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[Trip Report] My drive to Central Thailand CNY 2007


fc3s1
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The Route....

 

My inital plan was to drive to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap via Aranyaprathet(Thailand) during the Chinese New Year Holidays. However a friend of mine who did this trip recently on a bike advised me not to, citing the extremely bad conditions of the road.

 

And so I packed my bags, prep my car and took it for a ride to Central Thailand along with my parents. Covering over 4000km of roads within a period of 7 days from 17th to 25th Feb 2007. The main towns I have traveled to include Hatyai, Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Kanchanburi and Hua Hin.

 

Here's my story together with some photos I have taken.... Enjoy :p

 

 

Leaving Singapore @ around 1:30am, I reached Tapah R&R @ 4:30am

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0285.jpg

 

Arriving @ the Malaysia / Thailand border (Sadao) bright and early 8:00am

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0290.jpg

 

HATYAI - Southern Thailand, 888KM from Singapore

 

Stayed at The Regency Hotel, Hatyai and watched the Annual Lion Dance

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0308.jpg

 

The Dragon Dance

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Picture of the city town centre

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Road side stall selling cuttlefish @ night

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0322.jpg

 

Dessert....

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0329.jpg

 

A little boy @ the roadside stall

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0324.jpg

 

Towards Bangkok... Along the way we pass many villages each selling different products. We stop for some bananas...

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Road towards Prachuap Khiri Khan

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There's this shop along the Highway after Hua Hin selling hot cakes. Thais buy them in dozens..

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We bought some hot cakes too.

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1 more cake

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Rama IX Bridge into Bangkok. Toll charges 40 Baht for cars.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0340.jpg

 

BANGKOK - Capital of Thailand, 1900KM from Singapore

 

Grand Business Inn is where i stayed in Bangkok. Located beside NaNa BTS. 1500 Baht for standard rooms.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0341.jpg

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This was what happen last night when we were in Hatyai. The attacks were in Yala. About 100km away from Hatyai.

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The Nation Newspaper

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0383.jpg

 

We went shopping @ Pratunum Market

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Bags @ MBK

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Flowers / Baiyoke Sky Hotel

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Beggar @ Pratunum

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A boy packing food along the roadside..

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0352.jpg

 

A boy outside Chit Lom BTS Station

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This is the hottest retro bike now. Yamaha Vino Automatic.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0378.jpg

 

My Favourite, Omelette with Minced Pork on rice, Fishes not included.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0368.jpg

 

This is my V-Com. Sleeps most of the time...

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0373.jpg

 

Victory Monument. Good market but security is maximium there due to the bombings last nite.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0389.jpg

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Went to check out the cracks @ the airport too before heading to Ayuthaya...

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0402.jpg

 

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AYUTHAYA - Ancient Capital, 85KM North of Bangkok, Unesco World Heritage Site.

 

Temple parking

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Tuk Tuk here have sharp noses... This 1 in pink..

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0404.jpg

 

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (Wat=Temple)

Built in 1357 by King U Thong

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http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0429.jpg

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http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0434.jpg

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0460.jpg

 

Often i wonder how they build these hundreds of years ago. Lot at those stairs... This one's really tall.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0463.jpg

 

A local gardener @ the temple

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Shared half of my fried noodle lunch with her.

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Wat Mongkhon Bophit / Wat Phra Si Sanphet

Contains one of Thailand's largest Buddha images. Also the largest temple in Ayuthaya. Most temple here charges 35 Baht per entry for conservation purposes.

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0474.jpg

 

A pic taken @ the door. Look at the size...

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Entrance to the next temple.

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http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0484.jpg

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Lots of Buddha images has been destroy during the war and some are even stolen. The remaining are kept in the temple.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0496.jpg

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0495.jpg

 

I caught this temple caretaker idling on the fence.

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An old lady selling handmade stuff outside the temple. My papa bought one. 20 baht.

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Rides around the temple

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0468.jpg

 

Wat Phra Mahathat

The most photographed sites in Ayuthaya.

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0505.jpg

 

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After spending more than half a day in Ayuthaya, we continued our journey to Kanchanaburi through Nakhon Pathom.

I was lost for about 2 hrs or so while skirting in and out of Bangkok till i saw this sign... I was on the right track.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0512.jpg

 

I stop to shoot some cows too....

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0513.jpg

 

4km more....

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0514.jpg

 

KANCHANABURI - 130km West of Bangkok.

 

My Hotel. 1500 Baht per night for triple room.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0576.jpg

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Saw our fellow Malaysian bikers there too..

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0519.jpg

 

Allied War Cemeteries

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0521.jpg

 

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I really love this province but didn't have the time to explore the full 220km of it up to the 3 Pagoda Pass. There are lots of foreign tourist in town.

Gasoline for sale here...

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Only a few of these bikes are left in Singapore.

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A special custom bike.

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Bicycles

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0543.jpg

 

I found this beautiful guest house by the Mae Klong River. VN GuestHouse. Rooms are 350 Baht. Free enclosed parking for cars and bikes.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0558.jpg

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0536.jpg

 

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WWII Train

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http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0551.jpg

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The Bridge Over River Kwai (Death Railway Bridge)

This was what my papa is here for..

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0554.jpg

 

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Walking on the bridge to the other side of the river was a scary experience for me. Heard that 16,000 POWs died building this railway. Found this on the other side.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0568.jpg

 

My dad tells me that the Japanese used to hide in one of these and shoot their automatic weapons. Looks more like a lifeguard post to me..

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0571.jpg

 

Wat Tham Seua / Wat Tham Khao Noi

 

Large hill-top monasteries with steep steps and rewarding views.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0578.jpg

 

Those who cannot climb the 100+ step can take the MRT at the side too..

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0581.jpg

 

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Rewarding views from the top. Kanchanaburi and rice fields.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0595.jpg

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0597.jpg

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After spending 1.5 day at Kanchanaburi, we move on to Hua Hin. Driving outside of Bangkok is a whole lot easier. Made a right turn down to Ratchaburi at the intersection.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0602.jpg

 

HUA HIN - 200KM South of Bangkok.

Famous beach resort town, full time residence to the King Of Thailand.

 

The hotels here are all very expensive by standard. This is my hotel. 2550 Baht for triple rooms. Good location though.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0610.jpg

 

Partial seaview from our rooms

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0607.jpg

 

Our hotel is right behind....

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Beach around Hilton Hua Hin

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This is my favourite picture. This little girl and friends were play at a construction site barefooted with heavy machinery thumping behind. When they saw my camera aiming at them, all ran behind the canvas sheet except this liitle girl. That was when i took a picture of her...

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0611.jpg

 

Famous Hua Hin Night Market

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0640.jpg

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0637.jpg

 

Banana prata

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0642.jpg

 

We had mango prata instead.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0698.jpg

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http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0699.jpg

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0709.jpg

 

Beautiful lights for sale

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0633.jpg

 

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A shy balloon man. There weren't much kids around and business was bad.

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We had western food dinner at this good and cheap and restaurant called..

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We went around town the next morning... Morning market

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http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0649.jpg

 

Wanna buy a house here.. 3 million baht = SGD$140,000 Seaview

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0658.jpg

 

The Clock Tower

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0657.jpg

 

School's starting

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Wat Hua Hin

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0651.jpg

 

Shared my morning otah cake with this cat outside the temple..

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0655.jpg

 

Just look @ me... what do you expect.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0662.jpg

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Nice Vino @ Hua Hin

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0696.jpg

 

Hua Hin Train Station

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0663.jpg

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0664.jpg

 

Took a pic of this rather sad looking dog @ the station

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0670.jpg

 

Fishing boats in Hua Hin

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View from the best View Point

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0685.jpg

 

I found these admiring the beautiful view of Hua Hin with me there... so cute.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0691.jpg

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0692.jpg

 

This little girl was struck on the tree after trying to follow the monkeys.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0690.jpg

 

Wat Huai MongKhon(Luang Po Thuad - Master Thuad)

The Largest Luang Po image in the world

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I notice this shop beside selling buddha pendant with lots of thais in there..

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0682.jpg

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A closer look.... I realised that this master makes powerful pendant. Car crash can save u... Kenna black magic also can cure...

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0680.jpg

 

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Saw this Thai Bro on the last nite in Hua Hin

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0711.jpg

 

Left Hua Hin early next morning for a direct drive into Kuala Lumpur. It was the longest drive of my life. I drove for 17 hrs leaving Hua Hin @ 8am and reaching K.L @1.30am with a one hr break along the way @ Hatyai.

 

Along the way back I passed by Pineapple Shopping Arcade.... Biggest one i have seen so far...

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0715.jpg

 

Fruit village...

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0717.jpg

 

Prawn cracker village (All the stalls in each village basically sells the same things)

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0722.jpg

 

Coconut village

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0723-1.jpg

 

I couldn't sleep that very night we arrived @ K.L after driving for the longest time... We concluded our journey with a final drive up to Genting Highlands before heading back to Singapore. Anyway what is CNY without a gamble!!!

 

This very trip saw me burning $245 for gasoline95 in Thailand, $100 for gasoline97 in Malaysia, $100 for Malaysian Toll, $5.00 for the local Thai insurance and for the experience, priceless.

 

For those wondering how I can navigate through these foreign lands, here's my GPRS (Available in Manual Mode Only @ all good bookstores around u!!!)

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0739.jpg

 

And needless to say, all this wouldn't have happen without my dearest Mom and Dad.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e389/fc3s1/IMG_0455.jpg

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jaw drop for the kind of effort and courage to do such long distance travelling.

 

good write up!

Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

 

http://w1.bikepics.com/pics/2004/07/22/bikepics-184190-200.jpghttp://w1.bikepics.com/pics/2004/07/22/bikepics-184190-200.jpg

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My dearest Bro Amos,

 

Looks like your adventure bugs bite you deeply.. Got to learn from your great stamina and good time plan.

 

We shall do a Nhnon Khai "friendship Bridge" trip when you get your bike.

 

Good trip!!

New adventures created when you ride your bike....

Driving car is like cooking my food in a mirco wave oven..

Riding bike is like BBQ my food in nature

 

Get your heart pumping and adrenaline flowing..

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bro Amos!

 

Power man! I think China will be your next destination.

New adventures created when you ride your bike....

Driving car is like cooking my food in a mirco wave oven..

Riding bike is like BBQ my food in nature

 

Get your heart pumping and adrenaline flowing..

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Hi fc3s1 ,

 

nice trip u did to central thailand . Maybe the next one you should try Siem Reap again . No problem to drive there with your car if you go there in the dry season . Maybe abit slower only , bcos of the road condition .

 

If you interested , can take a look at some of my videos in youtube .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers !

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