Round Thailand Ride Report - Final Part

Discussion in 'Central Western Thailand Road Trip Reports' started by phuah, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. phuah

    phuah Active Member

    Day 17 ( Mae Sot to Sukhothai – approx 165km) (11/1/2004)
    As the ride to Sukhothai will be a short one, we decide to go and visit the Thai-Myanmar friendship bridge area in the morning before we moved off to Sukhothai.
    We rode to the border area, took some pictures and visit the markets. Saw the signboard saying “The Westest of Thailand at Moei River”. Remember that there was a similar signboard at Mae Sai saying the Northest part of Thailand. Wonder will there be any signboard at the Eastest and Southest part of Thailand.
    Leave Mae Sot at around noon. Route 105 was in good condition all the way to Tak. Nice big bends with good surfaced. There were few stretches of the road that was under road widening. It will be good once the whole stretch has been widened.
    All the way east on route 105 will hit route 1. Turned left to route 1 toward Tak. Before Tak, turned right to route 12 with the road sign showing to Sukhothai.
    Before reaching Sukhothai, there were few roads named as 12. One of the route 12 will go directly to the old Sukhothai. As we were planning to stay at the new Sukhothai, so we proceed straight, which is also route 12. Then, we hit another junction, which either straight or turned right also route 12. Continue straight. Hit another junction with route 1195. Check my map, and found out that the route 12 that I was at will go directly to Phitsanulok. I have missed the correct route 12 that will go to the New Sukhothai. I turned right on 1195 heading south, which lead to route 101, and managed to get to the New Sukhothai town.
    Check into Rajthanee hotel, which was on the main road, at the rate of 700 baht per night.
    While checking out the town, found there was massage services provided by some institute, in one of the Wat. As it was only 100 baht per hour, so try it out and found it was not bad.

    Day 18 ( Sukhothai ) (12/1/2004)
    We have planned to spend one full day exploring the historical places in this area. The first place we visited was the information center. We saw a lady tour guide explaining to a group of students in the center when we were there.. Later she gave us suggestion as to how to make full used of the time we have. She suggested that we look around the temples at the outskirt first, then proceed to Si Satchanalai historical park, and then came back to the Sukhothai historical park in the late afternoon as the Sukhothai historical park closed at 7pm. She also advised us to buy the complete ticket that could be used to visit both the historical parks and some temples. At first we thought that she was the stuff in the information center, but later found out that she was the tour guide for the group of students. Appreciate her help.
    After visiting some wat around that area, we rode north to visit Si Satchanalai historical park, which was supposed to be more than 60km away.
    We did not have any detail map with us, but with the directions given to us by the helpful tour guide and following the road signs, we managed to find the place, and spend some times there. It was more quiet then Sukhothai. We rode our bike around the park, without our helmet, stopped wherever we want, when we saw anything interesting.
    For the returned route, we managed to get to route 101, which lead us back to the New Sukhothai, and John thought that I have missed the hotel, when I did not stopped at the hotel but proceed to the historical park.
    The historical park was very well taken care, and as we were there around 5 pm, all tourists have left. The place was peaceful and quiet. Saw two backpackers relaxing and reading under one of the tent by the side of the river. They really know how to enjoy themselves.
    We have our dinner at Chopper Bar. Saw the place when walked passed it on the previous night. This was the place mentioned by Bob during our meeting in Chiang Mai. We went there by our bike, so as to identify ourselves as biker.
    The people immediately make some space for our bike when we reached there. Saw the owner, which was also a biker. The place was quite alright. Have stayed for quite a while after dinner enjoying the Thai country song.

    Day 19 ( Sukhothai to Ayutthaya –approx 370km ) (13/1/2004)
    From Sukhothai, we rode towards Phitsanulok on route 12. Before go into Phitsanulok, we turned right to route 117 towards Nakhon Sawan by following the road sign.
    Route 117 was like a normal high way. Some section was having road-widening work going on. For some sections, we were traveling on a new road, and the old road on the side was closed for re-surfacing. Believed that not long in the future, route 117 will become a dual carriageway. Route 117 go directly straight to Nakhon Sawan. John’s GPS did not have the route 117 in the base map.
    Reached Nakhon Sawan, we continue south on route 1. On route 1, I was keep on looking for route 32, which will lead us to Ayutthaya, but cannot find any sign for route 32.
    Stopped at a petroil station for petrol and told John to look out for route 32. After coming out of the petrol station, went passed a junction, and found we were already on route 32.
    From route 32, we went towards Bangkok. Hit the junction with route 309, turned left to route 309 and followed the road signed showing Ayutthaya. From route 309, easily get to Ayutthaya, as I have been there last year.
    Went directly to River View Hotel, where I have stayed there last year. They have the most spacious room for all the hotels that I have stayed in so far.
    But too bad, the rooms were fulled. The hotel staff helped us to call other hotels nearby and they said that there were rooms available at Ayothaya hotel. After getting directions from the hotel staff, we managed to find Ayothaya hotel, which was located opposite the railway station. The room rate was 1300baht per night.
    Brought John for a river cruise, visit Wat Phanan Choeng, and fish feeding at the riverside of the temple compound.
    In the evening, we have almost a feast. We have pizza, and then John went to have a bowl of noodles at a roadside stall. Few minutes later, we were in Swensen having ice cream.

    Day 20 ( Ayutthaya ) (14/1/2004)
    The program for the day will be hiring a tuk tuk to bring us around Ayutthaya.
    Just out of the hotel, we saw a tuk tuk. Found out that the tuk tuk driver can speak English. Good. When we asked about hiring the tuk tuk, he showed us his license, and the TAT notice on the recommended hourly rate of 200 baht per hour.
    Until the end of the day, we have hired the tuk tuk for 7.5 hours. As this is the second time that I have visited Ayutthaya, almost been to all the important or famous wat. But the most interesting place to me was the Bang Pa-in Palace. The place was beautiful and well-taken care. Was not there during the last visit. Maybe that was why it was interesting to me. Surprised to see building with Chinese and European style in the compound. Certain places we can went in to visit, but no photo taking. And for certain places, even locked up. There were sentries all around the places. Understand that the King still visits the place occasionally.
    The tuk tuk driver dropped us at a huge shopping mall at the end of the day. As the place was way out of the town, there was no tuk tuk available. The driver told us to tell him a time, and he will came back to pick us up. At first, I was wondering whether the driver will keep his promise to come back to pick us up a few hours later as he had collect the money. But the driver do turned up on time to pick us up.
    We had our dinner at the hotel riverside restaurant.

    Day 20 ( Ayutthaya ) (14/1/2004)
    The program for the day will be hiring a tuk tuk to bring us around Ayutthaya.
    Just out of the hotel, we saw a tuk tuk. Found out that the tuk tuk driver can speak English. Good. When we asked about hiring the tuk tuk, he showed us his license, and the TAT notice on the recommended hourly rate of 200 baht per hour.
    Until the end of the day, we have hired the tuk tuk for 7.5 hours. As this is the second time that I have visited Ayutthaya, almost been to all the important or famous wat. But the most interesting place to me was the Bang Pa-in Palace. The place was beautiful and well-taken care. Was not there during the last visit. Maybe that was why it was interesting to me. Surprised to see building with Chinese and European style in the compound. Certain places we can went in to visit, but no photo taking. And for certain places, even locked up. There were sentries all around the places. Understand that the King still visits the place occasionally.
    The tuk tuk driver dropped us at a huge shopping mall at the end of the day. As the place was way out of the town, there was no tuk tuk available. The driver told us to tell him a time, and he will came back to pick us up. At first, I was wondering whether the driver will keep his promise to come back to pick us up a few hours later as he had collect the money. But the driver do turned up on time to pick us up.
    We had our dinner at the hotel riverside restaurant.

    Day 21 ( Ayutthaya to Prachuap Khiri Khan–approx 410km ) (15/1/2004)
    We need to do a by-passed from Bangkok to go south. We have not decide where to stopped for the night when we start the ride for the day.
    From Ayutthaya, we headed for route 3263. All the way on 3263 until we hit a T-junction. Turned left at the junction to route 340. Headed south on route 340 until it reaches the junction with route 346. There was no right turn to route 346. Need to go straight after the junction, made a U-turn and went back to the same junction and turned left to route 346. From route 346, we turned left to route 321. Traffic was heavy as it looks like all the traffic was moving into Bangkok. We reached the junction with route 4. Turned left will be going into Bangkok as shown from the sign. We turned right to route 4 to head south.
    While riding on route 4, I was deciding where to stop for the night. At least I decide to stopped at Prachuap Khiri Khan.
    From route 4, we followed the road sign and turned left to go to Prachuap Khiri Khan, which was just 2 km from route 4. Have never been to this town before. Reached a junction, saw a monkey status with a bunch of monkeys wondering around the place on the opposite side of the road. It looks like a wat. Saw some motorcycles taxi there. Asked them about directions to nearby hotel, and they have directed us to a hotel, which we later found out to be the only quite established hotel in the area. The hotel was Had Thong Hotel, which was situated directly facing the sea, and of course we have asked for a sea view room, which cost us 1136 baht per night. Wonder how did they come up with a room rate of 1136 baht.
    After check into the room, it has a balcony where, we could see the whole bay, the clear sky and sea in front of us. This was the best view hotel that we have stayed so far.
    It was a quiet town, did not see much tourist, so I should say no tourist. It was more of a fishing village, with a handful of fishing boat parked around the bay. Really enjoyed walking around the town as the place was relaxed and slow pace.
    We had dinner in the hotel restaurant, where we later regretted about it, because just next to the hotel there was an open-air local restaurant, which was packed. Saw few groups of Thai tourist that was staying in the same hotel having their dinner there.
    Stayed at the beach for quite some times enjoying the evening sea breeze. Saw those fishing boats with their lights on, getting ready to start work.
    Nice place although nothing to see or visit. Went to the night market. They sell everything from meat, vegetables, to cooked food, clothing and toys.

    Day 22 ( Prachuap Khiri Khan to Hatyai–approx 680km ) (16/1/2004)
    After washing up, take some time to see the beautiful sunrise before went down for breakfast. Nice way to start the day.
    We were back on route 4 after we have left Prachuap Khiri Khan. Around 150km after Prachuap Khiri Khan, there was a huge service area. They have a petrol station, an air-con food center, and there are a few fruits stalls at the opened area. We have a nice coffee break at one of the coffee stall after topping up petrol.
    From route 4, we continue south on route 41 after Chumphon. Passed by many junctions that have heavy traffic. Trucks, cars, motorcycles and even pedestrians crossed the roads like nobody’s business.
    We were stopped twice at the police stop. For the first stop, they only asked where we are from, and where we are going. But for the second stop, we were told that we were speeding for the speed of 120km/h. I believed that we were riding at a much higher speed. As the police cannot speak English, we were told to go slow. I apologized, and we were allowed to go.
    On one of the junctions, as the traffic light turned green, I just accelerate off. After some times, did not see John following behind. I tried to slow down, and yet did not see him catching up. Something must be wrong. Went into one petrol station, and saw John send me a SMS saying that he was involved in an accident, and was going to the police station. As I do not know which way to the police station, so I have told John that I will wait for him at the petrol station. It end up that I waited for two hours at the petrol station.
    Actually how the accident happened was that three Thai young girls was riding a small bike, and they get to close to John’s bike during moved off at the traffic light. So a light tab on the bike by John’s 300kg bike, caused 3 of them all fall off to the road. As nobody around the accident area can communicate with John, they have to get the police to settle the issue. When they were in the police station, nobody in the station can speak English. So they have to call an officer from another station. After all the reports and the police asked John whether he could give the other party some money to settle the whole issue. As the three young girls have bruises all over their hands and legs, he gave them S$100, which is about 2300baht to settle the whole issue.
    After reaching the junction to Phatthalung, we continue south on route 4, followed by route 43 and get to Hatyai. We stayed in the same hotel, Daiichi hotel. This time we paid walked in rate, which was 700 baht. Much expensive than getting the room from those tour company.
    After dinner, went for our last round of massage before headed back to Singapore on the next day.

    Day 23 ( Hatyai to Singapore –approx 900km ) (17/1/2004)
    The route back to Singapore on the North South highway of Malaysia was the most boring part of the whole ride.
    The only thing worth mentioning was that after Sungai Buloh R & R there was supposed to be a split, where we will have to keep to the left to by-passed KL. But the road was closed. So we have make a detour where we have to get into KL, make a few turns, then get back to the highway southbound back to Singapore.
    Reached the last petrol station on the highway before getting over to Singapore. It marked the end of my 23 days Thailand ride. Do the last topped up of Malaysian petrol and check my meter. Have covered a total distance of 8103km for this 23 days trip.
    For this trip, have visited many new places, seen many things, make new friends and have many experiences, good and bad. All these memories will be with me for the rest of my life.

    This is the second trip for the second consecutive year. Hoped that could make it a yearly trip.

    Phuah
     
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