27 September 2009

Phuket, Thailand Dec 2000 Bike Tour

22 to 27 December 2000 (6 days)
Singapore - Phuket, Thailand
Nos of Bikes - 2, F650GS Dakar and NX650 Dominator

Froggy and me have been good friends since 1994. We decided to embark a trip by bike from Singapore to Phuket. I deliberately chosed a Monsoon season to ride so that it makes the ride more interesting....Wet and Wild. I missed the real Monsoon when I was young in Singapore, the sound of waves and the swaying  of coconut tress. Todays Singapore is just a Metropolitan city. We have lost much of our roots and heritage. The bike Froggy was riding belongs to my sister, 95' Honda Dominator 650 is still one of my favourite touring bike, single 4-stroke 650cc, able to cover 400km atleast in a 13lts fuel tank. Easy to maintain without the modern technology and there is option to upgrade the tank to almost 50lts. My bike the BMW 650GS Dakar which was only 1 month old felt more comfortable and smoother compare to the Dominator but the fuel injection did hinder me from further upgrading the bike.

Day 1, 22/12
Rantau Abang, Total journey 483km.

The day was wet even before we started at 1030Hr from Singapore.
Road towards Mersing was interesting, several rivers had overflowed and flooded the road. Met with a cave-in in one section of the road and the road was blocked by M'sian policemen. The only way to pass thru the otherside was to go offroad thru the mud. Met a few Singapore cars heading that way and was I laughing my way out when they found out they had to U turn back to JB for another route to Mersing.

Had lunch at Mersing. After passing Mersing, my partner who was following behind came up to stop me. My Gearsack was melting on my exhaust "DAMN!!" It was less than a day old. Continue the journey until Rantau Abang. ETA 1830hrs

Beachfront chalet for M$30.

The place was quiet except for 2 of us and the roar of 2mtrs high waves and strong wind

On our way to Kota Bharu from Awang's Chalet.

The drain outside Awang's Chalet is normally dry on non-Monsoon season

Day 2, 23/12
Hatyai, Total Journey 528km

Left RA at 0900hrs without breakfast. Continued our journey on route 3 till Kota Bharu and had lunch there. Headed up to Sungai Golok via Pasir Mas. Arrived Malaysian immigration at Rantau Panjang at 1400hrs. Cleared without any problems. We were so excited and we actually rode pass the Thai immigration until we arrive at Custom checkpoint. The kind officer told us that we had passed the immigration and we should turn back to have our passport stamped. When we were at the immigration, the officer was kind enough to hand us immigration form to fill up. We queued up to have our passport stamped. Both of us were on different queue. I was puzzled why I had to pay M$2 to the officer while my friend did not. Hmm.....Froggy must have looked like a Thai...LOL

From Thai checkpoint we decided to use the smaller village road and not the highway that heads up to Narathiwat, Pattani and Hatyai. We calculated the journey and it would make additional 40 to 60km. So we used the road heading to Rangae and Yala. Somehow we were lost for awhile when we were in the village. We couldn't find the road out and we circled for awhile. By the time we reached Yala, it was almost 1700hrs. From Yala we used the highway and headed up to Hatyai. Damn ...it was really a highway, for almost two half hours under the rain travelling at about 110 to 120km/h it seems endless. Arrived Hatyai fully exhausted at about 1830hrs. Lucky for us, Thai time was 1730hrs and that was a relieved. Check-in Hotel Sakura Grand View for about 40 Sin dollars which was more than I expected. On the sixth floor, the rooms were well furnished. Took my first beer from the minibar after 2 days riding and it was Heaven is a Place on Earth. We took quick bath and headed out to visit the town for dinner. The restaurant across our hotel had great, Tom Yam seafood soup. We strolled for a bit more and partner decides for a massage so we went back to our hotel. I was reluctant to have a massage as my dinner was still filled in my stomach, I didn't want the food to come out of mouth when you are having the messue standing on your back. So I decided to head back to town for more drinks. Partner finished his massage and called me on my mobile to check on my location, as I was the one holding our room card key.

He joined me for another drink and we headed back for a good night sleep.

Day 3, 24/12
Phuket, Total journey 469km
Checkout the Hotel at 0930hrs and went to scout for our breakfast. We headed up route 4 for Phattalung and Trang. Journey was plain sailing, the highway towards the town were great. We traveled between 120 to 130 km/h on a dry day. By the time we reached the small village, Sai Khoa for fuel it was almost 1200hrs. The petrol attendant was very kind. While we were having our smoke break after the fuel, he offered us a nice cold Thai mineral water. Both of us rejected at first as our Camel pak are still filled. Somehow we decided to take the offer as a kind gesture. Finally we arrived at Krabi for our lunch, 2 beers and a nice crab meat fried rice.

Phangnga, a road of twists and turns. It was very refreshing for us after all the long straight roads. For almost 3km we play with the corner no more than 60km/h. It was like going on Cameron Highland in Malaysia but much exhilarating. We couldn't see the corners we were taking. Imaging taking an uphill left corner than you meet with a downhill right corner not knowing where your apex point is.....Wow. At one point of time, I nearly met with an accident as I was taking one of those blind corners, I came upon a sandpit on the road. My front washed off but with my quick reflex, I was able to kick the bike straight up and went off the grass verge. That was heart throbbing for me.

Finally we reach the Phuket Bridge at 1630hrs, we traveled another 30km before we arrived at Patong Beach. The whole place was jammed packed, standing on my bike as I slowly maneuver through the traffic to scout for a hotel, we came upon the mighty Yamaha R1. She was waiting upon the traffic as like she was welcoming us.

We managed to check into a hotel after scouting 2 hotels. Man ... the price was so expensive. The first hotel at the end of Patong Beach offered 5000bahts, that's about 200 Sin dollars!!! Finally we settle for the second for 2 rooms at 4300bahts. We had to take those rooms coz it was Christmas Eve. I remember one Caucasian guys was rejected after we took the last 2 rooms. I still wonder why we had taken 2 room for??!!

In the evening we decided to head out town for dinner. We took our bikes out and scout the town. We had a nice dinner; 2 lobster, 1 in BBQ the other in garlic sauce, steam promfert and banana leave chicken cost us Sin 100 dollars.

After dinner we went for a drink in one of the pub. It was a road side pub and the guys was kind enough to make room among the smaller 80cc bikes for our 2 bikes to squeeze into the parking lot. Well...the price we paid was one bottle of Heineken for him. At the pub we got our Heineken beers, then came to this ladies who offer to sit beside us for a price of a drink and so we agreed. Before we could finish half bottle of our beer, they came asking to buy them a second drink. We looked at each other and decided that was their last drink for them. After the beers we left the pub and went more scouting. Finally we decided to park our bike and walk down the walkways of Patong for some gifts. Phuket was expensive, I saw the same wallet which I wanted to buy for my wife in Hatyai cost 8 time the price there. We decided to look for another pub to drink and came upon this alley that had like almost 20 pubs there. Finally we decided upon one and sat there till Christmas came.

At about 2300hrs there was thunder coming up from the sky as I was talking to my wife who was back in Brunei with my kids for Hari Raya. I looked up and there it was a massive firework.

Later we asked the ladies there if there was any better action here, so she recommended a Disco somewhere round the corner. We followed her direction and arrived at this beautiful setting outside the Disco. They had carved ice structure outside but by the time we arrived, the ice had melted and we can’t make out what was it.

When we got into the Disco, we looked at each other and said we should have been here earlier. The festive mood was great. Everyone was having a ball here. Got a table beside 3 ladies who were drinking Tequila shot like there is no tomorrow!!! It was fun watching the people around us. At 1am, my partner was too tired so he decided to head back to the hotel. I continued the ball till 3am. Met up with a young Swedish guys, his sister was gorgeous but somehow the sister left him and went to look for more fun within the crowd. He told me that their father had sent them to Thailand and he was taking a Scuba course here. His father didn’t give him enough money, all was given to the sister…poor guy. He asked if I could change him some Swedish kronors for Thai Bahts…Damn he was really desperate but I offered him a beer instead. We walked round the whole Disco….saw nice ladies in cages doing the animal dance…wow!! By then it was 3am so I decided to head back and get some rest.

Day 4, 25/12
The Return – Phuket to Krabi

After much discussion with my partner, we decide to scrap the idea to Ko Sumi due to unforeseen circumstances. We had 3 friends from Singapore heading there and we had planned to meet up. I had to call them and cancelled the meeting. (Shit I can't remember now who are these friend!!)

We left Patong, Phuket and rode round the island before heading back the winding roads of Phangana. We took some pictures along the way.Finally we arrived Krabi around 1530hrs and got a room for the night.

Day 5, 26/12
Krabi – Hat Yai

There was nothing much we did in Krabi, just headed to some pubs and had a few drinks. Our motive was to get back home ASAP.

Day 6, 27/12
Hat Yai - Singapore
While in Malaysia, I called my friend Cliff and told him of our return, he did not believed us and we decided to give him a surprise. Finally when we arrived in Singapore around 1800h, our friends were not aware of our return and we surprised them when they were at Brewerks pub.

Total trip distance covered almost 3000Km. Thanks Froggy ... it been a swell trip!! Geez.... I had this trip report in my HD for alomst 8 years.....finally I had the chance to post it!!


  1. Bro, it is a nice blog....at least those memories is still there.

    I will never forget that trip we had.....Cheers.

  2. I had this trip report since we came back from that trip. Iook 10 years to publish...hehe