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Friday, 21 September 2012

MY FIRST SOLO OVERLAND TRIP - THALE NOI (15 SEPT 2012)


Now...its time to continue with my dream. Two weeks after I got DREAM back in my arms, I made a plan to overland solo for the first time in my life. Ohhh....dont get me wrong. Of course I hv overland solo via public transportation countless of times all over the globe during my previous backpacking trips, but overland solo on a motorbike? Never. This will be a small test for me to see whether or not I am fit for a bigger challenge later.

Actually, for the past 2 weeks (after I did some make over on DREAM), I was having some problems with the rear tyre. Two days after I installed the new rim and tyre, the bearing for the rear was broken. I had it fixed, but only lasted for 5 days before it broke again when I was in Port Dickson attending PD International Bike Fest. I had it fixed, but only lasted from PD – Bangi when the rattling sound came back from the rear tyre. I was getting worried as I had to ride back to Ipoh. Thank god that a foreman in Bangi did some modi to it (he said the boosch was short, and thats the cause of the bearing broken), and the problem was solved.

I was busy with job and didnt hv much time to check on infos on the internet. I actually have no idea where do I want to go this time as my holidays are short – only 3 days and 2 nights. After checking on the map, and did some internet reading, I decided that I want to visit a beautiful lake near Patthalung. This lake is also a bird sanctuary where thousands of birdies migrate to this lake for few months in a year. Before I started my journey, I went to a hardware shop and bought a kit of tools and an electric pump. Previously when I rode with my sifu, Hadi, he prepared all these items. Now that I am going solo, I must bring all this stuff. It doesnt mean that I know how to fix my bike if something went wrong when I was on the road, but perhaps, someone could help, and the tools are there should I need it.
My tool kit

The electric pump

Chain oil, camera tripod, head lamp & 'cacing'
15 SEPT 2012:
It was quite chilly when I rode DREAM up north in the darkness of 4.30am, on Sept 15. Not many vehicles were on the road, except lorrries. I made a stop at Gurun R n R to fuel up and to perform my morning prayer. It was raining unexpectedly when I am done with my prayers, so I waited for about 20 minutes. Luckily, the rain lessened and I continued until I reached Changlun to have my white card written. I hv aleady purchased my 1 year insurance last time (which cost me RM70), and it is still valid. I met some overlanders from Singapore and we talked for a while. They were amazed that I was riding alone. I rode on and had DREAM filled maximumly at BH Petrol station (the last one before I crossed the border). Exiting Malaysia is a breeze as I only need to hand out my passport to the officer via the window on the motorcycle lane, but it wasnt so when I want to enter Thailand. There were a really huge crowd lining up at the passport clearance – all Malaysian tourists on tour buses, who want to enter Thailand for the weekend. I parked my bike at the motorcycle parking place and lined up with the rest of the people. While lining up, I was interviewed by some admirers....LOL...It took about 1 hour to hv my passport stamped and another 20 mins to settle my papers with the Thailand customs. It was already 9.30am (Thailand time) when I am done, and I continued my ride on Thailand road via Route 4. Trrafic was light and I rode according to my own pace. This is what I like when riding solo – I dont hv to cater for other ppl should I ride fast, and I need not worry if I am slowing down others. I took my time riding at 110kmh and enjoying the view. I made a toilet stop at a petrol station in Hadyai and soon after, the rain started to fall again. Past knowledge during my 1st ride had taught me to check on the sky of my upcoming route to determine on the weather. The sky up north showed that its going to be a clear day, so I didnt bother to wear the rain suit. I made a wrong turn at Patthalung as the sign board was a lil bit confusing, but I noticed the mistake very soon and headed back on the right route. After Khuan Khanun, I made a u-turn to the lake. There was only 1 sign board of the lake at the beginning of the u-turn, and I started to wonder if I have navigated wrongly. However, I was confident that this is the correct route, so I rode on and finally I arrived at the lake after about 2 hours riding. 

Passport stamped, now the customs declaration form

DREAM in between two Gs bikes at the border

All done, lets goooo....vrooommm...
The first task is to find a place for the night. This small lake town didnt offer too many staying options, but from my internet research, I had located some nice places to stay. Priority definitely on budget, safe place to park my bike, view and coziness. I went to the first place on my ranking list. Fortunately, they had one last room available, but I can only check in at 3pm as the room was not ready yet. Urghhh....that is about 2 hours more. Never mind. I went out and explore the shops at the lake and find a nice place to have my lunch, and guess what? There is one shop which sell sticky rice with fried onion and fried red chicken – something which I had been craving for months!!! Without wasting a single second, I ordered and enjoyed the yummy food while watching birds flying at the lake. The breeze from the lake was very nice and refreshing.


DREAM is safe here

The guest house surrounding



Enjoying my sticky rice + red fried chicken while viewing the lake 

Blue birds outside my room
After checking in, I sleep for a while and woke up around 4.30pm. I walked at the back lanes and explore the slump area, witnessing how the locals live. I felt sorry for the condition of their houses and the dirty surrounding. Their houses was made on the wet land, so the pillar was high and they threw all their rubbish under their houses!!! It was not a beautiful sight. In fact, when I walked, I can hear the mosquitoes sound humming into my ears, even though it was wayyy before sunset. I didnt take any pics here as I dont think it is appropriate. I greeted some of the old folks who were chatting among themselves at the balcony of their houses. I noticed that some of them converted their balcony to kitchen, where they did all their cookings there.

I finally came to the end of the slump area, and while walking back to my guest house, I found a stall sellng all types of hand made ice cream, slurpee and ABC. I actually ordered a strawberry ice cream, but commnication break down resulted on me having a strawberry slurpee instead. Never mind. I had my slurpee at a small hut facing the lake while watching teenagers playing sepak takraw. 






When the sun gets down, I walked to the same place where I had lunch and bought white rice to be eaten with some food which I had taken with me from home. The night was spent on just relaxing at the balcony of my guest house, anjoying the breeze and sound of the nature. It gets quite cold and I go to bed right away. I woke up by midnight as it was getting colder and pulled my blanket up to my chin. Hmmm....niceeee oneee....

4 comments:

  1. aaaaa....lupe plak gtaw kat aka, pas tukar ke rim lebar tu, bearing mmg cepat sikit rosak.. kne tukar bearing sub kat dalam rim tu, baru ok..

    aik..g jauh mam nasi ayam jer...? hikhikhik :P

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ohhh....ok
    Bukan nasi ayam laa...pulut dengan bwg goreng + ayam goreng merah....pemes ni kat Thailand...klu kat Ipoh ni memang x de jual...lama dh ngidam :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Akak, sapa amikkan gamba neh... pakai tripod kah? set time, kendian lari duduk, then posed?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Min Bajunid, iya...mcm tu la kalau dah ride solo...tripod jadi bestpren...

    ReplyDelete

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