About Me

My photo
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I am married to my loving husband for more than 37 years now. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, until 10 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…

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Day 1 : Ride to Koh Lipe


"Don't compare your progress with that of others. We all need our own time to travel our own distance..."

Sunrise to Sunset Ride



Day 1 - Thursday, 30 Jan 2014
(KL - Padang Besar - Pak Bara - Koh Lipe)

We met with the rest of the gang at Sungai Buluh R&R around midnight. There were supposed to be 12 bikes altogether but 2 couples could not join us at the last minute. We started our ride around 1:30 am, refueling at Simpang Pulai and stopped at Hutan Kampung Toll Plaza for subuh prayers.

(Midnight rendezvous at the R&R)

It was still early in the morning when we reached Changloon and settled insurance and money exchange. We headed towards Padang Besar and stopped at a roadside warong for a heavy breakfast.

(Bikes lining up in Padang Besar)
(Syed, Syawal and Taufik waiting for their orders)
Although it was a public holiday, the Immigration and Custom clearance was fast as there were not many people. By 9:00 am we started riding towards Pak Bara where we would take the ferry to Koh Lipe. 

(Smooth border clearance)
(Waiting for the rest to settle custom declarations)

The trunk road from Padang Besar led us towards Hatyai first before we took the junction to Satun. If we had entered Thailand through Wang Kelian, we would have saved some time as the route led direct to Pak Bara.

(Riding the trunk road towards Hatyai)
(A long way to reach Pak Bara)
(Heading towards Satun)
(Signage to the right route)

By the time we reached Pak Bara the gang had split into 3 groups. At the Ferry Terminal we settled the ferry tickets and paid for the hotel booking while waiting for the rest to arrive. The ferry ticket was b800 return per person and the hotel room was b2000 per night. There was no refund for the booking of rooms for the two couples who had canceled the trip so the rest had to bear the cost of the extra rooms.

(Pak Bara Pier)
(Travel and tour operators at Pak Bara)

We parked our motorbikes at a secured parking area for a fee of b100 per night. We were running a little late to board the 11:30 am ferry but were lucky that the ferry operator waited for us. If we missed it, the next ferry to Koh Lipe was scheduled at 3:00 pm. The journey took almost 2 hours. The water was a little choppy so we slept all the way to avoid being sea-sick.

(2-hour ferry ride from Pak Bara Pier)
(Arriving at Koh Lipe shore line)
(On the transit barge waiting for the long-tail boat)
(Happy faces, all smiles)

Before reaching Koh Lipe, we had to transit on a stationary open barge and waited for a long-tail boat to take us ashore for a fee of b70 per person.

We checked in the Varin Beach Resort situated on one of the three beaches of Koh Lipe. Koh Lipe has three main beaches - Sunset Beach, Sunrise Beach and Pattaya Beach. Accommodation varies from grass huts to air-conditioned bungalows and can be found scattered on these beaches.

(A long-tail boat to transport pessengers)
(Beautiful corals off the shore)

(Crystal clear water, good for snorkelling)

We had a late lunch of seafood fried rice from the hotel cafe before taking a rest in the room. As we had not slept since yesterday, we had a long resting nap in the air-conditioned room and woke up late, just missing the beautiful sunset.

(A welcoming drink, waiting to check-in)
(Snorkeling and diving instruments for rent)
(Our lodging for the night)

Some of the gang skipped napping and walked around the island. It is possible to walk around the entire island in a little over an hour on a small concrete road. There was no cars on the island but there were a few motorbikes but none was for rent. Long-tail boats will take you from any point on the island to any other point on the island for only b50.


(Planning to explore the island at night)
(Koh Lipe Walking Streets)
(The crowd at the Walking Street)
(Plenty of boutique shops and eateries)

As we were staying only a night on the island we missed the opportunity to scuba dive and snorkel around Koh Lipe and its neighboring islands. The calm, clear water makes Koh Lipe ideal for snorkeling and there are large varieties of fishes around the coral just a few meters deep, straight off all of the beaches.

(Munawar and Rose waiting for their dinner)

(The three stooges, still undecided where to eat)
(Plenty of finger food to choose from)
(Foreign ice-cream vendors)

At night we joined the crowd and visited Koh Lipe Walking Street. The street is about a kilometer long and vibrant with lights and live music. There were many coffee-houses, Internet cafes and souvenir shops along the main street. There were also many seafood restaurants and plenty of Muslim restaurants serving rice and local dishes or western cuisine.

 
(Plenty of bars and bistros)

(Many halal restaurants too)
(Variety of local and western dishes)
(Live music almost every night)

As we were not that hungry, we chose to have banana pancakes for dinner instead. After dinner we had an hour of wonderful foot reflexology.

(Yeay... we are here on Koh Lipe)
(A relaxing massage, a good sleep after)

No comments: