"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's learning to dance in the rain..." -
|(A beautiful tranquil island...)|
It was a long public holiday combining the weekend with Maulidur Rasul and Thaipusam. The bikers gang decided to ride to Koh Phangan, a serene beautiful island in the Gulf of Thailand located in Surat Thani Province. It is famous for its full moon party at Haad Rin Beach and as a backpackers destination paradise. Koh Phangan has two sister islands: the larger Koh Samui to the south and the smaller Koh Tao to the north.
24 Jan 2013 (Thursday)
(KL - Hatyai)
The journey started with 7 bikes - Mus/Mun, Din/Yati, Munawar/Ros, Taufik, Zali, Rahim and Fazli. On the way, Rozlan joined us from Kangar. Syawal, Fadley and Sham joined us in Hatyai. Syed and Zaini who earlier rode to Koh Samui took a speed boat and joined us in Koh Phangan giving a final total of 13 bikes altogether.
|(T-shirt for the ride...)|
By 1630 completed border clearance at Bkt Kayu Hitam immigration. Reached Hatyai by 1800 and checked-in Grand Plaza Hotel. We had dinner at one muslim restaurant and later went to look for walkie talkies but to our disapointment all shops were closed. Some of us indulged in body or foot massages and later had late teh tarik session at one of the stalls in front of the hotel.
25 Jan 2013 (Friday)
(Hatyai - Koh Pangah)
0700 checked out and had Nasi Kerabu breakfast at Salma Restaurant. By 0900 headed towards Raja Ferry Terminal in Surat Thani and boarded the 1400 ferry. The weather was kind and the ocean was calm. The ferry ride took about 2 1/2 hours to reach the island of Koh Phangan.
|(A group photo at Raja Ferry Terminal...)|
|(First glimpse of Koh Phangan...)|
|(Our cozy chalet for 2 nights...)|
By 1800, with the assistance of Tawfik's girl friend Usanna, we checked-in the comfortable and homely Palm Beach Resort and rested well. Tonight we had seafood and kebab BBQ by the seaside while watching the beautiful sunset. After dinner rode to the Haad Rin beach for an hour of foot reflexology and watched the tourists crowd having a noisy pre full moon party on the beach. By the time we reached our hotel room, it was already past 0100.
|(A private beach at high tide...)|
|(Seafood and kebab BBQ...)|
|(Enjoying the delicious food...)|
|(A beautiful sunset...)|
26 Jan 2013 (Saturday)
Woke up late and had a light breakfast at the resort restaurant. The gang rode around the island, stopped at a lake where one can go for extreme wipe-out water activities, and after, stopped at the Mae Haad beach for a dip in the ocean. Those who didn't swim went for a round of foot massage or stayed under the shade watching people.
|(Our transport around the island...)|
|(One of the many beaches...)|
|(Chalets with cheap rentals...)|
|(A distance of off-roading...)|
|(The lake for extreme water sports...)|
|(A round of muay Thai boxing...)|
On the way back we had a hearty lunch at a muslim stall. Bought some t-shirts at the bazaar, collected our clothes from the laundry and rested in the room for a while.
|(Joining the party under a full moon...)|
|(A matching t-shirts...)|
At 2000 rode to the night market in town and bought some sourvenirs and light snacks. The night market was not crowded as many tourists have made their way to Haad Rin beach for the 'Full Moon Party' which starts from sunset to dawn. The gang rode to the beach to join the crowd. Through the coconut trees, the beach had a splendid view of the full moon. We later had a full body massage again at Ussana Spa and had light dinner of sardine sandwiches and banana pancakes. Met up with Syed and Zaini who came by speed boat from Koh Samui. Their return trip was at 0300 in the morning and they had ample time for body and foot massages.
|(Rendezvous @ Ussana's Spa...)|
|(One of the many street buskings...)|
|(Colorful t-shirts for sale...)|
27 Jan 2013 (Sunday)
(Koh Pangan - Hatyai)
This morning we overslept again. By 0830 the gang checked out and rode off to the muslim stall for a heavy nasi goreng brunch. Boarded the 1100 ferry to the main land and met Syed and Zaini at the Seatrans Ferry Terminal. They joined the convoy to Hatyai and will be staying a night there too. Reached Hatyai at 1800 and rested well. Bought a few walkie talkies to be used by the gang. Later we took 2 tuk-tuks for a sumptuous delicious seafood dinner somewhere in town.
|(Tourists waiting for outbound ferry...)|
|(Motorcycles waiting in line...)|
|(Parked on the ferry...)|
|(Raja Ferry Terminal...)|
28 Jan 2013 (Monday)
(Hatyai - KL)
Early morning we checked out of the hotel and rode to the Bazar to buy kacang, sotong and other tidbits. The border clearance at Bukit Kayu Hitam was efficient and fast. This morning none had breakfast so we decided to have brunch at a mamak restaurant in Changloon to fill growling tummies.
|(Mee goreng udang special...)|
It was fair weather when we rode south. We stopped to have lunch at Nur Zetty Restaurant at Changkat Jering, famous for their mee udang dishes. Met with the owner, Pak Su, who is also an ardent biker. After we performed our solat we rode to Simpang Pulai for refuelling. From there we split ways and rode in the heavy rain and stopped at Sg Buluh Hospital R&R for early dinner before we rode home.
We reached our apartment safely before maghrib, drenched wet, dead tired but happy...
Total Mileage: 1,780km
Route Taken: KL - Bkt Kayu Hitam - Hatyai - Koh Phangan - Hatyai - Bkt Kayu Kitam - KL
Bikers gang: Mus/Mun, Din/Yati, Munawar/Rose, Taufik, Zali, Rahim, Fazli, Rozlan, Syawal, Fadley, Sham, Syed, Zaini