Trip Report - Malaysia-Thailand-Myanmar

Auke

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Nov 10, 2003
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Yes, I probably did not phrase it properly as you are driving the roads even more to the east as I mentioned in my message. The dirt roads are in between the reservoir and the road you are riding - see the pictures from Graham Rogers.

SisawatN1.jpg


SisawatN2.jpg


Well, the roads do not need to be wide but having some "swerving" space can be useful. I remember about 2 years riding in Laos on a dirt road in one of the National parks - good road so was speeding a bit as there was no other traffic (I thought). Suddenly from the other side the park rangers appeared also in a 4WD - thinking the same as me. Luckily the road was wide enough at that point but our side mirrors touched and wrecked mine so it was a close call.
 

Abg Acid

Ol'Timer
Jan 31, 2007
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Sorry guys for the long absence, it was new year, had a lot of work at the office, clearing up backlogg issues. Also had to spend time for a motorcyle magazine write up, a local magazine I m writing for at the moment. Anyway, thanks for the tips and information concerning the roads between Kanchanburi and mae sot.

As promised earlier, I m finding time here to continue the journey. We stopped somewhere at FAng - Cheng Rai,- Mae Sai, right.

Well, at Mae Sai, we didint see much,.. as we had planned to enter Myanmar . we reached mae Sai, a bit late and check in at Mae Sai Hotel,.as it was easy to be seen from the main road and we didint have much time to explore other places. At 400b per nite twin sharing, it is not recommended at all. Small room, and everything is pretty worn out inside, its old.

But, mae sai has interesting nite aktivities,.. all along the main road there are traders selling all sorts of goodies. We walked , shopped and eat whatever good or no good food from the numerous stalls.

Arriving late evening at Mae Sai, busy street with lots of ornaments.


Cusotmand immigration check point, this is Thai Mae Sai's side
 

Abg Acid

Ol'Timer
Jan 31, 2007
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Entering Laos. It was easy to get into thailand from Malaysia with our bikes. but into Myanmar it is a different story. There are many protocols and so we decided to leave our bikes at Mae Sai. Even our passports were taken at Myanmar 's immigration, and we were issued sort of traveling paper. Add to that, we were requested to pay USD10.

Really dont understand why the passport was taken and kept till we return.

Entering Myanmar, Its "the Union Of Myanmar". Drivce on the left side as in USA, not brittish at all. Thought burma was once a british colony like malysia


Too many sellers getting on you. Difficult to move around, so we chartered a tuk tuk. But ciggarettes were dam cheap.


The town of Tachilek, hardly any high buildings anywhere. But unfortunately we didint get to explore the back country as we wished to.
 

Abg Acid

Ol'Timer
Jan 31, 2007
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Soon after Tachilek, we reenter Thailand, collect our passport and bikes and head slightly eastwards

Opium Park,.. a lot to see, muzium, halls of oipim, etc etc


we also visited the junction where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos Meet, part of the Golden triangle. This river becomes the Mekong , am I right?


Finally we reached Chieng Rai. Mr, Cor, a friend to Rudy of gt-rider guide us in to the guest house. Thanks guys
 

Abg Acid

Ol'Timer
Jan 31, 2007
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At Cheng Rai we have made plans with Rudi for a tour around the lake at Payao before we head to Chieng Mai the next day. Rudi was to ride to Cheng Rai to meet us the following morning. Everyone was keen on the short tour. Sadly, this didnt materialise.

EArly next morning, one of the rider told me he is leaving the group, riding back to Malysia that very day. We were speechless, and of course we couldnt let him ride alone , its just too far away. It was really a bad situation for all of us, and we had to decide fast.

We talked him out finally, that all of us would ride with him to Chieng Mai that very morning, forget about the tour to Payao, and from there will board the evening train to Bangkok, and from Bangkok will take another train or ride off as soon as possible. He aggreed.

So, Rudi, I had to call you, but unfortunate you were on your bike getting to Cheng Rai, and I Sms you tellinng we have to leave Cheing Rai that very moment. It was situation I had to let our plans off, and still feeling guilty till now. I really hope I didnt put you in a very unconvenient situation then.

Anyway, we rode south and at Payao, that rider for reason of his own, slips away from the group when we took the right turn towards Chieng Mai. He went straight on to Lampang. At Lampang, he send me sms that he had made his decision to ride on.

So, the 4 of us head our own way to Chieng Mai. Well, not bad at all, we have time to stay overnight at Chieng Mai to look around. No reason to rush for the train home.

We stayed at Boonmee Mansion, Kotchasarn Road. REal nice and cosy. Its a sort of homestay,.. a big teak house with many rooms. Bath is common but the living room is simply adorable. Price is at 200b per room, and so each of us stayed a room for ouselves. Higly recommended. Call 053 208 200 for reservation. The owner told us, the house is 100 years old, dont really know its fact or fiction. haha

The living room, cool and cosy. You may rest the whole day here, talk and smoke cigarette.




and this is the front view. the house was built on stilt, sort off. Nice varendah on the front porch
 

Abg Acid

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Jan 31, 2007
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Nite life at Chieng Mai is interesting, a lot to see an lots to do too. We hang around for quite a bit, celebrating our journey, as Chieng Mai will be the last leg, as from cheng Mai we will take the train home... at least we thought

We had dinner here, quite conforting after a long ride for 10 days. Food was good at Chieng Mai, though a bit expensive compared to other towns we have been. I suppose its because its a big city.


and we met this group of ladies with nice colorful outfit.
 

Abg Acid

Ol'Timer
Jan 31, 2007
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Yup, we board the train to Bangkok, this time the extra charges of handling of our bikes was much cheaper than at Hat Yai, Dont really know why the extra charges was not standardised. Is it maybe the the price for ropes to tie the bikes are lesser at Chieng Mai? Well at Hat yai, they tell me the extra charges are for handling and ropes.

Anyway, the train ride was good, we rested all night long,... dreaming of home at Malysia. But, its unfortunate at Bangkok, we could not get tickets for Hat Yai and we had to ride our bikes again. And guess what, .... we took 18 hours, yes 18 hours to get from Bangkok to Hat Yai. As all of us wanted to get home as quick as possible, so we took the challenge to ride straight on.. plus a couple of times when our small bike ran out of petrol in the middle of the night.

At hat yai,.. even though its still over 600 km way from home,... it looks easy enough.

Anway, throughout the tour of thailand, there are few things I saw, left unexplained. Most of the time, I would asked around. But due to not having time or the difficulty to comprehend and communication barrier I just had to take pictures. Here they are. Kindly tell me what they are for?

Saw this at Tachilek.. looks like stone. a grinder or sharperner for the knife?


and this one, I met at a cheing Mai restaurant,.. its food yes I know, what is it really made of? soya beans inside?


And Finally , wood like these. I first saw them at mae Hong Son long neck village, then again at rest area towrds Pai. It has nice smell, for what purpose? I m sure they wont use is a fiirewood to cook. Nowadays its gas for cooking.
 

Auke

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Nov 10, 2003
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Great report - enjoyed reading it. With regard to the strange things, the stones are normally used to "polish" the skin (cleaning). In the picture with the green wrappers, the light green things are "neam" which normally s fermented pork with chillies. However, they do show the "muslimhalal" sign so it probably is not pork while the darker wraps is something we can not identify but should also be "halal".

The last picture shows "kia" which are pinewood sticks which are normally used to light fires like in charcoal stoves, etc.
 

Dougal

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Dec 18, 2007
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Lovely report and interesting observations and questions. My hat off to you all for covering those distances on small bikes. Superb. I went from chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son, Mae Sariang, Mae Sot and BKK but on a big bike and was careful about distances.
I once went from Mae Sot to Mae Hong Son in a day and it's too far on mountain roads. If you do it again take a break in the middle so you have the time to take it easy, enjoy the scenery and be able to stop more often.
Great stuff guys and get home safe.
 

DavidFL

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Jan 16, 2003
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Fantastic trip & report. 10/10 to you guys for doing it on small bikes!
Ya see you don't need a big bike to ride & tour, plus have fun. All it takes is balls & a sense of adventure. All you big bike procrastinators out there who are hesitant to come & ride because the bikes are not good enough - just do it & you'll have immense fun & real adventure.
 

Abg Acid

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Jan 31, 2007
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Thank you all for the kind and encouraging words. And Yes, Davidfl.. it takes some sense of adventure to do this kind of things,..but being in a group with the same taste of adventure and fun heps a lot in keeping the spirit high all the time too. Good campanionship.

But traveling on small bikes has its drawback sometimes, its always the small fuel tank and not-so-sufficient horses. But that all adds up to more adventure anyway. hehe For instance, at Mae Hong Son-Pai, the inclines are so great that we have to shift into 1st gear at times. And these cubs have no hand clutch lever to operate, and you have to be quick releasing the thrttle before hitting the gear with your heels. It makes a loud chunking sound, with the cubs jumping forward roaring. At these times, you will feel a little sorry for the bike, and wish you had a proper mtorcylce.

Here I would like to mention of petrol. We started off nicely with sufficient spare petrol during the early stages of the journey in plastic containers. But most of the time, there was petrol avilable almost evrywhere, except Mae-Sariang to Mae Hong Song route. But with the spare petrol in the containers, it was just a matter of topping up before we locate another source.

But during the last days, we got a little over confident and threw away the plastic containers when we board the Chieng Mai-Bangkok train, thinking we dont need it anymore. After bankok, we couldnt get the train to Hat Yai, and thats wehn our luck went bad. As we ride througout till late night, most of the petrol stations had already closed, and so one by one these little cubs run dry. We were completely out of petrol. Thats one reason it took us 18 hours to reach Hat Yai at 4 in the morning.

Thailand petrol cost much more then Malaysia. As Malaysia is an oil producing countries, it is subsidised by the governent and price is standard throughoout the country at rm1.92 (19.2Bahts) per liter of premium grade 97 oktane. (RON)

However in thailand prices vary from place to place ,At the south, it cost as low as 33b per liter and it goes a little expensive 37b at hills near Mae Hong Song. Add to that, hte petrol here is of RON 95. And at most places, they even sell gascohol with RON 95. I believe gascohol is a mixture combination of gas and alcohol and there is an opinion that gascohol is not good for engine with diaphragm carburetors. This thin piece of rubber wil stretch after constant use with gascohol. Fact or Fiction? Can someone tell us. pls.

Here are some pictures how you refuel petrol in Thailand. This one was taken at Mae Sot, sort of vending machine, where you put money into it. Unfortunately , it accepts only coins.


Here is another one, taken at the hills near Mae Sariang-Mae Hong Son. Hand pump, and a lot more expensive per litre.