Bless not only the roads but the bumps, they are all part of the journey...
|(Waiting for the ferry to Koh Samui...)|
|(Motobikes waiting in line...)|
From Danok we rode to the beautiful Samila Beach in Songkhla for a short rest and had a taste of the famous coconut ice-cream. Later, some of us got a chance to have photo shots with the famous golden mermaid statue by the beach.
|(Golden mermaid statue @ Samila Beach)|
Samila Beach is the most popular beach along the coast of Songkhla. Similar to Copenhagen, Samila Beach is characterized by a Golden Mermaid Statue with the view of islets of Koh Noo and Koh Maew in the background. According to Thai folklore, in the old days a mermaid appeared and sat on the rocky beach and combed her hair with a golden comb.
|(Paddy field with windmills in the background...)|
From Samila Beach we took the barge across Songkhla Lake (B20/bike). The barge could ferry about 15 cars, plus assorted motorcycles and pedestrians. We rode direct to Nakhon Si Thammarat and reached town only to realize that the hotel was over-booked and the group had to be split. We managed to get a few more rooms from another nearby hotel at a rate of B340/night. And once everyone settled down, we went to have a very late roti telor dinner at one of the night stalls.
4 February 2012 - Saturday
(Nakhon Si Thammarat - Koh Samui)
Nakhon Si Thammarat is one of the most ancient cities of Thailand and was once surrounded by the city wall. The wall spread from East to West, and North to South, enclosing an area of about one square kilometre. There were many gates and the gates to the east connected the town with the sea. Today only the northern gate still exists, together with a short stretch of the northern city wall.
|(The ancient city wall...)|
The gang checked out of the hotel at 10 am and went for the famous pulut ayam breakfast at a muslim restaurant somewhere near Mesjid Sallahuddin. After refueling, we rode towards Surat Thani and reached Seatran Ferry Pier in time to board the 1 pm ferry to Koh Samui (B250/rider and bike, B150/passenger). It took almost 1 1/2 hrs to reach the island.
|(On the ferry to Koh Samui...)|
Once we reached Koh Samui, while some of us went to look for accommodations, the rest went straight to a Muslim restaurant and had delicious nasi goreng for lunch. After checking-in Mercure Hotel at Chaweng Beach (B1800/night) we managed to have a much needed nap before we walked to a nearby Indian restaurant for a tandoori dinner. Later, we split ways when some of us wanted to indulge in an hour of soothing foot massage (B30/hour). Some went shopping at the street markets and the rest just lazed around listening to live music.
5 February 2012 - Sunday
|(Koh Samui Ferry terminal...)|
Koh Samui is an island off the east coast of the Kra Isthmus, close to the mainland Surat Thani town. It is Thailand's third largest island after Ko Chang and Phuket. It is rich with natural resources, white sandy coconut tree fringed beaches, coral reefs, tropical jungles and famous for its vibrant nightlife. It is surrounded by about sixty other islands,
|(Fishermen's boats along the prestine beach...)|
To allow our bikes a good rest, we agreed to rent a scooter each to ride around the island and visit popular tourist attractions. We started our ride early morning and stopped at a few attractions and waterfalls.
|(Beautiful view from Chaweng beach...)|
On the way back, we stopped to have an hour of thrilling ATV ride (B500 per person) and later went for a dip in the hotel swimming pool.
|(Spending 2 nights @ Mercure Hotel...)|
|(Group photo @ Mercure Hotel...)|
We checked out at 8 am, had nasi lauk breakfast then headed to the Jetty to board the 11 am ferry. We rode direct to Hatyai through the Songkhla route and checked in Grand Plaza Hotel at 6.30 pm. Dinner was nasi goreng at Hamid restaurant then after went for a 2 hour relaxing body massage at the hotel spa to relieve tired muscles. Late at night, we went shopping for t-shirts and had teh tarik at one of the night stalls.
|(Last minute shopping..)|
7 February 2012 - Tuesday
(Hatyai - KL)
We had corn pie and coffee at McD for breakfast. The gang checked out at 10 am and rode direct to Danok for border clearance. After refueling we had lunch at Joe Cendol pulut restaurant before everyone rode off free and easy home.
There was quite a heavy traffic along the North-South highway but the ride was quite smooth. We reached home just before dusk, tired but happy.
|(A relaxing break)|
Route taken: KL – Danok – Nakhon Si Thammarat – Koh Samui – Hatyai – KL
Total mileage: 1,800 km