"Every day may not be good but there is something good in every day..."
|(A t-shirt for the event)|
Friday - 28 February 2014
(KL - Hatyai)
Welly Advance Bikers had organized an overland ride to Hatyai and Songkhla over the weekend. There were 27 motorbikes participating in this ride and the tour of Hatyai and Songkhla was planned and managed by Ujang and Aman of ABAR.
|(Riding out of KL in a moderate traffic)|
|(Riders in a convoy heading towards PLUS highway)|
The ride started around 10.30 am from Welly Batu Caves and stopped for refueling at R&R Tapah and Juru. We had our nasi kandar lunch at Restaurant Pelita in Auto-city Juru. After lunch we continued riding and picked up some riders at Sg Dua Toll Plaza and Changloon.
At the CTC Changloon we bought our group insurance and exchanged some bahts. Some of us had time to perform our prayers at the surau before we headed to the border. Border clearance at Bkt Kayu Hitam was quick and efficient.
|(Having heavy lunch at Restaurant Pelita)|
|(Ciggie break while waiting at Sg Dua Toll Plaza)|
|(The BP Grand Tower Hotel, recently renovated)|
We reached BP Grand Tower Hotel in Hatyai quite early in the afternoon and managed to escape the heavy evening traffic. After checking-in and rested for a while, the gang walked a short distance to Hamid Restaurant for a seafood dinner. After dinner it was free and easy activity for all. Some went shopping around the ‘Pink Lady’ area, while others indulged in a good foot reflexology or a full body massage.
Way after midnight, we had teh tarik at Pak Aji stall before we walked back to our hotel.
|(Sumptuous Thai food at Hamid's)|
Saturday - 01 March 2014
(Hatyai - Songkhla)
We had breakfast in the hotel cafe and gathered in the lobby for a short briefing about the day’s tour itinerary. We started riding out of Hatyai town and headed towards Songkhla to visit a few of the tourist attractions.
|(A clear view of Hatyai from the 11th floor)|
|(Lepak2 while waiting for the rest)|
|(A group photo, one for the album)|
|(Riding with care in the vibrant colored city)|
|(The gang waiting for others at a junction)|
Chang Puak Camp, Hatyai
Our first stop was at the Chang Puak Camp. There was no entrance fees but you have to pay B500 for a 30-minutes elephant ride or you could buy a basketful of banana for B100 to feed the elephants. There are other activities offered here such as a shooting range, archery range or ATV ride for a fee each.
The weather was extremely hot for the elephant ride so most of us spent our time sitting under the shade drinking cool fruit juice. Some went to test their skills in target shootings and archery.
|(First stop, the Elephant Camp)|
|(The entrance to the Camp)|
|(Bikers taking a group photo at the entrance)|
|(Long lost friends, Nazdani and Mus)|
|(Bikers waiting in line for target shooting)|
|(ATV ride for a fee)|
|(Ready to ride to Songkhla town)|
Samila Beach, Songkhla
We rode towards Songkhla town and stopped at Samila Beach for some photo shots at the Golden Mermaid Statue, the symbol of Samila. Samila is well-known for its white sandy beach and it is peaceful to stroll along the beach. There are many street hawkers selling fresh-cut local fruits and finger foods. One of the local delicacies is the delicious coconut ice-cream with a choice of assorted toppings of nuts, raisins, bread crumbs and more.
|(Taking an alternative route)|
|(Diami on his easy ride at Samila Beach)|
|(A short visit to Samila Beach)|
|(Tourist posing with the Golden Mermaid)|
Tang Kuan Hill Lift Station
A short distance from Samila beach is the Tang Kuan Hill Lift Station where one can reach the hill top for B30 by cable lift. Or if one is energetic enough, one can can climb the 305 steps to reach the top. A panoramic view of Songkhla city and the Songkhla Lake can be enjoyed from the hill top. On the hill top there is a Dvaravati Chedi housing the Buddha’s relics that was built during the Nakhon Si Thammarat Empire. There is also an old light house atop the hill.
|(The entrance to the Hill Lift Station)|
|(Waiting in line while your photo is being snapped)|
|(The inclining lift track)|
|(A Devaravati Chedi)|
|(An old light house atop the hill)|
|(A neat row of bells)|
|(Gold bells for Lovers' wishes)|
|(A story of love...)|
|(A panoramic view of Songkhla)|
|(The temple complex on top of the hill)|
|(Another view of the light house)|
Songkhla Lake Barge Crossing
Songkhla Lake, the only natural lake in Thailand is a freshwater lake with brackish water near the mouth. There are several islands across from its mouth including island of Ko Yo. Barges are available to ferry commuters from the mainland to the islands and long-tail boat services are available for touring the lake.
|(Entering the pier and paying the toll)|
|(Cars and motorbikes boarding the open barge)|
|(A jovial Mat Saleh on board)|
|(Packed to the maximum on a short journey)|
|(Nazdani, his first over-land trip)|
Ko Yo island
Ko Yo island is a small island in the Songkhla Lake and one of the important tourist attractions of Songkhla. The island can be reached via Tinsulanond Bridge which formed part of Highway 408. It is the longest concrete bridge in Thailand, with two parts, the first connects to the southern coast of Ko Yo, the second connects to the northern shore. We had our lunch at one of the famous seafood restaurants on this island.
|(The Mat Saleh on a 3-wheeler)|
|(Riding on the Tinsulanond Bridge)|
|(Having lunch at a sea-food restaurant)|
|(A glimpse of the reclining Buddha)|
Khong Hae Floating Market
We rode back to Hatyai after lunch and had a long rest. At 6:00 pm some of the gang gathered at the lobby and rent a tuk-tuk to visit Hatyai Floating Market, 20 minutes away from the city. Khong Hae Floating Market opens from Fridays to Sundays from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm and it can get pretty crowded during the evening. Halal food is sold from a row of sampan along the man-made lake. There are stalls selling local product and souvenirs too.
|(Local delicacies and exotic food)|
We had dinner at Salma Restaurant and later indulged in a 2-hour Thai massage at the Grand Plaza Hotel Spa. We met with some bikers from KL and had teh tarik at Aji stall before we walked back to the hotel for the night rest.
Sunday - 2 March 2014
(Hatyai - KL)
We had a late breakfast and checked-out by 10:00 am. By 11:00 am we started riding out of Hatyai towards the border and stopped at Nor Laila Restaurant in Danok for lunch. Border clearance at Bukit Kayu Hitam was smooth. After refuelling in Changloon we rode towards KL with a few more stops in Semanggol and Ulu Bernam for refueling and a short rest.
|(Vibrant colors of buildings in Hatyai)|
|(Getting ready to ride back)|
|(Entering Sadao for border clearance)|
|(Large glasses of sugar cane juice at Laila Restaurant)|
It was hot and dry all the way but it rained slightly when we reached KL. We reached our apartment around 8:00 pm, safe and sound.
Route taken: KL - Hatyai - Songkhla - Hatyai - KL
Total mileage: 1162 km
Bikers gang: 27 motorbikes
Organizer: Welly Advance Bikers/ABAR