"There's nothing bigger in life than the little things..." - Vanilla Sky
|(Absorbing the serenity of Koh Lanta...)|
15 Sept 2012 (Saturday)
At midnight, eight of us on six bikes consisting of 3 Versys and 3 non-Versys (GSA, Tenere, Vulcan) gathered at Sg Buluh R&R before we started our long-hauled journey. Although it was in the wee hour, the traffic was unusually heavy. We had our usual refueling and rest stops at Simpang Pulai, Juru and Changloon. After completing insurance and money exchange business we entered Thailand through Bukit Kayu Hitam.
|(The 3 non-Versys bikes...)|
It was still early in the morning but there were bus-loads of tourists crossing the border. Almost all counters were opened to cater for the large crowd but the immigration clearance was extremely slow. Once cleared, we had roti telor for breakfast at Restaurant Haji in Danok and got ourselves ready for the long ride to Koh Lanta passing through Pathaloong and Trang.
|(Hot, delicious grilled chicken for lunch...)|
|(The ferry for Koh Lanta islands hopping...)|
This time of the year the weather was most unpredictable. Scorching hot and dry at some places, windy with heavy showers in other areas. We by-passed Trang town and took the rural road and had ayam golek for lunch before we headed to the ferry terminal.
|(A short ride in the scorching heat...)|
|(Stretching back and legs...)|
Koh Lanta is located approximately 70 km from Krabi Town. It consists of two major islands, the larger, more populated Koh Lanta Yai (Commonly known as simply Koh Lanta) and the smaller Koh Lanta Noi, as well as several minor islands. The Koh Lanta Yai has attractive white sandy beaches, splendid scenery; coastlines have more than 70 small islands and plenty with forest, coral reefs and under water life. The island is typically mangroves; coral rimmed beaches; and rugged tree covered hills.
|(A welcoming signage...)|
|(Serene, undisturbed sandy beach...)|
|(A typical fisherman's hut...)|
We had to take 2 ferries to cross to Koh Lanta Yai. There was no waiting time to board the ferries as they are always available for people commuting between the mainland to the two islands.
|(A nice homely beach resort...)|
|(A clean and cheap accomodation...)|
We checked in Lanta Seafront Resort and had time for a short rest. We later got the owner of the resort to ferry us in his Hi-Lux to a small muslim restaurant for a sumptuous tomyam dinner.
|(Hitching a ride at the back of a pick-up...)|
16 Sept 2012 (Sunday)
Low-key development and unspoiled nature are Koh Lanta's main attractions. But Its scenic beauty may not quite compete with some other islands such as Phuket or Koh Samui. However, if you're looking for complete peace and quiet away from the bustling tourist areas, with a few home comforts, here is the place to be...
|(A group photo in front of the resort...)|
|(Packing and getting ready to ride...)|
By 8:00 am we checked out of the resort and had a heavy nasi kerabu breakfast in a small warong. We then took the ferries out of Koh Lanta and rode towards Hatyai.
|(Breakfast at one Muslim restaurant...)|
|(Riding out of Koh Lanta...)|
Unaffected by tourism, the locals still earn their living from, prawn farming and fishing. We stopped along the route to buy the famous Koh Lanta ikan kering and belacan. We also stopped at one of the road-side stalls to taste the sweet Thai pineapples and mangoes at quite a reasonable price.
|(Products of the many local cottage industry...)|
|(Another stop at the Pineapple stall...)|
We reached Hatyai early and checked in the Ambassador Hotel and had our lunch at a nearby Muslim restaurant. After a good rest, we walked a short distance to Le Gardens Hotel and had a 2-hour strong Thai massage to relief tired muscles. Later we had pulut durian and teh tarik at one of the night stalls. Before we walked back to our hotel we bought some souvenir t-shirts for the kids and grand-daughters...
|(Pulut durian and mangoes for dinner...)|
|(A therapeutic Thai massage...)|
17 Sept 2012 (Monday)
We checked out by 7:00 am and rode direct to Danok for border clearance. It was still early and we managed to beat the crowd. The ride back was smooth although there was quite a massive traffic jam along the way because of the long week-end holiday...
|(The Ambassador Hotel, Hatyai...)|
Date: 15 - 17 September, 2012
Route: KL - Bukit Kayu Hitam -Koh Lanta - Hatyai - Bukit Kayu Hitam - KL
Bikers' gang: Mus/Mun, Din/Yati, Chon, Syed, Zaini and Fifi
Total distance: 1,650 km