Bangkok to South Thailand


Jan 10, 2007

after traveling 3 months, and around 16000 kms from Europe with my wife sitting on the back of our V-Strom650, we are now in Thailand (Pattaya). Did not bother to go ask at India/Burma border, as we thought it would be a waste of time. So we arranged airlifting the bike from Chennai to BKK (cost around 600 euros total, including Indian customs clearances (which were a nightmare!!) crating and handling costs, so included everything except our own flights.)

After the dirtyness, noisiness & raw chaos of India, it is so nice to be in a civilized place!! Dont get me wrong, I love India, but it is a tough country to travel, especially by motorbike, and we rode over 5500 kms there, from north to south. So far this has been quite simply the greatest trip we have ever done. And if the stars keep their correct alignment (like they have all the way so far), our final destination would be Sydney... but we will see.

I have been to Thailand several times, and its a shame we wont have time now to go to the mini-HU meet in Chiang Mai. Originally we planned to do a Cambodia-Laos-North Thailand tour after arriving here, especially because my wife has never been to these countries before. But India took us nearly 7 weeks to complete, so now we feel we need to continue south rather than north. Cant tell you how much I love the roads around Chiang Mai, they are THE best for motorbiking on this planet! Cambodia & Laos are very nice places, too, but we will do them another time.

So, next we are heading towards Malaysia, but I have never been to the southern part of Thailand. The plan (at the moment) looks like this:

Tomorrow, start early and go to Samut Prakan. Try and find the huge 3-headed elephant statue, and from near there the ferry over the river (and if there is some new bridge, it wont be allowed for motorbikes, is my info correct?) After getting lost on the other side (we dont have a navigator with us, as we are already carrying 2 cameras, a laptop and lots of other electronic gadgets!) for several sweaty hours, find our way to Samut Sakhon, and then after a while, to the main Highway (# 4).

Then just simply follow the highway to Phetchaburi and on to Cha-Am and Hua Hin (possibly stay a couple of nights there). Then, near Chumphon the main road seems to make a turn west to the Andaman coast, and it looks rather curvy (at least on the map). How is the road condition in these areas, and is there lots of traffic, so can you enjoy riding the main road towards Phuket? We dont know yet, if were going to Phuket itself, or if we continue to Krabi.

After spending some 2-3 lazy days on that area, we´ll follow the main highway south to Hat Yai, and then Malaysia border.

How is the security situation in the extreme south right now, have there been any incidents lately? Are there any places that would be best avoided?

Thru the extreme south, I think we will probably just stay on the main road because of the safety situation. But for the rest of these areas, if there are any recommendable detours, we would be happy to trade the main highways for some nice backroads every once in a while.

We are not in a hurry, and would like to get to see some of the sights on that part of the country (which I believe is very beautiful). We are expecting to spend around 7-10 days to go from Bangkok to Malaysian border.

I think we will get ourselves a guidebook, if we can find something else than Lonely Planet (against whom I have absolutely nothing, its just that we´ve already carried their book for Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and India, and might try something different for a change!!)

But like I said, we are complete novices regarding South Thailand, so more experienced bikers / travellers ideas about places to ride, to visit, to stay, to swim, to eat, to have a beer, etc., when heading south from Bangkok, would be warmly welcomed!
Oct 17, 2006
I asked the question about going to Malaysia just a week ago on the Phuket forum. Got this reply after many many DONT GOs

To: Ignorant clown knocking just for the sake of knocking.

The Malaysian North-South Highway from the Thai border right down to Singapore is ranked the 12th best managed highway in the world.
In South East Asia, it is no. 1.
I know this because I work on the account here in Malaysia.

Currently, they are doing upgrade works on certain stretches of the highway. Even so, the safety signs are so adequately placed that you know about the danger stretches long before.
It is generally safe as long as you practise precautious safety yourself.
ie. don't go under the bus' slip stream to cut down drag. don't wheelie right in the middle of the road.

As for the bombing, hijad, etc... while it does happen more often nowadays, it's mostly at the border area and no where near the OP's mentioned trip of Penang-KL-Singapore.

Quite tired of all the negative info which lacks any substance.
If you guys want to comment, just make sure you know your facts.

Re: Phuket , if you do come down here before I leave for Chaing Mai you are more than welcome.Unfortunatlelly my guest room is taken. But perhaps a beer or soem food ?
081 084 2245

Jun 21, 2006
Check out the section on Phuket/Southern Thailand, a few trip reports there

I have been riding/driving down to Malaysia every year for the last 6 years, no problems at all, as you exit Thailand at Sadao, just below Had Yai, and all the troubles a lot further south.

BarryBBQ actually rode thru' all the southern states on his 1200GS and lived to tell the tale, and write a report on it