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Old 04-18-2012, 12:31 AM   #751
pirate63
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Well said jk,
But it is an awesome report
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:27 AM   #752
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underboning

Just found your posts ,so glad you are ok, I'm sure it takes a lot of your time to share your adventure with all of us, and a break was surely overdue. Thank you for sharing as you can see you do have a huge audience/family here on the tube. I agree with an earlier post, enjoy and have fun first,tell us about it later. CMS
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:42 AM   #753
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Disappointed by the lack of an embedded link somewhere in this sentence, Otherwise this is a STELLAR ride report!
Re's always happy to show off a little!

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Old 04-20-2012, 05:31 AM   #754
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:05 AM   #755
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Just found this post and need to get caught up. I'm still on my own two year tour but cant resist this kind of stuff, you guys are awesome!
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:52 AM   #756
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:38 PM   #757
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4/9 Ride Back to Thailand

It was an early morning after a relatively short night, but fortunately, neither of us was any worse for the wear after last night's festivities. While I began packing up the room, Re again, headed out to pick up breakfast. At Yasmeen, Re had to break the bad news to her new boyfriend/roti chef , Mohammad, that she would be going to Thailand for several weeks. He was apparently a bit upset and wanted to know when she would be back. As she left, he kissed her on both cheeks and said he will cry until she returns. Some guys might be jealous, but I am not worried at all. You see, there's this love that can never be. For many, many years ago, Re found her one true love: pork. And since Mohammad is Muslim, I'm safe (for now). After breakfast, we continued packing the bikes for what we hoped would be an early start, but once again, this plan was derailed by a friendly person who was interested in our bikes and trip. This morning, it was an Australian gentleman who spied us loading up and wanted to know more. Consequently, we didn't end up boarding the ferry until about 10:00 am.

Once we exited the ferry, the ride to the Thai border was warm and fast. Before we crossed back into Thailand, we filled up our tanks and both jerrycans with inexpensive, Malaysian fuel. We are going to miss being able to buy 15 liters of fuel for 10 USD. Sigh. The border formalities were easy, quick, and free (since we already had our visas). The only problem was that our temporary import permit for the bikes is only valid for one month. I had read on HUBB that the TIP should be valid for as long as your visa, but after speaking with several Customs officials, that is apparently incorrect. I was told that if we need more time, I should be able to get it extended at another Customs post. I don't imagine we'll be in Thailand for more than 30 days, but you never know. Immediately after we crossed into Thailand, we stopped for lunch at the convenient (and more importantly, air-conditioned) McDonald's at the border. After lunch, we continued our ride to Trang, where we spent the night. The afternoon ride went by fairly quickly and easily, but it was interesting to note the differences between Malaysia and Thailand as we rode. Malaysia seems like a much more western country than Thailand. Whereas the roads in Malaysia are excellent and well signed, the roads in Thailand are a little more basic (but still very good). In Malaysia, most people seem to have adopted western-style clothing, while in Thailand, there's still plenty of western-style clothing, you still see a wide variety of traditional dress as well. Another thing you see a lot in Thailand is little motorbikes with sidecars. They are everywhere and are used for deliveries, taxis, and as mobile restaurants. Conversely, I can only recall seeing one of these combinations in Malaysia, and it displayed a handicapped sticker.

There are many other differences, but these were the few that struck me on the ride today. We arrived in Trang at around 6:00 pm and were fortunately, able to remember our way to the hotel where we stayed two years ago. My GPS doesn't cover Trang very well and was of limited help. One of the reasons we did not want to return to Trang is that there are few decent, inexpensive places to stay, and the one we stayed at last time was more than a little dingy. But, the price was right, so we returned to the Ko Teng Hotel once again. What a difference two years makes! The prices were still cheap, but they painted and did some other work to the rooms, and it was much nicer this time. As a bonus, they allowed us to pull our bikes into their cavernous lobby overnight. After unloading the bikes, we walked up to the night market, where we bought salads, fried chicken, sticky rice, grilled pork, and Thai iced teas. We sat on the steps of some government building and ate our yummy food. For dessert, we bought some sort of thick pancake filled with shredded coconut and coconut jam. It was hot off the griddle and delicious. On the way back to the room, we picked up some cheap Changs.


225 miles in about 8 hours. So far, we have spent 74 days in southeast Asia and have spent 3666 USD, for a daily average of 49.50 USD. This number seems high, but crossing into Laos cost 130 bucks, Cambodia was 45 USD, and our 60-day Thai visas were 80 USD. These expenses alone add 3 dollars a day to our average cost.

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Old 04-20-2012, 05:45 PM   #758
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4/10 Ride to Koh Lanta

One drawback to our hotel is that they do not have rooms with one big bed. So this morning, after the alarm went off, Re came and snuggled up in my bed. One thing led to another... and so we got up later than planned. But actually, we didn't, since I forgot to change the time when we crossed back into Thailand. When the alarm went off at 7:00 am, it was really 6:00 am local time. We decided to take advantage of our free hour to actually go out and enjoy breakfast. We found the morning market, where we had some fried dough and really excellent and strong coffee. Back at the hotel, we packed up the bikes, showered, and rode out the front door, heading north for Koh Lanta.

While the roads weren't as good today, it was a pretty ride.



The road wound its way through large tree covered hills with dramatic limestone faces. We also found ourselves cruising through pineapple orchards and watermelon fields. The roadsides were lined with fruit stalls, some places advertising three pineapples for 20 baht (66 cents). Unfortunately, we had no way to carry any of this delicious fruit, so we rode on. After a couple of hours, we arrived at the first ferry of the day, where we paid a grand total of 56 baht (under 2 USD) for both of us and both bikes for both ferries. What a bargain!



After all the cars and trucks boarded the first ferry, we made our way up the ramp and onto the large, flat deck.



This ride only took about 15 minutes. It was nice to catch glimpses of the ocean between the islands, and the water was beginning to turn a nice shade of green. Once we disembarked from this ferry, we made the 8-mile ride across Koh Lanta Noi to the next ferry, which would take us to Koh Lanta Yai. This short ride was fun, since it wound up and back down the spine of the island.



The second ferry ride was similar to the first but much shorter, and the water got even greener.

Our bungalows were only about a 20-minute ride from the ferry dock so we pulled in around 12:30 pm. We were both hungry, so we ordered lunch and then unpacked our bikes while we waited. We were both a little underwhelmed by our bungalow and its proximity to the beach. While we could see the Andaman Sea from our porch, it was about 150 ft from the beach. I know lots of you are going, “waaaa,” right now, but we really thought we'd be closer to the water and that the beach would be wider. The other odd thing about the location was that only two of the ten bungalows were occupied. It is getting toward the end of the season on Koh Lanta, but we didn't expect it to be this deserted.



We did have a nice lunch overlooking the water and later, walked on the beach and waded in the surf. One of the nice things about our bungalows is the collection of local cats. We met a couple of adult cats who were nice and friendly, but our favorite was a young kitten who was full of energy and apparently, had no fear.



Because of this, we christened him, WFO.

A little later, we walked up to the main road to check out the dinner options and pick up some water at the 7Eleven. Since my last haircut was about a month ago, I was beginning to feel like a long-haired, hippie freak, so we took advantage of our open air bathroom, and Re gave me a haircut. After a quick shower, we hopped on the bikes and rode out in search of dinner. We picked up a couple of recommendations from Travelfish.org, but we didn't have any exact directions, so we planned to do a little bit of riding. As I bounced up the dirt path toward the main road, I heard a rattling from my chain case. I assumed that the bouncing had caused my chain case to shift, so when we got to the main road, I tried to adjust it by hand. No such luck. I ended up removing the chain case under a street light and found that two of the four bolts that hold the rear sprocket to the hub were loose AGAIN. FFS. I didn't feel like fixing this in the dark, so we rode slowly back toward the bungalows. On the way, we found a small noodle stand, where we had dinner. We stopped at the 7Eleven for some Changs and cookies before calling it a night.



105 miles in about 3.5 hours, including two ferry rides. I shed a small tear when we had to stop for petrol today, and 7.5 liters cost 11 USD.
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:00 PM   #759
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We are (hopefully) heading to the island of Koh Phangan today and plan to be there for several nights. We may not have much in the way of internet access for a while, so don't panic! We'll be back soon, with more updates and hopefully some bikini pictures, too!
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:54 AM   #760
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IMO, the best bits of Thailand

Glad you guys headed out west of the strip :) Koh Lanta and other islands of the Krabi province deserve more visits from the traveler than it does now. Beautiful place; more relaxed, less commercialized than say, Hatyai and the rest of Songkhla province. Koh Phangnga is in the Phangnga province, along with its more famous big brother - Phuket. ("Koh" = island.)

And, oh: photos do not do justice to Re "Underboning" ... She's a real stunner in person, trust me on this :) Colin "Underboning" is a very lucky man!
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Old 04-21-2012, 04:19 AM   #761
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Love this ride report. Great photos, the syms are awesome, I wish my wife and I were able to do this.
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:56 AM   #762
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You guys are a great team!
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Old 04-21-2012, 01:26 PM   #763
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How is Re's wrist feeling? is the brace helping any?
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:09 AM   #764
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How is Re's wrist feeling? is the brace helping any?
Her wrist is doing better, she has been wearing the brace when riding and at night after a ride. The bad news is that she appears to have a mild case of dengue fever, so needless to say she hasn't been much fun lately. . She seems to be on the mend, she just has a bad rash and is extremely itchy. But she's a tough old bird and even managed the ride to the ferry to Koh Phangan two days ago.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:28 AM   #765
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The bad news is that she appears to have a mild case of dengue fever, so needless to say she hasn't been much fun lately.
There really isn't such a thing as "mild" dengue fever, Colin – either you have it (and it's always serious) or you don't. Don't fudd around with dengue; get Re checked out at a local clinic to be certain.

If it's indeed dengue ... Fresh coconut water and boiled crab soup (and get to enjoy the crab as well.)

Let us know how she's doing after this; take care you two.
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