As expected I couldn’t sleep the whole night prior to any major road trip. Coincidentally there was a football match between Liverpool and Sevilla scheduled at 3am. This gave me a reason to wake up at 2.30 this morning. Our plan was to RV at Sungai Buloh R&R at 5am. Forced myself to have Maggi for breakfast with butterflies in the stomach. Yet I was still the last guy to arrive despite staying the nearest. Turned out I wasn’t the only one enduring such sleepless night.
In total there’s five bikes going on this trip.
- Harley Davidson Road King
- Ducati 1198
- Honda Deauville NT700V
- Victory Cross Country Tour
- Harley Davidson Street Glide
The Street Glide will join the contingent slightly after Juru, Pulau Pinang.
Don’t ask how the 1198 fits into the equation for such adventure trip but I’m pretty sure this will prove to be an amazing feat. Even both the Harleys and Cross Country are not your normal bikes selection which many consider too heavy and cumbersome for the roads ahead. We were also told there will be some off-road opportunities especially along the Cambodia’s stretch.
Our plan is to cross into the Thai border via Padang Besar. The first night stop over will be at Surat Thani. Total distance expected to be covered for Day 1 is approximately 872km. We prefer not to ride when it is dark in Thailand. If for whatever reason we are being delayed (normally this happens at the Immigration or Custom Clearance) the plan is to stop over at either Nakhon Si Thammarat or even Songkhla instead.
We arrived at the Padang Besar Check Point slightly ahead of schedule just before noon. Everyone was in high spirit despite the scorching 37 degree heat due to the current hot weather. Soon enough we faced our first un-plan challenge of the trip.
Murphy’s Law Strike #1 – One of our buddy was refused entry by the Thai Immigration due to apparent overstay unless the fine is being settled
Essentially what happened was he failed to notice the passport was not stamped out upon leaving Thailand on his last trip. Such offence can be fined up to THB20,000. It took us more than an hour before the issue can be resolved. Pheww…get on with the mission.
As soon as we cleared Padang Besa – it’s not a typo that’s how it is being spelt on the Thai’s side – our first priority food and water! Just like discovering an oasis in the middle of the desert, out from nowhere appeared a Muslim Halal Restaurant. The place is located along Route 1027 on the left hand side after a traffic light intersection heading towards Highway Route 4 Phetkasem Road. The place has a quirky homey feeling, nice food with decent price. The owner even recycle rustic sewing machine into dining table!
From here on we were on the Phetkasem Road also known as Highway Route 4 all the way toward our first night stop. We reached Surat Thani safely just after sunset.