"If you'll not settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your lives..." - Vince Lombardi
Day 1: Friday, 2 May 2014
KL - Koh Samui
KL - Koh Samui
At midnight the sound of the alarm woke us up from our short nap. After a refreshing hot shower, we packed our travelling bag and donned our riding gear. By 1:30 am we were already on the road riding solo towards Bukit Kayu Hitam. The weather was cool and conducive for riding. Our first stop was for refueling at Simpang Pulai. Second stop was at Tol Plaza Hutan Kampung where we performed our Subuh prayers. In Changloon we refueled and had roti canai breakfast at one Mamak Restaurant.
|(A full tank to the border)|
|(A compulsory stop for foreign exchange)|
By 8:00 am we crossed the border and rode direct to Don Sak taking route 4, 41 and 44 by-passing Nakhon Si Thamarrat and Surat Thani. We reached Don Sak at 1:00 pm and were caught in a heavy downpour just before we reached the Seatran Pier. We boarded the ferry together with a group of Harley bikers who were also attending the Samui Bike Week. The ferry ticket for a motorbike and rider was B250 and a passenger was B150. The ferry ride was smooth and it took about 2 hours to reach the island.
|(Taking route 44 by-passing Nakhon Si Thamarrat)|
|(At last, the junction to the pier)|
|(A fellow biker riding alone to Koh Samui)|
|(Caught in a heavy rain)|
|(The Seatran ferry, big and comfortable)|
|(Front rows reserved for the big bikes)|
|(Passenger seats, comfortable and spacious)|
|(Time for a 2-hour nap)|
|(Disembarking at the jetty)|
When we disembarked, the weather was hot and humid. We had a late lunch at Faria Restaurant located in front of the Bangkok Hospital. We met with a few Malaysian bikers who were having their meals there too.
|(Reflections of boats on clear water)|
|(A tranquil fishing village)|
|(A busy road towards town area)|
|(Motorbikes and cars sharing the narrow roads)|
|(A famous Muslim restaurant in town)|
|(Beaches and places of interests)|
We checked-in VertiColor Hotel at Chaweng Beach for two nights. The normal room rate was B1100 but we decided to have the Superior Suite room which cost us B1300 per night complete with complimentary breakfast. We met up with Munawar, Rose and Ajilong in the lobby. They arrived in Samui yesterday together with a few more GS riders. Later at night we went for dinner at a seafood restaurant in the Muslim Village of Hua Thanon with the rest of the gang.
|(A new hotel, complete with amenities)|
|(A spacious clean room)|
|(With Munawar, checking the coordinates)|
|(Delicious seafood dishes at the Muslim Village)|
After dinner we took a long ride back to Chaweng Beach and had ample time for an hour of foot massage before we went back to the hotel for the night.
Day 2: Saturday, 3 May 2014
Koh Samui Island tour
Early this morning the rest of the gang rode out of Koh Samui to head either to Betong or Hatyai. As we were staying another night here, we continued sleeping till late morning.
|(Getting ready to tour the island)|
|(Our ride for the day)|
Today we decided to tour Samui Island and rented a scoopy for B180 per day. Before we explored the island, we first had an early lunch of nasi lauk at the Muslim Restaurant. We rode towards the south and our first stop was at Lamai Beach, then the Elephant Rock Café, for a scenic view of the island.
Lamai Beach is Samui's second-largest resort area after Chaweng. It is laid back, quieter and less bustling than its big sister, but still with plenty of accommodation, dining and shopping options, and some great spas and tourist sites to explore.
|(Lamai Beach, calm and tranquil)|
|(Capturing the scenic view)|
|(A short break at the Café by the sea)|
|(The imposing Elephant Rock)|
|(Island tour on an ancient Junk)|
Our next stop was the Aquarium and Tiger Zoo. Both the aquarium and the zoo have many of Thailand's tropical favorites above and below the water. There are animal shows throughout the day and one can have a photo taken with the tiger for B100 per person.
|(The most favoured songbird is the Red-Whiskered Bulbul)|
|(The entrance to the Aquarium and Zoo)|
We dropped by the grandpa and grandma rocks formation of Hin Ta and Hin Yai set on the rocky coastline between Lamai and Hua Thanon. The fascinating rock formations on Samui’s south coast, have been a source of mirth and wonder on the island since they were discovered and look like male and female genitalia.
|(The entrance to the rocks)|
|(It was a hot and sunny day)|
|(The grandpa rock at the back)|
|(Cold coconut Juice to drench the thirst)|
Samui has several waterfalls and we visited one of the two Na Muang waterfalls. The name Na Muang refers to the massive purple rocks that create the waterfalls. Rocks and tree roots form a natural staircase that leads to the base of Na Muang 1. A large natural swimming pool sits under the waterfall. 4x4 off-roading and Elephant trekking are also available at the Na Muang waterfalls.
|(Two of the many waterfalls)|
|(You can either hike or ride the 4x4)|
It was raining heavily on the way and we were soaked to the skin. It was still raining when we reached the pier and town area. After a few photo shots in the rain, we rode back towards Chaweng Beach. It was hot and dry when we reach Chaweng. We rode to the Samui Bike Week site but only a few stalls were opened so we decided to come back later at night.
|(Riding in the heavy rain)|
|(The pier at the background)|
|(Time to refuel, B40 per bottle)|
To while away our time, we indulged in an hour of foot massage and another hour of Thai body massage. After, we went for banana and strawberry crepes and Cappuccino at one of the road side bistros.
|(Colourful miniature windmills)|
|(A relaxed moment at a sidewalk café)|
|(Best banana crepes ever)|
We went back to the hotel for a quick hot shower and a short nap. At night we visited the Bike Week site again and and later went to the night market and the Bazar for souvenir shopping. We had a late dinner of chicken tandoori and garlic nan at the Tandoori Restaurant situated near our hotel.
Tonight we slept late again…
|(Samui Bike Week site by the Lake)|
|(A very easy rider)|
|(So many Harleys to choose from)|
|(The Indian Victory)|
|(Tandoori chicken and Nan for dinner)|
Day 3: Sunday, 4 May 2014
Koh Samui – Samila Beach
We woke up early and had a light breakfast at the hotel café.
|(Toasts and cereal for breakfast)|
|(Ready to ride to Songkhla)|
|(The two of us at the pier)|
It was raining slightly when we rode to the Seatran Pier. We bought tickets and straight away boarded the ferry. The ferry was full with bikers coming back from the Bike Week. With nothing to do on board, we slept most of the journey.
|(The ferry was on an hourly schedule)|
|(Riders ready to disembark)|
After we disembarked at Don Sak Ferry Terminal, we rode to the nearest petrol station for refueling and a short coffee break at the Amazon Café. Today we planned to ride the coastal road from Don Sak to Samila Beach in Songkhla, passing through the town of Nakhon Si Thamarrat and stopping for photo shots at the wind turbines fields at Hua Sai.
|(A cool coffee drink at Amazon Café)|
|(Checking the tyre pressure)|
|(Our favourite pit stop)|
|(A safe ride on a good highway)|
|(The wind turbine field)|
We boarded the barge to cross the Songkhla Lake to Samila Beach. We reached BP Samila Beach Hotel around 6:00 pm and had ample time to rest. The room rate for a sea view room was B1750 per night and a little cheaper for the mountain view room.
We walked a short distance to the Muslim seafood restaurant by the water front for a hearty dinner.
|(Crossing the Songkhla Lake on a barge)|
|(The view from our room on the 6th floor)|
Day 4: Monday, 5 May 2014
Samila Beach – KL (via Sg. Golok/Gua Musang)
We had buffet breakfast at the hotel café before we checked out.
Despite the warnings about the unrest and panics in Pattani after a spate of recent bombings, this morning we planned to ride the coastal road from Samila Beach to Sungai Golok, a town bordering Thailand and the state of Kelantan by-passing Pattani and Narathiwat towns.
|(Watching the signages towards south)|
|(A lot of mosques along the way)|
|(Passing through the district of Pattani)|
|(Many road blocks all the way south)|
|(Ciggie and coffee break)|
|(Drenched in hot and cold showers)|
The ride was smooth as the highways are in good condition. At some places, the coastal road runs parallel along the scenic sandy beaches. We passed a lot of road blocks and there were many military officers on guard all the way from Pattani to the border towns. With a few stops along the way, we reached Sungai Golok safely around 1:00 pm, without any incidents. The border clearance on both sides of the border was efficient and fast.
|(Heading towards border town of Sungai Golok)|
|(Entering Thai Immigration area)|
|(A glimpse of Sungai Golok)|
|(Entering our homeland)|
We refueled and had lunch in a restaurant in Rantau Panjang. We rode on the trunk road towards Gua Musang, passing through Jeli. We only stopped for prayers at Perhentian Merapoh and another before Raub for dinner.
|(Windy and raining all the way)|
|(Riding the narrow trunk road)|
|(A short stop to rest the back)|
|(Riding towards Kuala Lipis)|
|(Limestone hills of Gua Musang)|
|(Some stretch of road under repair)|
|(The border of the states of Kelantan and Pahang)|
|(Heavy traffic heading towards Karak)|
It was raining all the way from Gua Musang but the weather was clear when we reached KL. We reached our apartment around 10:00 pm. Tired but contented!
Date: 2 - 5 May 2014
Total mileage: 1980 km
Total mileage: 1980 km
Route taken: KL - Bkt Kayu Hitam - Don Sak - Koh Samui - Samila Beach - Sungai Golok - Gua Musang - KL