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Monday, 2 July 2012

12 JUNE 2012 DAY 18: SIHANOUKVILLE (CAMBODIA) - PATTAYA (THAILAND) (570kms)


It was raining on the morning of Day 18. I looked at the gloomy skies with a heavy heart. After breakfast, we started our ride out of Sihanoukville, taking the same 90km distance as yesterday, until we reached an intersection before Chamkar Luong. We took the left road and headed for Koh Kong. The view was nice as we were now riding on a hilly road. There were paddy fields which looked like green carpet with some coconut trees in between the paddy fields. I saw one very big pig at one place, and at other times, while crossing a bridge, I passed a family of buffaloes, walking in a straight line with the father buffalo leads the way, followed by the kids and the mother buffalo the most behind. This brought smile on my face when thinking that even buffaloes can behave, why can’t the Cambodian drivers?
Serendipity beach on a gloomy rainy day



The road to the border was deserted, but once in a while when a vehicle overtook me, I noticed that they loaded their vehicles as much as they can. It was a common view to see Cambodians tied up their boot door with a string bcos it barely can be close due to fully loaded with lots of stuff. It was also very common to see motorbikes or bicycles on top of a van or a bus. So far, I have yet to see a car on a bus. That would have been hilarious. By this time, I have lost Hadi bcos I was way ahead of him and there was no petrol pump at all. I knew he must be stopping somewhere to fuel up using the spare oil which he brought along. It was raining while I rode on the hilly and winding road (but not as stressful as in Laos). I noticed some instant waterfalls, and a nice beautiful river with rapids. I also passed a red rock cut road, which somehow reminded me of Petra, Jordan.





When I finally arrived Koh Kong Friendship Bridge, and was asking some locals about the direction to the border, Hadi catch up with me. We crossed the long bridge to the other side, and had to pay the toll of R1400 per motorbike. The border crossing was very smooth and easy. After done with the Cambodian side, we continued with the Thailand side. A Thai immigration officer recognized Hadi and he assisted us to settle our papers. His name is Wiwat Butardee and he can speak some Malay words and was very friendly. It was still raining as we rode on via route 48 and 318, stopping by at ‘The Narrowest of Thailand’ sign post for pics and headed on to Trat. We stopped for fuel and some snacks at 7-Eleven. Finally, welcome back to civilization.

A Petronas petrol station somewhere before Pattaya
where I fuel up

The smooth ride continued via route 3 to Chanthaburi. When we fueled up at the next petrol station, Hadi suggested that we put the night at Pattaya, instead of Rayong, so that we could rest on Day 19. I was already tired, but I have to try. It was already dark but we were still about 50kms away from Pattaya. I was worried to ride at night bcos of my eye sight and the number of traffic on the road was much more in Thailand. Finally, after struggling with the ride in extreme exhaustion, I arrived Pattaya around 9pm (10pm Malaysian time). It was quite a challenge for already a very tired me to find my way to the beach road since Pattaya is a big city with lots of vehicles. After finding my way, I have to find a guest house suitable with my budget. I finally got one and checked in. God knows how tired I am today. Total ride today is 570km, approximately 13 hours (inclusive of border crossing).

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NASTIA

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