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Current Location : Johor Bahru, Malaysia (Google map)
Last entry date : 15 August 2008

Having a tough day at Maya Bay, Phi Phi island

04/Jul/08 to 12/Jul/08

The flight from Delhi arrived into Bangkok in the early hours of 04/Jul. Four days after initial contacts with a Delhi forwarder (thanks to recommendation from MAS Delhi office), a packer and drumming up quick money to pay for the transport, here we are, Kuda & I, traveling on the same flight into Bangkok. I don’t like flying, but this is one flight that I appreciated. Why ?? Along with the entry into China, getting this shipping coordination right within a short time was the other more difficult arrangement of the trip.

First thing first in Thailand : I tried out a bowl of tasty Thai beef noodle soup. By 8am, I found my way to the huge Thai cargo compound. At first it looked like a difficult task to get the bike cleared without a handling agent. But all I needed to do was to politely ask (the Thai people are by nature friendly and helpful) and the staff at the Thai customs pointed me along (smiles and advise inclusive). By 1.30pm, the final release docs were stamped and a couple of Thai cargo workers had helped me knocked open the wooden crate. When the Thai customs security waved me goodbye it was another great moment of the trip to know that I have arrived in a familiar region. I gave Kuda a pat. A few weeks ago Malaysia seemed so far away by road, now suddenly its just around the corner, only a “few kms” away.

With few worries on my mind I took my time to ride into Bangkok city centre to look for a hotel. But it was difficult to find my way without a city map. As I asked for directions along the way, I met Mr Dung, a biker himself, who actually got worried about me getting lost inside the city. So he decided to help me find a hotel. Needless to say we squeezed through more than 1-1/2hr of Bangkok’s friday afternoon heavy city traffic to stop unknowingly beneath a Chinatown hotel when it started to rain. It was not a fancy hotel, but it was clean, cheap and had air-con. It was also within walking distance to Bangkok’s animated Chinatown and there were plenty of food in the area. That was another good reason to stayed put in Bangkok over the next 4 days – just greasing up (and sleeping) and enjoying it. No touristy visits for me, thank you.

The original trip plan after Bangkok was to head north to Chiang Mai, then into Laos and return via Cambodia. Such a loop would require 2/3 weeks or more (some bikers take 6 months). Since Lydia and the children will arrive in 2 weeks time in Singapore, and I have a few stops along the way in Malaysia, I decided it was best that I reschedule the North Thailand, Laos and Cambodia to my 2nd part of the trip. These are beautiful countries – why rush it ?? A good thing about not having a fixed plan is that it can be changed easily ! I was rather upbeat as I rode slowly southwards on 08/Jul, taking my time to zig-zag through some of the southern Thai towns & villages. And taking time out at the beachside resort of Krabi. The South of Thailand appears to me as another great place to be ; beautiful and friendly (plus it does not burn a hole in the pocket). You could say I was enjoying a little bonus of this trip !! Why rush it ??

Louis Armstrong had good reason to sing that song.

11 Responses to « “Sawasdee” – Chilling out in sunny Thailand  »

  1. Siew Hoon & Victoria15 August 2008 à 9:51 pm

    Hi- Sheen,
    Nice hearing from you again. Hope you ,Lydia & the children’re keeping well.
    Interesting update again with beautiful,colourful photos. I feel hungry,looking at the food!!
    Victoria returned to Amsterdam last week, and is now v.busy with written work. Greetings to all back home. Take care.

  2. Hi Sheen, Lydia & fly,

    It must have taken you a while to download all those pics ….. great shots indeed!

    Don’t forget – dinner at my place! Will call later.

    Peter

  3. You have captured the essence of Chinatown in Bangkok – food, food and more food…they are famous for cheap seafood! Although the ladies might like walking around labyrinth of San Peng road .. shopping there is also great too – jeweleries, bags, shoes and other surprises! Makes me missed my second home… all those shopping is absolutely great! Again, the pictures are fantastic, kinda nostalgic for me to view them and wishing I am back there again. Have a great time with your family in Malaysia. Great to have caught up with you after all these years

  4. Hi Sheen and Lydia,

    I love the pictures. We are glad that we were able to see you in the LSU lunch last Saturday. We hope to see you again next time you come back to Malaysia.

    Teresa

  5. annie jeanmichel erwan gwen17 August 2008 à 3:12 pm

    hello la famille kua

  6. annie jeanmichel erwan gwen17 August 2008 à 3:25 pm

    hello la famille kua
    apres 15 jours de repos biem merite en corse nous voila de retour
    un coup d oeil sur le site …et j ai bien envie de retourner en thailande quel pays magnifique les photos sont merveilleuses et j aurai bien fait un plongeon dans cette eau turquoise
    vous me raconterez tout cela a votre retour
    profitez en bien bisous annie

    salu la famille dapres la carte c magnifik la thailande g envi di etre bon ba jvs souaite bon retour bye GWEN

  7. Hi Sheen, how is it going mate. You know since meeting you in Crabi I just could not stop thinking one day making a similar trip to that part of the world as you on a two wheeler. You are an inspiration to all of us keep going mate. We have been following your progress and enjoying the beautiful pictures and blog on your journey. We really enjoyed our short but meaningful encounter with you in Crabi and on a trip to the islands. Your beautiful pic of Phi Phi captures everything about that place, I love it. . Maria just got back from New York (work) and she is now on a vacation in Spain and says helooooooo. Abraham from Norwich, UK

  8. Hi Sheen,

    Late better than never. Thanks for sharing your final stage of your 1st trip. Hope you and Lydia and kids enjoy your stay in Malaysia.

    Let me know, if you need contact in Chiang Mai for your trip to Northern Thailand.

    Have fun.

    Cheers.

  9. Hello there,
    Where are you now Sheen? I’ve tried to call you on your mobile but you didnt answer, guess youb probably been riding…… (Haha Good guess huh) anyway are was superbusy last 2 weeks, now a bit free la…
    Hope youre still in Malaysia.

    Radzi KL

  10. Hello Osama, you were busy then and with Magna rider Solomon, we rode and camped up in Gunong Ledang. Since, then have parked my bike in JB, am now back in France. Lets catch up when I return to M’sia to do the 2nd leg.
    Sheen

  11. Hi Sheen and Lydia,

    You deserve to have a good rest now. Thanks for the memories. Nice to see you enjoyed yourselves in Malaysia and that you are safely back in France. The first part of your trip is very encouraging. It makes me feel like going to the places you describe here. We enjoyed having you at our LSU gathering and it will be quite an unforgettable event. Even though I didn’t get to talk to you so much, I liked listening to your tales and adventures on the road. Looking forward to the second leg of your journey,

    Teresa

    P.S. The crab is really cute.

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