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…

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Q7 4-Nation 4x4 Trip

"If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but by all means keep moving..." - Martin Luther King Jr.

(The Bigfoot crossing the Thailand/Cambodia border)

For some, overland border crossing from Thailand to Cambodia could be a painful experience.

We had crossed the Thailand/Cambodia border with our motorbike a few times either at Aranyaprathet/Poi Pet border or Hat Lek/Cham Yeam border and without much hassle.

This year we decided to go for our annual 4-Nation Kembara a little early. Instead of riding our motorbike, we will be driving our Hi-Lux 4x4. We planned to drive north and pass through a few towns in Thailand then enter Cambodia through Hat Lek/Cham Yeam border and stay in Kong Kong for a few days and visit the attractions there. We may detour along the way and visit the border towns of Myanmar.

(Singkhorn Pass at Thailand/Myanmar border)
(Koh Kong Bridge in Cambodia)

Q7 4-Nation 4x4 Trip
Malaysia - Thailand - Myanmar border - Cambodia
Date: 11 - 19 September 2018
Total Distance: 4,706 km

Q7 4ND Day 01: Changloon - Phuket

"To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself..." - Søren Kierkegaard

(Lunch break at Thung Song R&R)

Date: 11 Sep 2018 (Tuesday)
Route: Changloon – Phuket
Hotel: Phuket Boomerang Inn

Border crossing at Bukit Kayu Hitam/Sadao was smooth. Drove on route 41 and then route 44 to Phuket. On the way stopped for lunch and prayer at Thung Song R&R. Arrived early in Patong Beach and checked in Phuket Boomerang Inn for 2 nights for Baht700 per night.

(My favorite broken neck salted fish)
(Simple lunch to fill hungry tummies)
(Crossing the Sarasin Bridge to Phuket)

We drove to Makham Bay and had Phadthai dinner at Darinee stall and recce Dolphin Pier. Sara’s Cruise Ship, The Voyager of the Sea will be docking in Phuket tomorrow and we will be bringing the grandchildren to Panwa Beach for a swim and then to the Aquarium if we have the time.

(The main road to Patong Beach)
(Phadthai dinner at Makham Bay)

Q7 4ND Day 02: Phuket

"Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant..." - Robert Louis Stevenson

(Alia and grandpa at Panwa Beach)

Date: 12 Sep 2018 (Wednesday)
Route: Phuket Island
Hotel: Phuket Boomerang Inn

Had our breakfast at a Muslim stall near the masjid. As we were early we drove leisurely to Makham Bay which is half an hour’s drive from Patong Beach.

(Masjid Nurul Islam of Patong Beach)
(A small eatery with varieties for breakfast)
(Will never miss my favorite pulut pagi)

We had time to visit some lookout points for some photo shots. First lookout point was the Makham Jetty. From here tourists could board speed-boats to smaller islands off Phuket.

(A good parking spot at Makham Bay Jetty)
(Waiting for the Voyager of the Sea to dock)
(Tourists ready for the island hopping trips)
Next we drove uphill to Phu Chomdaw Viewpoint where we could see the Voyager of the Sea Cruise Ship docking in deep waters. 

(A secluded viewpoint on top of the hill)
(The Voyager of the Sea from the viewpoint)

We waited for the kids and grandchildren at the Dolphin Pier and watched the Tender Boats ferrying tourists from the Cruise Ship. There were many tour buses, taxis and tuk-tuk waiting at the pier offering tours and sightseeing services. To avoid being hassled by taxis, tourists were advised to pre-arranged a transport to take them wherever they want to go. If not, what you pay to the taxi driver is down to your bargaining skills.

(A cool shade at the Dolphin Pier)
(The Cruise Ship docking in deep waters)
(One of the Tender Boats ferrying tourists)

The kids were already in their swimming suits when they disembarked so we drove direct to a peace and quiet secluded bay on Panwa Beach for a dip in the pristine clear water. There were not many people on the beach and the weather was not too hot. The only set back was that there was no public bath in the vicinity. After the swim, we had Nasi Goreng and Phadthai lunch at Darinee Muslim Stall.

(A secluded bay of Panwa Beach)
(Shallow clear water for the kids)
(Alia helping her dad building a sand castle)
(Alia and Arif buried in the sand)

We visited the kid-friendly Aquarium with fish and coral reefs displays, plus an underwater tunnel and a touch pool. To while away the time, we later had an hour of strong therapeutic foot massage. By 4.00 pm we sent the kids to the pier where a Tender Boat will ferry them back to the Cruise Ship for their onward journey back to Singapore.

(Alia excited to visit the Aquarium)
(Fitri and the Flying Fish)
(Grandma and grandpa with the giant octopus)
(Beautiful Angel fishes in the aquarium)
(A funny looking fish)
(A huge garoupa fish)
(A short video with a mermaid as the narrator)
(The end of our visit to the Aquarium)
(Tourists buying souvenirs before boarding the Cruise Ship)

Tonight’s dinner was banana crepe bought from the road side stall. Tonight we slept early as tomorrow we will be driving out of Phuket early towards the north and continue our Kembara 4x4 trip.

Q7 4ND Day 03: Phuket - Chaam

"Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations..." - Oliver Goldsmith

(A township at Singkhorn Pass Myanmar border)

Date: 13 Sep 2018 (Thursday)
Route: Phuket - Singkhon Pass - Chaam
Hotel: Chaam Villa Hotel

We had breakfast of Nasi Goreng at Pakcik stall near the masjid. We drove on route 415 and route 401 towards Surat Thani then on route 4 heading towards Chumphon. We stopped to buy a few boxes of salted eggs at Ban Nai Huai. They are from Surat Thani’s Chaiya district where they are famed for their distinctly red yolks and having the right balance of saltiness. Later we stopped for lunch and prayers at Khun Sarai R&R.

(Buying salted eggs from a Muslim stall)
(The colorful millineal eggs)
(As usual, egg rice, soup, ulam and sambal for lunch)
(Khun Sarai R&R near Chumphon)

Before we reached Prachuap Khiri Khan we detoured towards Singkhorn Pass at Thailand /Myanmar border. The Singkhorn Pass is only open for Myanmar and Thai residents travelling either way for up to two days. It connects Mueang Prachap Khiri Khan with a very remote part of Myanmar.

(Making a detour to Singkhorn Pass, Myanmar border)
(A pass across Tenasserim Hill)
(The signage leading to Thailand/Myanmar Border)

This pass is on road 1039, about 14 km from the junction of Route 41. The road on the Burmese side leads to Myeik via Mawdaung and Tanintharyi, and has been recently been repaired. Singkhon Pass has been upgraded in infrastructure, public utilities, urban planning and landscaping.

(Arriving at the border in late afternoon)
(Motorcycle taxis available to transport those with border passes)
(The clock tower at Singkhorn Pass)

From the border we drove direct to Chaam and stayed overnight at Chaam Villa Hotel for Baht500 inclusive breakfast. Tonight we had banana pancake dinner from a Bangla stall near the hotel. It was raining very heavily throughout the night.

Q7 4ND Day 04: Chaam - Trat

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

(Driving on Rama IX Motorway bypassing Bangkok)

Date: 14 Sep 2018 (Friday)
Route: Chaam - Trat
Hotel: Trat Centre Hotel

We had breakfast in the hotel. The Chaam Villa Resort has expanded and took over the next building and caters for bus-loads of tourists.

(We overnight in the old wing of the villa)
(Chaam Beach is empty in the morning)
(Street vendors selling salted fish and local produce)

This morning we drove towards Trat via the Rama IX highway avoiding the normal traffic jam in Southern Bangkok which was fairly bad in the morning. We paid a total of Baht125 for the toll.

(The motorway pass for the tolled highway)
(Escaping the normal traffic of south Bangkok)
(Comfort break at the Motorway R&R)

Before we reached Chanthaburi, we stopped for lunch at Wang Chan Halal Restaurant in Rayong district. After refusing politely an offer to perform our prayer in the restaurant, Mr Daud, the owner of the restaurant helped to show us the direction to the nearest mosque. After lunch we visited and prayed at Wang Chan Mosque about 6 km from the restaurant.

(A Muslim Halal restaurant in Wang Chan)
(Fried Rice and Tomyam Kung for lunch)
(Masjid Nurul Huda of Wang Chan)

It was raining heavily all the way to Trat. It was already dark when we checked in Trat Centre Hotel for Baht650 inclusive breakfast.