Phuket, Thailand 3000km Bike Tour

22 to 27 December 2000 (6 days)
Singapore - Phuket, Thailand
Nos of Bikes - BMW F650GS Dakar and Honda NX650 Dominator
Distance: 3000Km

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  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.

1030H The day was wet even before we started from Singapore.
Road towards Mersing was interesting, several rivers had overflowed and flooded the road. Met with a road cave-in on one section and the road was blocked by M'sian policemen. The only way to pass thru the otherside was to go off-road thru the mud. Saw a few Singapore cars heading the same way and we were laughing our ass off when they found out they had to U turn back to JB for another route to Mersing. That adds another 100km at least.

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

Beach front 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 was 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 passed the Thai immigration until we arrived at the 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 and 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 was really a highway, for almost two and half hours under the rain travelling at about 110 to 120km/h it seems endless. Arrived Hatyai at 1830H fully exhausted. 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 we 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 down town for dinner. The restaurant across our hotel had great Tom Yam seafood soup.

We strolled for a bit more and partner decided 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 the messue standing over my back. So I decided to head back to town for more drinks. Partner finished his massage and called me on my mobile to check 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 from the Hotel at 0930hrs and went out to scout for breakfast. We headed up route 4 for Phattalung and Trang. Journey was plain sailing, the highway towards the town was 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 fuelling, he offered us a nice cold Thai mineral water. Both of us rejected at first as our Camelbak were still filled. Somehow we decided to take the offer as a kind gesture. Finally we arrived at Krabi for lunch, 2 beers and a nice crab meat fried rice.

Phangnga, a road of twists and turns. It was very refreshing for us after travelling constantly on the long straight Highways. Almost 3km we played with corners with speed not more than 60km/h. It was like going up Cameron Highland in Malaysia but much exhilarating. We could not see the corners we were taking. Imaging taking an uphill left corner than met with a downhill right corner not knowing where your apex!! At one point, I nearly met with an accident as it was one of those blind corners. I came upon a sandpit on the road and my front wheel washed off but with quick reflex, I was able to kick the bike straight up and went off the grass verge. It was heart throbbing.

Finally we reached Phuket Bridge at 1630hrs, we traveled another 30km before we arrived at Patong Beach. The place was jammed packed, standing on our bikes and slowly manoeuvred through the traffic to scout for a hotel till we came upon the mighty Yamaha R1. She was waiting at the traffic as liked she was welcoming us and we waved to her.

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, about 200 Sin dollars!!! Finally we settled for the second for 2 rooms at 4300bahts. We had to take those rooms coz it was Christmas Eve. I remembered one Caucasian guy was rejected after we took the last 2 rooms. I still wondered why we had taken 2 room for??!!

In the evening we headed out town for dinner. We took our bikes out and scout around the town. We had a nice dinner; 2 lobster, 1 in BBQ and 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 local was kind enough to make room among the smaller 80cc bikes for our 2 big bikes to squeeze into the parking lot. Well...the price we paid him was a bottle of Heineken. At the pub we got our Heineken beers, then came these 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 it was their last drink for them. After the beers we left the pub and went for more scouting trip. Finally we decided to park our bikes and walked 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. We decided to look for another pub to drink and came upon this alley that had like almost 20 pubs. 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 to recommend a better action, 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 to ourselves "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. By 1am, my partner was too tired so he decided to head back to the hotel while I continued the ball till 3am. Met up with a young Swedish guy and his sister was gorgeous but somehow his 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 club….saw nice ladies in cages doing the animal dance…wow!! By then it was 3am and decided to head back and get some rest.

Day 4, 25/12
The Return – Phuket to Krabi
After much discussion with my partner, we decided 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 were 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 awared 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 Hard Disk for almost 10 years.....finally I had the chance to post it!!

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