Poodling 2 Pattaya II the trip.

Discussion in 'Central Western Thailand Road Trip Reports' started by bigal, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

    As some of you will recall, I asked for and received (with many thanks), some advice of this trip in October 2010. Well here is a brief follow up of the trip. It is the last of the current catch up threads but I felt it was worth doing if for no other reason than it taught me a little about how Garmin GPS systems work. Here goes...
    The trip to meet up with visiting friends from the UK who had decided they needed the more lively environment of Pattaya than the more restrained one at Chiang Mai was on; Originally there were 2 of us riding down but as things happened it became a solo trip. The much reported floods were still in the headlines but it was difficult to get information on exactly where the foods had cut roads. I had elected to go for the safety of the main highways because of this. The following is a photo of the route, well close enough (see later).
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    the link to the Google map is;
    http://goo.gl/maps/VXOm
    The trip down was planned to be a 2 day affair, having decided against using highway 11 from Lampang south due to unknown flood risk I took highway 1. Apart from some deep water filled ruts at a checkpoint and a little light rain for 15 mins or so the trip was pretty uneventful. There is a big contraflow of some 50km that is a pain and has resulted in some very crappy road surfaces but apart from that it was pretty good. In fact I was pleasantly surprised at the improvements in the road surface.
    Given it was an overcast day, I still managed to feel the effect of the sun, just goes to show.
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    I am a creature of habit, quite happy at setting of alone for a ride but tending to use places I know or like to stay at and so I decided that overnight would be at the Sing Buri Palace Hotel.
    This place has a covered area for your bike and a security chap. The room rate inclusive of breakfast is 600b for a spacious double.
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    they are equipped with the basics, the TV shows only Thai channels but so what.
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    The bathroom electrics were a little more of a concern.
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    Still showered and changed I went to the restaurant come bar come karaoke, the food is OK and both it and the drink are moderately priced. From what I can observe it look like this is pretty much a place the locals use for their karaoke nights. In a blatant attempt to get Captain Slash to read this here is a picture of dinner!
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    About now I should also apologise for the quality, or lack of it, of some of my photos, travelling I often use my phone for taking them and my N95 was getting a bit bashed and broken not to mention old and the focus and shutter speed sometimes leave a lot to be desired. Which is a shame because I would have liked to have some nice pictures of these old bikes parked by the bar.
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    Day 2 started post breakfast which was nothing to write home about so I wont bother. The ride started easy enough heading down the 32 however things started to become a little more interesting as I passed the exit to highway 329. The plan had been to take the 329 cross country until it crossed highway 1 and effectively became highway 33 but my Zumo had other ideas. as i continued south I started to thin of the mess the last time I tried to bypass Bangkok's motorway network. I therefore decided to do the next available U turn, and go back to the 329. Having done this an set off in the general direction the 329 should be taking me I came upon some T junction decisions with little guidance and a sat nav telling me something I didn't quite believe. Still given I wasn't sure of my position I decided to trust good old Garmin which promptly took me back to the 32, OK south of where I was before but still going south on the 32! The device had not completely lost it though and taking me on the 309 it was an easy ride to the 1 and then up to the 33. Messing about had probably cost me an hour but I was back on track.
    What I failed to understand, still do actually is that even with a custom route that you have programmed and are supposedly following it will still moderate the route for settings such as fastest etc. I thought a custom route was sort of custom and the nav followed it...
    Just before highway 3 I called my friend telling him 2 hours max unless something went wrong and I set of for the final stint which came to a grinding halt within a couple of km onto the 3, a smash before the bridge had caused a big snarl up. OK I am on a bike so you weave a bit but nothing here really cares about lanes or anyone else, especially the trucks, they were looking for an exit and you needed to be out of the way.
    The Zumo and I had a slight difference of opinion past Chon Buri when I elected to go left onto the 7 but apart from that it5 was pretty good. The 7 now extends all the way to Pattaya (it has for a while i think) but neither Garmin nor Google know that so sorry the last bit of the trip down (and therefore the first bit of the trip up) is slightly inaccurate.
    1st call in Pattaya was at Ryans to meet my friend for a beer, mine wasn't the only bike parked up.
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    I have started using the Diana Inn at Pattaya on second road / Soi Diana(!) opposite Mike mall. Provided you don't want a sea view it is clean and you can usually get a room for 750-850b a night including a quite good all you can eat buffet breakfast.
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    Food is good and prices are also OK.
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    they have both poolside bar and a lobby bar
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    and a pub, the green bottle
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    and Pattaya has lots of things to look at whilst enjoying a beer.
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    Fun over, it was time to head back.
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    The initial route was to duplicate the inbound route until the junction of the 1 with the 33 then to go north on the 1
    skirt Saraburi staying on the 1 until the junction with the 11. From there, take the 11 north, finding accommodation as required.
    My body had other ideas, I had felt a little under when I got out of bed and didn't have a big appetite at breakfast but I took that as just one of those things, maybe a beer too far etc.
    I wasn't ill just gut rot but a decided need to ensure I could get to the toilet which I had cause to do repeatedly. I started this trip avoiding squat style crappers, now I was just glad there was one there. The golden rule of travel was something I was glad I observed... Always, always have a bog-roll with you.
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    Taking what was a straightforward highway route back, I didn't have much to really add to this. There was a wat I hadn't seen before on the smaller roads between the 3 and the 33
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    but the gut rot had made me shift into get home mode. Still the Zumo would have loved to take me for a mystery tour. Having planned a route via the 11 I had stopped that route following my decision to go for the route i knew. Once I got to the 32 I simply hit "home" on the Zumo and expected that would basically keep me on the highway given the fastest route programme. My Zumo has bee doing some funny things since the last update on-line. it keeps trying to deviate from the main road and on this trip back at one time it was instructing me to take a 220km route back when I was some 80km from home.
    Floods, well there was a little at Saraburi but the most problematic was on the 122 that you use to bypass Nakhon Sawan. Here you could just get by on the edge of the road, slowly. Not helped by the trucks that ignoring all other road users created some sizeable waves as the took a deeper route. I saw 1 at least that didn't make it through the deeper water.
    Other than that I really didn't enjoy the contraflow section in the dark, the road surface was very poor and vehicles in both directions show little to no consideration for other road users.
    So that was the trip, once again demonstrating to me that just a sat nav is just not enough, always have a bog-roll handy and that an air-hawk is a real help when you end up riding what Google says is 900km.
    happy riding

    BigAl
     
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  3. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    BigAl,

    Nice report and pictures. What version of the Thailand map are you using in your Zumo? Have heard from a few people that the routing in version 10.1 sometimes made long detours out of the blue but version 11 (which came out in November 2010) is much better with regard to routing as well as being more detailed.
     
  4. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

    hi Auke
    I use the latest version (which must be close to 1 year old now) of the "official" Garmin map ie bought and downloaded from them. City Navigator Southeastern Asia NT 2009.30
    I did an update of the unit (not the map) on line shortly before the trip and there was a definite change in behaviour patterns, not just for this trip but on many trips it seems to want to take you for little detours for no apparent reason or benefit.
     
  5. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    Don't know if the 2009 version of the SE Asia map is the latest - Garmin has it on its website but does not give a date/year. I was referring to the ESRI Thailand map (Thailand only and does not include Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Macau) which in an earlier version had the same problems. Sometimes, when on the road routing me somewhere, it would recalculate and announce that I would reach my destination the next day as it suddenly wanted me to go to far of places before going to my destination. Before the recalculation took place I had only 2 hours or so to go - have never been able to find out what was wrong. Switching the unit Off and On would normally solve the problem. Version 11 has not yet shown this behaviour but keep my fingers crossed.
     
  6. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

    hi Auke
    The version was definatly the most up to date when this trip took place, i know as i had quite a go at garmin about it, you have to be very carefull about their website saying an update is available your dashboard says so when it isnt so and still allows you to purchase an existing version again.
    i am currently having some fun with them about it saying I have purchased a map (which i don't recall unless they have refunded a purchase and credited it against a new version of the map) but i cant download it due to an http500 unknown error. not very good for a mega multi national co.
    I quite fancy moving to the ESRI map but i have a question, my friend recently bought a Garmin nuvi over here with the ESRI map installed but it has a warning not to do any English software updates, can you clarify this to me?
    many thanks
    al
     
  7. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    Al,

    Not sure about it but the GPS's sold by ESRI and its authorized distributors are often "special" units or with other words are localized. The latest versions of the Garmin maps often have additional features like "Junction View", "3D Building View" etc. These features only seem to work on the Thai version of the GPS but not with the English version. This is probably the reason why your friend got a warning not to install updates from the Garmin website which would be in English but only those provided by ESRI Thaland, also known as CDG or GPS Society. This website http://www.gpssociety.com/V2.0/_Th/Event_Detail.aspx?EvP_id=33 shows some of the updates for various models sold in Thailand.

    Your Zumo should be able to use the the English map from ESRI without a problem. The map is now called "Thailand Street Map 11" and is availble from Eagle GPS in Phanthip Plaza here in Chiangmai for 2000 Baht or alternatively you can download hacked versions. However, the hacked versions no longer support "Search City" as the hacking process damages the inbuilt Index in the map.
     
  8. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

    great info, much appreciated
     
  9. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

    :) I didn't eat the cucumber!
     

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