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Monday, 28 May 2012

28 MAY 2012 DAY 3: HUA HIN – KANCHANABURI (222kms)

I woke up early as Hadi had told me that I am to lead the way today. When I questioned, why its too soon, today is only Day 3 (minus the ride in Malaysia, meaning today is just our 2nd day riding in Thailand). He said, ‘If not, u are not going to learn anything’. He told me to decide where to go and where to stay for the night. In the early morning, I studied the route and memorized the bigger towns names. Then I took some pics of Mod Guesthouse that we stayed for the night (a nice GH where the sound of waves lullaby u to sleep, B500 for a fan room). After checking out, we started to ride. However, I lost Hadi as soon as the ride started. Where was he? I tried to find him but I couldn’t locate him. Never mind. I thought he must be waiting for me at Hua Hin exit. After all, today I am in charge. Unfortunately, I don’t see him at the exit (well, there is no exit actually as I didn’t take the same route as we enter Hua Hin last night). I tried to call and sms him many times but failed. Then only I noticed that my hand phone status was ‘emergency’. It was okey yesterday when the last sms I received was at Patthalung. Damn. I had to move on. It was already far to return to Hua Hin. While riding, I tried to check if there is any internet cafes to send message to Hadi’s FB. He can always check it using his BB. But I couldn’t find any. I rode on passing Petchaburi, Retchaburi and finally arrived Kanchanaburi via route 4 and 323. First thing is to find an internet cafĂ©. I send message to him, but he didn’t reply. I had to find another alternative. I was parking my bike at an overseas call shop, when I saw him arriving. What a relief. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry. He asked me what happen? To cut the story short, what happened was, he actually told me that we are going to have breakfast first (unfortunately, I didn’t hear this) and he was waiting for me by the roadside when he said that I rode on, not even looking at him. He tried to chase me but I was too fast and he lost me. HAHAHA….can u blv that? My sifu chased me this time. Sorry sifu. It was a communication breakdown. The good thing is we managed to find each other, and I managed to find my way, riding all the 222kms alone from Hua Hin to Kanchanaburi. Yeayyyy!!!

The day was spent with individual activities. I visited attractions such as Bridge of the River Kwai, the Death Railway Museum and the WW2 Memorial Cemetery. The funny part, I also became the center of attraction when I parked my motorbike near the bridge. Some people came and took my pic. Wow…I got fans. Since when was I listed as Kanchanaburi’s attraction? LOL…

Three days had passed. Lots of mistakes done by my part. What is going to happen tomorrow? I have no idea. 

Day 3 PIC

27 MAY 2012 DAY 2: DANOK – HUA HIN (820kms)

After a fulfilling breakfast buffet (complimentary from the Garden Hotel that we stayed last night – B580), we started our ride at approximately 8.15am. Before that, I copied all towns names on a masking tape and pasted it on DREAM’s tank.
Hadi: What is that for?
Me: I cant read the map with my lenses on, the words are too small.
Hadi: What speed will we be riding?
Me: About 100kmh.
Hadi: At that speed, do u think u can look down and read whats written on the masking tape?
Me: May be.
Hadi: Why must u list all the small towns?
Me: I’m listing it to make sure we are following the correct route.
Hadi: Is that necessary? It’s the bigger towns which are important.
Me: I think it is necessary.
Hadi: I have been riding as long as I can rmbr and I never do what u are doing. Now u are changing the menu. Ok, we shall see.

First, we followed route 4 from Danok, bypassing Hadyai. The road condition at certain parts were ok, but at some other parts were bad. I have to focus on the road as to keep the bike’s balance and to avoid holes. Hadi was right. At the speed of 100kmh and in this kind of road condition, I cant even look down to read what I have written. Okey sifu, lesson learnt.

As today is Sunday, there were not many traffic on the road. It was a smooth ride (apart from the uneven road and holes). The highway changed from route 4 to 43, and back to route 4 again. It started to drizzle when we arrived Patthalung, but we continued on riding, only stopping for fuel and toilet. The fuel price here differed from company to company. For example, PTT sell RON95 for B35.50 while Shell for B37.10. Fuel is expensive here in Thailand so Hadi said not to waste it by letting the engine running idle.

The highway route number change to 41 as we aimed for Nakhon si Thammarat, and later Surat Thani. The rain didn’t seem will stop. Rain or dry, Hadi maintained the 100kmh speed. There were times that I was left behind, but not for long as I managed to catch up. I felt good when I managed to catch up with him. Even though raining, I was enjoying the ride and the beautiful paddy field and hilly views. After Chumphon, the route number changed to 4 again. The rain became heavier. We stopped to put on our rain coat. I was very pleased that the Givi rain coat really keeps me dry. So did the Daytona boots that I wore. However, after many hours under the pouring rain plus the strong wind, I started to feel cold. I was shivering while riding. When we arrived Parachuap Khiri Khan, Hadi asked me if I want to continue? We had been riding for 650kms, after more than 9 hours. I said yes. We have targeted Hua Hin, so the target must be accomplished. It gets dark very soon after that, and out of a sudden, the highway was jammed packed with vehicles, especially lorries. The lorry drivers in Thailand were so much brutal compared to in Malaysia. They dominant the right lane and refuse to give way. As it was dark, the road condition was bad and I have troubles with my dusty lenses which hurt my iris, I missed Hadi. Thank god that after 20minutes or so, I found him waiting by the road side. I was by this time very tired already and my eyes hurt so bad. We finally arrived Hua Hin at 8.30pm after riding for 12 hours and 15 minutes. It was a hell tiring ride for me that I had no energy even to double stand my bike.

Saturday, 26 May 2012


Me with sifu Hadi and Arenim at R n R Sg. Buloh
Today, I am going to mark a history in my life.

I got a sms fr Hadi around 5am, saying that our ‘tayar golek’ had to be postponed from 8am to 10am. He just reached his home and not yet asleep at all. I felt sorry for him. Cant imagine how tired he could be. At 7.30am, I received another sms fr him, saying that he will wait for me at R n R Sungai Buloh (the meeting point) at 9am. I left my son’s house at 830am and arrived at the mentioned place at 8.55am. There were lots of bikers with huge superbikes having their breakfast at the R n R. Arenim, a lady biker friend whom I just got to know, arrived to send us off. Very nice of her. Thanks dear. We departed at 9.55am. There are lots and lots of vehicles on the road (at least it was for me). Hadi rode at 100kmh, and in the beginning, I can follow his speed at ease. We stopped for fuel at R n R Tapah, and continued our ride. The challenging part started after we passed the tunnel after Jelapang toll. I have only rode this route once, and only up to Kuala Kangsar. Today, the traffic was so heavy up to the point of the cars stop moving at both lanes. Hadi, the expert, maintained his speed, while me, the penakut, slowed down to only 60kmh. The slow ride took about 3 minutes, and Hadi was nowhere in sight. Once I got the chance, I sped top speed to get back to him, but I couldn’t find him. It took me about 15 – 20minues to locate him, riding a very relaxing ride while me riding like crazy. LOL…From the jammed after the tunnel, I only managed to catch back with him near to Bukit Gantang. Same thing happened again at Juru. Too many vehicles on the road, and fear took me over. I slowed down and I lost him again. I have to speed up to catch up with him. 3 minutes slowing down is equals to 15 minutes top speed to chase him, and he only rode at 100kmh. Gosh….I have to fight my fear. It cant go on like this forever.

We reached Changlun at 5.30pm, and get the Thailand insurance for RM70 (for one year). After resting for a while, we crossed the border. There are no hassles at Malaysian border, but Hadi had some troubles with the Thailand customs. They didn’t keyed-in his exit details the last time he exited Thailand. For that, he had to pay the fine of RM200. Since it was almost dark, and Hadi was not confident with my riding skills to ride in the dark with higher numbers of traffic on Thailand road, he suggested that we pulled over at Danok for the night. In total, we rode for 8 and a half hour, covering approximately 500kms today. Its not a good start.

During dinner, we discussed about the ride today, and he ‘pancung’ me for the mistakes with riding gears handling and bike riding. I don’t mind. He is the master and I’m here to learn. Then, he taught me how to fold the map accordingly and how to use the GPS the correct way. We checked on our route for tomorrow. Hopefully we can make 800kms tomorrow to compensate with today’s loss, and the destination will be Hua Hin.
Us, with Rudy and Adzim

25 MAY 2012

Today, Hadi will take me to buy riding boots as Givi’s boots are out of stock. I have to wait 3 months if I want it, so, no choice, since I need it now, I have to buy it. First, we go to Lea Craft shop, at Setapak. Unfortunately, there is no suitable size for me. Then we go to Mecinda Shop, Pertama Complex. After trying a few pairs and bargaining, I settled with a nice high cut Daytona riding boots. The price? LOL….more than RMIk. This is the most expensive shoe @ boots I have ever bought @ wear. Its worth it as it is a pure leather waterproof Gore-Tex boots (Gore-Tex means the boots is breathable, it wont make my feet hot and stuffy). Paksu, the shop owner, gave me and Hadi a buff each as free gift. 

Then, we went to find a waterbag. After bargaining, we got it for RM100 per piece. I followed Hadi to a TS logo printing shop for our riding Tshirt. Then, we said goodbye as Hadi has lots of other stuff to settle before we start the ride.

Myself? I walked to Jalan Masjid India to find a shop to duplicate DREAM’s key (as I forgot to bring his spare key). After that, I rode DREAM, planning to go to KL Sentral to change money at the usual money changer which I’m used to. However, wearing the new boots for the first time riding DREAM, I felt so awkward. The boots was thick and hard. It was difficult for me to slip it underneath the gear. At the traffic light, the boots stuck under the gear, resulting in me loosing my balance, and together we fall on the road. Oh my…what a sight. People must have been laughing at me for falling for no reason (they don’t know what happened). It was quite difficult for me to lift DREAM up, and no one cares to help. However I managed to lift him, and continued to settle my stuff.

That night, while at the cc checking for the infos on accommodation, Hadi rang me up, telling me that he need to see me. When we met, he passed some items, given by QPLUS, another company apart fr Givi, which sponsored some items for my ride. Thanks QPLUS.


Arrangements and DREAM’s preparation were done about three weeks prior to the day of my first overland ride, by Hadi and his team mates at Bengkel Mat Motor Cawangan Klang Sentral. Top and side pannier GIVI boxes were installed, and so were the wind shield, handle bar extender, handle bar map pouch bag and waterproof GPS case and holder, 12V socket for charging HP/PDA/GPS, LED lighting, third brake light, signal lights, chain oiler and breathable seat cover. Slime was also filled in the tyres for protection against puncture.
 Fixing the handle bar for map pouch bag & GPS holder installation

 Fixing the top and side boxes
Fixing the wind shield
 The chain oiler
 Fixing the breathable seat cover
12V socket for charging HP/PDA/GPS
The guys who had been working on DREAM - 
Harris Andria, Hadi Hussein & Wan

It had been hectic, hectic, super hectic 2 weeks for me prior to start the ride. Today, 24th May 2012, I am gonna leave my home, but before that, I need to settle marking the exam papers, I need to check on routes on the map, I need to search for infos on accommodation and I need to check out the attractions as well. I haven’t finished packing my stuff and bla bla bla. Finally, I left home around 11am, straight to my office and key-in the student’s exam marks, only to be told that I need to recheck the answers again as one particular question’s answer scheme was given wrongly. URRGGGHHH….Not only that, when I wanted to print out the infos on accommodation & attractions, my pen drive was infected by virus and it couldn’t load. Damn!!! I had struggled many long hours for that, and I am not going home to get another copy fr my laptop as I am running late. What to do, it seems that I hv to search for the infos one more time.

I started my ride to the workshop at Kelang Sentral around 1.30pm. Reached there around 4pm. The 1st thing that I cant wait to see is Givi items which Hadi got for me. It was neatly hanged on the jacket hanger. OMG!!!! I was soooooo thrilled when I saw what items Givi had given me. I got a Black Jack riding jacket with a matching Black Jack riding pants, a double visor helmet (double visor means, apart fr the normal visor, theres another tinted visor for sunlight protection, meaning that I don’t need to wear a sun glasses, which was really cool), a pair of rain coat with matching rain shoes, a pair of gloves and a set of secured lock for DREAM. Wowww….I was like…..speechless. I cant believe that all this stuff are mine. A million thanks Givi….and also Hadi for making this too good to be true. 




Suddenly, something shining caught my eyes. What is that? Ohhh….ohhh…..ohhh….its DREAM’s plate number with the word MALAYSIA on the upper part. I almost broke down into tears. Hadi had told me last time that I will only get this plate number after the ride, and I had begged him to get it before the ride start….He sternly said ‘NO’….Now there it is. Gosh….too many thrills in one day. I was smiling from ear to ear. Hadi told me to get it fixed at the shop next door. 

After that, Harris Andria continued working on DREAM’s running light to make it lighted permanently once the button is switched on. This is very important especially when riding at night. Once done, its time for me to change DREAM’s engine oil and oil filter. It was almost 9pm when I finally left the workshop.


Travelling has always been my passion. All this while, I hv been backpacking around the globe for more than 10 years. But now, I am changing my mode of travelling. It all started when I get to know Zahariz Khuzaimah, the crazy Malay guy who cycled China and some parts of Central Asia countries, alone (and at the moment, he is cycling in Iceland; DENGAN BASIKAL AKU MENJELAJAH I was in awe looking at how beautiful the places he had been to. I wanted to do like him, but cycling for me? No, I’m too old to do an extreme cycling trip. Zahariz told me about another guy, Hadi Hussein, who rode from KL to London alone on his 128cc kapchai motorbike. I never heard of him, bcos I never watched TV nor read the newspaper. I started to google about him and read up his IAMALAYSIAN blog. His stories inspired me. I found it very cool to travel on a motorbike. I wanted to go to the places Zahariz went before, but on a motorbike. However, the problem is……I DON’T KNOW HOW TO RIDE A MOTORBIKE. Nevertheless, I was determined. After some time trying to arrange a meeting with Hadi, finally, we met for the first time in March 2012. I asked him many questions about overlanding. He suggested that I enrol for a riding class first, and later buy a Yamaha FZ150 motorbike. The meeting ended for 4 hours, instead of an hour. Not very long after that, I bought the motorbike, and I named him DREAM. Why DREAM? Bcos, I am going to fulfill my dream with him. Frankly speaking, I don’t know how to ride a normal motorbike, what more a bike with clutch. After taking DREAM back home with help from my son’s friend, I started to learn to ride a motorbike (DREAM). 

From the moment I bought DREAM, I hv been keeping in touch with Hadi, and he motivated me to try overlanding under his guidance. After thinking about it seriously, I accepted his offer. I wanted to become an overlander. I wanted to be like him. The fantastic overland stories of these two great Malay guys (Zahariz & Hadi) and my own dream were the reasons why I'm taking this challenge, even though I am far from being a skilful rider and my riding experience was only 43 days (when I started my Indochina ride). I am going to mark an entirely a new episode in my life. Nothing can stop me now.


Band: NASTIA, Title: ANGGUR (taken from EP 'EKSPRESI')