our ride north)
(Having our last coffee break together)

We had breakfast and refuelled at a PTT in Kui Buri. From here on we split ways with the five bikers who were heading towards Cambodia and Laos. To avoid Bangkok traffic we took a detour and stopped for a late lunch at the Halal Restaurant in Suphan Buri and performed our prayers there. We packed some food for tonight’s dinner as we would be arriving in Phetchabun late at night. We were confident that our favorite halal restaurant in Phetchabun would be closed by then.

(The gang will split ways from here on)
(The three bikes will ride direct to Phetchabun)
(Heading north avoiding Bangkok traffic)

We rode from Suphan Buri to Phetchabun via Sing Buri and stopped to refuel and rest along the way. There were many road blocks and detours in Suphan Buri as they were having some sort of community events around town. Arrived at Phetchabun around 8.30 pm and checked in Phetchabun Hotel @ Me Place at B350/night.

(A brightly decorated road leading to Phetchabun)
(A major accident on the highway to town)

Hotel @Me Place is situated in the middle of Phetchabun town and a walking distance to the bazaar and town attractions. We had stayed at this hotel a few occasions on our previous trips. The hotel is cheap and comfortably clean. It also provides coin-operated washing machines for travelers to wash dirty laundry. It even offers a free flow of coffee and hot water at the reception area.

(Our favorite hotel in Phetchabun)
(Safety stickers at the glass door)