@ 17 September 2015- Thai

Thanks to the team at FM Motorrad BMW garage for sorting Steve's bike
FM BMW Motorrad who fitted Steve’s new front tyre

Steve had arranged to have a new front tyre fitted on his bike at a BMW Dealer on the outskirts of Bangkok. He also needed the fuel gauge re set as the dealer in New Delhi had managed to muck the gauge up when they were going through the calibration checks  when servicing the bike.

We left Sing Buri and the ride was once again easy going however as we headed south it was clear we were in for wet weather as the clouds just got darker every kilometre we travelled.

While making our way around Bangkok our navigation took us to the start of a Toll road at which point Steve (who was in front) was pulled over by a Policeman overseeing the traffic by the toll collection points. He kindly pointed out that bikes were not permitted on toll roads (we had not seen and signs). He then proceeded to write a ticket for Steve and withheld his drivers license.

After a very engaging conversation between Steve and the officer we were guided away from the toll way and down a slip road. The officer wanted Steve to go pay the fine at the local police station (we did not have a clue where that was) and he still held the license. After further discussion Steve managed to get the officer to take the money for the fine and return the drivers license. In the mean time I had ridden off and hid in a factory complex as the officer was intimating that he was looking to book me as well.

Police Booking
Steve getting booked by a not so friendly Thai Policeman. Bike are not allowed on Toll Roads.

So after paying the fine and having the license returned we managed to get rid of the officer and get going once more, just making it to the bike shop before any significant rain started.

It took a couple of hours for Steve’s bike to be sorted so we grabbed a bite to eat at a nearby road side diner and took our time to look over the new bikes in the show room. We did some rough calculations and bikes are extremely expensive in Thailand compared to Australia. No wonder there are not many larger capacity bikes over there, no one can afford them.

Steve’s bike was soon sorted and he was very pleased to have the fuel gauge working once more. The team at MF Motorrad did a great job and treated us like V.I.P’s.

We had another 40km to ride to our hotel destination for the evening. Unfortunately the heavens had opened up and it was once again raining very heavy to the point we had to pull over shortly after starting out due to lack of visibility. When it rains in tropical countries, it REALLY rains.

Finding the hotel proved a real pain as it was tucked away in an area where coconut plantations were everywhere and navigation proved very difficult as the GPS location also did not agree with where we were. A kind couple in a small road side shop arranged for a tuk tuk driver to lead us to our destination.

Upon arriving at the hotel in Samutsakom, having booked the accommodation of Tripadvisor the night before, the couple who appeared to be only caretaker managers, did not know anything about our booking?

It all got sorted and we finally got out of our, by now soaking bike riding gear. As there was no restaurant on site we simply cooked up noodles and beans on our camp cooker that we carried with us, and settled down for the evening.

Total distance for the day was only 175km, but it certainly seamed like a longer day, what with heavy rain, getting lost and hopeless hotel staff.

Tomorrow is another day.

 

@ 16 September 2015- Thailand

Today was an easy ride from Mae Sot to Sing Buri, a distance of 355km . The riding had suddenly become very easy, if not bland as the roads in Thailand were on a whole very well maintained and sign posted. A far cry from what we had become accustomed to in many other countries we had passed through.

The scenery was very “vanilla” as the road sides typically had either trees masking the sights behind or simple towns etc. which did not make for good photo opportunities.

Behind the scenes, Kathy (David’s wife) had been working hard over the past weeks to arrange air freight for the bikes to Darwin from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. Dealing with freight forwarders was proving very difficult. At this stage we don’t have any company flying into Darwin that we can find.

The day went well, although as the day was progressing the clouds started to roll in from the south. We made it to our hotel destination in Sing Buri without any issues.

Within a 1/2hr of arriving the heavens opened up with a large thunder storm combined with very heavy rain that occurs during the wet season. Luckily we could view the sorm from our hotel and avoided getting soaked for a change.

 

@ 15 September 2015- Myanmar to Thailand

Looking back at the border from the Thailand side. Goodby Myanmar.
Looking back at the border from the Thailand side. Goodby Myanmar.

This was the day we said good by to Myanmar, a country we had enjoyed visiting. The people are wonderful, the scenery is so lush with many interesting historical sites.

The ride through to the border was approximately 60km and to be honest was a very average road with large pot holes and dirt sections to start with. Fortunately the Thai government had built (as a gift) a dual carriage way for the last 25km’s or so. The road had only been open a couple of weeks and was great for bikers, with many bends and twists making for an enjoyable ride to the border.

We arrived at the border, completed our paperwork and then it came time to say good by.

We first arrived at the Myanmar boarder 9 days ago thinking we would have to put up with a tour company for our time in the country. Now having to say farewell to those great guys we had got to know so well, it  was a very different feeling. Myanmar Expert Travels & Tours did a great job and we highly recommend this company, thanks everyone.

The crossing on the Thailand border entry went well and we took the time to grab at bite to eat once across. The vibe was immediately very different, with fast food outlets and a far more commercial and modern feel to it.

Underway again after lunch we only had a 20km stretch to get to Mae Sot where Steve had booked a hotel. Finding the hotel once we arrived in Mae Sot was another thing. We quickly realised that the the typical sign “Hotel”was not used here and we had no hope of understanding the local writing or language.

The next hour was spent trawling the side streets until we met some kind young people who knew where the hotel was and drew a map for us and we were soon sorted. So we have now made it through another country and Thailand awaits.