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Singapore - Malaysia - Thailand - Laos - Cambodia


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(Repost from blog: http://sgbikerboy.com/2016/06/19/the-sgbikerboy-2016-trip/)

 

I don't have a plan. Only a sketchy idea in my head. I just want to ride.

 

As I shared my plan to ride, most were surprised. Some were skeptical. Many thought I was just plain crazy. Yes, I intend to make a trip up north, quite very north.

 

"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."

 

The Mae Hong Son loop near Chiang Mai, Thailand, is on every motorcycle enthusiast's bucket list. With more than 1,800 turns and twists, it's never a boring stretch. Ever since I've heard of the Mae Hong Son loop, I've been dreaming of doing it on a motorcycle - my own motorcycle. And now that I have some time on hand, I thought why not!

 

And since I'll be up in Chiang Mai, I thought I'd also take the opportunity to tour the region. And so the crazy idea of doing a 5-country tour on the bike struck me. Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. I'm giving Myanmar, Vietnam and China a miss as my research suggests that trying to enter these countries on a foreign-registered motorcycle is, while not impossible, difficult and messy. It'll involve applying for some pricey permits prior or hiring some mandatory escorts. No thanks. I'd rather be travelling on my own.

 

Although the adventure spirit fills me, it appears that odds are against me:

 

1) I'm riding a small 2B bike. Many long distance tourers appear to make their trips on machines with 600cc and above. This makes my Pulsar 200NS - a humble Indian-made 200cc single cylinder puny by comparison. Some have suggested that I fly up to Chiang Mai and rent there. But really, that takes away half the fun!

 

2) It's a Bajaj. Ba-what?!? Bajaj. Yes, it's made in India and quite very popular there. But in most other parts of the world (including where I'm heading to), it's a relatively unknown brand. Which also means that should a breakdown happen, parts sourcing is going to be a nightmare. Things would be very different if I had a Honda, Yamaha or BMW.

 

3) I'm a P-Plate rider. That's "probationary plate". I've only obtained my riding license in January this year. Couple that with the fact that I drive on most days and ride only weekends, this gives me the equivalent bike-on-road experience of about 2 months or so.

 

4) It's a 2,500km one-way journey on a stock seat. And that's just Singapore to Chiang Mai. Roughly the equivalent of SG-KL (x7) seven times. I'll estimate the return journey to be approximately 8,000 to 10,000km. And as the Pulsar 200NS was not exactly designed to be a long distance tourer, I'll have to plan for at least 1 maintenance stop somewhere along the way.

 

5) I'm doing this solo. Yup! Solo. With a multi-week ride like this, it's not easy to find a group or riding buddy to tag along. So I'll have to do this alone. But I figured that the main advantage is that I get to travel at my own pace and that means true freedom - the very symbol that motorcycle travelling represents!

 

"Don't let anyone tell you why you cannot do something. F**king do it and make them feel stupid for ever doubting you and prove them wrong."

 

Some personal thoughts on the impending journey:

 

1) It'll force me to get out of my comfort zone. I've never went on a road trip beyond KL. I've always wanted to do Penang but never found the opportunity. But this ride is going to make my previous SG-KL trips seem minuscule in comparison.

 

2) It'll force me to make new friends. I'm a natural introvert. And being around strangers make me uncomfortable. But a solo trip is anything but solo. With a travelling companion, we tend to lean on each other and stick to the familiar group. But going out alone forces me to get to know people and make new friends.

 

3) I'm probably only get to do this once. Hopefully not. But realistically, having the opportunity of time, health and money to do a trip like this don't come together too often. Like they say, "when young and free, got time and health - no money; when one is at the prime of adult life, got health and money - no time; and when you're old and retired and got time and money - no health."

 

I'll likely be leaving Monday or Tuesday. Wish me luck! =)

 

The2016Ride.jpg

A mid-lifer who started late on the motorised 2-wheeler game. Currently riding a 200NS - with a P-plate.

Randomly rants at www.sgBikerBoy.com

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(Pics upload on this forum is limited. View blog and pics at: http://sgbikerboy.com/2016/06/20/the-sgbikerboy-2016-trip-day-1/)

 

I slept really early last night. By 10pm, I was already in bed. I set my phone alarm to 0400h. I’m generally a morning person, so getting up early was not an issue. In fact, I wanted to beat the possible morning Causeway jam and also anticipated some delays as Malaysia was supposed to start implementing the VEP system today.

 

It was with mixed feelings of excitement and trepidation that I begun the trip. Is this trip even possible? What if the bike breaks down? Can I really reach Chiang Mai? I woke up before the alarm went of. 3:40am. And since most of my stuff were already packed, I left home at approximately 4:00am. The plan is to reach Penang by noon, and that will give me some time to roam the island and also to get withdraw some cash from the ATM machine there.

 

I had initially thought of pushing up a little further – perhaps to Alor Star. But I’ve not visited Penang since 30 years ago, so I thought I’d just stay here for the night. Also, I was conscious of the fact that I started the day really early, so I thought I should get some early rest too.

 

Although done road trips to Malaysia multiple times, I have never went beyond Kuala Lumpur. So I had assumed that the entire NSHW (North-South Highway) journey would be as boring as the stretch from SG to KL. Boy! Was I wrong! The roads and views started getting really amazing somewhere between Ipoh and Taiping. Little bit of winding highway makes for some high-speed fun tilts! Really, if you’ve not done beyond KL before, I highly encourage you to try!

 

Anyway, found myself a nice accommodation with private parking space – which was important to me. I didn’t like the idea of leaving my bike out in the public street carpark.

 

It was almost 1:30pm after I’ve checked in, and I was a little hungry then. So off I went to seek for some Penang Food.

 

So after lunch, I did some banking stuff and also did a little shopping. Feeling physically exhausted, I went back to the room and slept for an hour. And by the time I woke up, it was about dinner time! And where better to have dinner than at the famous Gurney Drive Hawker Centre!

 

Okay, I’m not feeling very wordy today. Probably need some rest now. Tomorrow, I’m heading to Hat Yai. Hopefully the border crossing is going to be easy.

 

Goodnight everyone!

A mid-lifer who started late on the motorised 2-wheeler game. Currently riding a 200NS - with a P-plate.

Randomly rants at www.sgBikerBoy.com

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all the best. but i really wish you would bring a travel buddy for long journey like this.

 

I would have loved to. But for trips like this, it's difficult to find one in Hectic Singapore.

A mid-lifer who started late on the motorised 2-wheeler game. Currently riding a 200NS - with a P-plate.

Randomly rants at www.sgBikerBoy.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

And the Pulsar decided to break down..... currently stuck in Chiang Mai! =(

 

http://sgbikerboy.com/2016/07/02/the-sgbikerboy-2016-trip-day-13-bad-news/

A mid-lifer who started late on the motorised 2-wheeler game. Currently riding a 200NS - with a P-plate.

Randomly rants at www.sgBikerBoy.com

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Are you in khon kean?

A mid-lifer who started late on the motorised 2-wheeler game. Currently riding a 200NS - with a P-plate.

Randomly rants at www.sgBikerBoy.com

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  • 1 month later...

I don't know if you eventually did this trip but I hope it was a successful one I did a very similar trip almost 3 years ago also on my 2B not long after I took out my P plate. I reached the China border on the Laos side and covered 8000 plus km in about 18 days or so. Was my first solo multi week multi country road trip and it was definitely worth the effort. Don't other about what others say, your adventure is your own to make. I have some pictures and notes I wrote during the road trip on my blog @ onlyalittlefurther.wordpress.com

 

Keep going and ride safe.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thumbs up nice ride & write :)

Inspire is the key of touring!

 

:cheer::cheer::cheer:

Phantom TA200 2012, Vara 125 2013 (Betong)

TZR 125 (HatYai) 2013 & 2018 (Tak Bai)

CB400SF PB1 (Danok, HatYai, Yala, Betong and Su-ngai Kolok) 2014

CB400SF PB1 Iron Butt SaddleSore 1600k 25th Feb 2015

NT650V Deuville (Pattani) (Solo SG-MY-TH-LS)

ST1100 Pan 3 mountain ride in 24hr , MHS 1864 2017

http://tripdrive.blogspot.sg

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  • 1 month later...
Any of you guys been to Vietnam by bike?

 

I didn't go into Vietnam as it was too much of a hassle to have to apply for permit for the bike and the necessity to hire a local guide as escort. Too much trouble.

 

I think if you plan ahead and have your actual travel dates, it might help. I was doing it quite adhoc then.

A mid-lifer who started late on the motorised 2-wheeler game. Currently riding a 200NS - with a P-plate.

Randomly rants at www.sgBikerBoy.com

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I didn't go into Vietnam as it was too much of a hassle to have to apply for permit for the bike and the necessity to hire a local guide as escort. Too much trouble.

 

I think if you plan ahead and have your actual travel dates, it might help. I was doing it quite adhoc then.

 

An escort is not mandatory now but a permit yes. I did it in January.

http://yempaulantonio.blogspot.sg

 

http://sphotos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/s320x320/409306_10150499195852552_676382551_8519348_2125283426_n.jpg

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An escort is not mandatory now but a permit yes. I did it in January.

 

Oh really? That's good news then! How much would the permit cost? And quickly did you manage to obtain your permit?

A mid-lifer who started late on the motorised 2-wheeler game. Currently riding a 200NS - with a P-plate.

Randomly rants at www.sgBikerBoy.com

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  • 1 month later...

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