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Friday, 26 December 2014

INDOCHINA RIDE WITH DJ: DAY 1 - 3

Sometimes I just couldn’t understand myself. I just rode and camped in Trang last 2 weeks, but out of nowhere the riding itch came back, worst than ever. Thank god I had a semester break so I made up my mind to take DJ for a spin, this time to Indochina – Thailand, Cambodia & Laos.



DAY 1, 12 Sept 14: IPOH – SURAT THANI

I made my way out of Ipoh and headed straight to BKH border. It was raining heavily the moment I arrived the Thailand side. There were quite many people so border crossing procedure took quite a while, but this time I didn’t hv to pay B50 to the customs officer for bringing DJ into THL. The rain stopped after I had done with the customs. It was already 5pm and my destination, Surat Thani was still far, so I had to rush. Even though I felt the need to go to the toilet, I put it at hold bcos I want to arrive Surat ASAP. Poor night sight was the reason. I rode at 120 - 140kmh depending on situation. Finally, after riding for 7 hours from Ipoh without stopping for toilet or a drink, I arrived Surat GH at 8pm.


This signboard always makes me laugh...kesian Kangar :)


DAY 2, 13 Sept 14: SURAT THANI – KANCHANABURI

I started around 8.30am. The ride was ok. Nothing much to report about the road condition on route 4 except some bad roads at I supposed, the opposition areas. 



At Petchaburi, I saw some Malaysian bikers by the road side, about to make a move. I waved at them while at the same time heading towards a flyover. I assumed those guys were heading to BKK. After passing them, I turned to look at them for few seconds, without noticing the curvy flyover. I turned my head and looked straight just in the nick of time and slammed the brake as I was going straight to the flyover walls!! Damn!! Thank god that my DJ was equipped with ABS system, or else I’m sure the tires will skid. This incident made my lower limbs as soft as jello and my heart beating fast all the way along route 323 to Kanchanaburi. 



I thought Kanchanaburi wasn’t very far, but it actually took a couple of hours away. The sun was very hot and I started to feel dehydrated. However, my stubborn mind never wants to stop until I arrived my destination. The town had changed with more guest houses and pubs since the last time I came here in 2012, with my sifu, Hadi Hussein during my training with him. After going round for a while, I managed to find the same guest hse which we stayed last time. As I was tired, I just rest by the river at the GH.


Tebu GH, only B200 per nite





DAY 3, 14 Sept 14: KANCHANABURI

Today I visit Hellfire Pass Museum. But before that, I went to the Bridge of the River Kwai for some photo sessions.





I had since long wanted to visit this museum, since 2012, when I was with my sifu. Unfortunately, at that time, I had a nasty fall after returning from Three Pagoda Pass, so I had to cancel the visit to this place. It was only today that the wish was granted. Still, I had some difficulties to find this museum as there was no sign board. I rode on route 323 otw to Sangkhlaburi and I passed a military field. I was very sure that the museum was here, but the lack of sign board made me uncertain. I asked a local and she signaled that it was further up. I rode for another few kms more until instinct told me to check my GPS. FYI, I very seldom open my GPS, except for finding guest house or to check whether or not I’m on the correct road. GPS said that I had missed the place and I need to turn back. I did so, only to find out that the military field was actually the place. It was funny why they didnt put up the signboard. The moment I entered the parking lot, I saw about eight Thailand superbikers, and one of them helped pulling my bike when I want to reverse and parked DJ, even though I didn’t ask for help. Some of them could speak English. They were amazed to know that I came from Ipoh, and was totally alone.




The entrance to this museum is free, but one had to pay a deposit to borrow the audio guide which is a must or else u won’t understand what u see here. For better understanding, before starting my tour, I watched a documentary first. I actually had no idea that this heart breaking place covered a wide area. Approx 250 000 forced labours and 60 000 POWs were forced to build the death railway which connected THL and Burma.

After watching the docu, I started my walk up and down the trail. I didnt do all as the ground is huge. I only covered 4kms of the area only.






The rail in the jungle cut through few hills. In order to manage this, the rock breaking process (some as deep as 25m) were done by the labours using primitive tools such as hammer and taps. The labours worked day and night under extreme heat, cold and monsoon rain. They were malnourished, diseased and brutally tortured by the Japanese soldiers screaming "Speedo" (faster!!!). A number of 12 000 POWs and 90 000 labours died in the process. I tried to envision the forced labours agonies, pains and sorrows. Only god knew what they had been through. My heart fell for them. May their souls rest in peace...














After spending few hours here, I made my way to Erawan National Park. I thought that it was not very far, but actually the park main entrance was located 40kms from the main road. I made a mistake for not refueling. DJ’s tank was almost dry so I had to ride slow. Fortunately I found a petrol station about 5kms from the park.







The entrance fee to visit this national park was B200, and B20 for motorbike. There were many people picnicking here as today is Sunday. The bikers whom I met at Hellfire Pass were here too, and with lot more other Thailand bikers. People came here to visit the famous Erawan waterfalls. This falls had 7 levels with emerald green ponds, named after the three-headed white elephant of Hindu mythology. The top tier of the falls was said to resemble the elephant's head.







I only managed to climb up to the 4th level which took a fair climb for about 2kms. The above levels were already closed by the time I was there. Too bad.






After that I returned to the Bridge of the River Kwai, just people watching and checked out the gems shop nearby.






And one last shot of the river near my GH during dusk....



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NASTIA

Band: NASTIA, Title: ANGGUR (taken from EP 'EKSPRESI')
HAK CIPTA ANITA YUSOF