Feb 202009

The route 406, 4184, R15, R7, R15, 4184, 406

Total distance 196 km

Todays trip was to try to ride inside Malaysia, but I was expecting a lot of hassle at the checkpoint concerning translation documents, nothing could have been further from the truth

I took the 406 north out of town then after 15-20 km took a right onto the 4184 to ride to the Malaysian border

A pleasant enough road that gets more mountainous nearer the border

Its an unusual system here at the Khuan Don border, you have to take your passport to a small booth. I was a bit worried about this at first as I had never seen this stamped on my departure card before, but I guess it means that I am not blacklisted

I get on my bike and ride through Thai customs, so far so good, nothing has been said about the bike, its not been stamped out and worryingly no one has even asked if its mine or to see the green book. At the Malaysian side(Wang Kelian) I fill in the Immigration card and get a 90 day Malaysian visa stamped into my passport for free (why doesnt Thailand adopt this very generous idea) Again no one mentions the bike and I always remember a workmates advice from many years ago. Never volunteer information was what he told me and I didnt. I walk back to the bike get on and ride slowly through the Malaysian checkpoint

Im through and riding inside Malaysia on R15 and its great to still be on the left side of the road

I saw the sign but didnt see any skeletons driving cars

After a few km of climbing hills there is a small track to my right that goes up to a viewpoint, I ride up to the top and am disappointed to find smashed glass all over the place and no information on this slab. Vandalism is so uncommon out in these parts that its a complete shock

But the views from up here are amazing

The first fire that I have seen for ages

This old girls done me proud getting me around Thailand and now were both inside Malaysia. Brand new on november 3rd, now theres 27239 km on the clock and not the slightest hint of a problem, still the original chain, tyres and brake pads on her

Now its down through those hairpins on a very well surfaced road

I see some ostriches to my right and stop for a break

I carry on and at a T junction take a left onto R7 towards Pedang Besar, not far along here I have to stop at a checkpoint, I am asked where I am going, I reply Pedang Besar, he looks at the number plate and just says Thailand, then I carry on, no hassles at all and no paperwork asked for

At Pedang Besar I walk around a small market

The above picture means that I officially award Malaysia 1st World status, I go in (as if I of all people wouldnt) and give it a very thorough inspection. No bacon, hamburgers or pork sausages in here, apparently they dont sell hot food in the Malaysian ones at all. Water was about twice the Thai price and this was for their own brand, Walls/Nestle ice creams were pretty much the same price as in Thailand though. The biggest difference was that there was only one girl working behind the counter, mind you no other customers came in for the 10-15 minutes that I was there talking with her. Her English was brilliant and she seemed very surprised when I told her how many staff they have in the Thai 7-11s

I ride back the way I arrived here and stay on R7 past the R15 turning and carry on riding south towards Kangar. I stopped at a Shell and a Caltex fuel station to compare prices, petrol is a lot cheaper here 16 Baht a litre for 92 and 17 Baht a litre for 97, its double that here for 95

Another fire, and not the one that I saw from the viewpoint but I am told its where they are making charcoal in the mangroves

The standard of driving is a hell of a lot better over here, people slow down and stop for red lights for a start, plus just better overall road manners

This attractive building caught my eye

I spot some proper size bricks and go inside for a look

Yep pretty much the same size as I am used to, if the job situation doesnt improve in England perhaps I should bring the tools over and see if I can get a start here

I stop and would like to try some of this food but they dont accept Thai Baht, I didnt bother changing any money as I didnt expect to get inside with the bike and also I was told that Thai money is accepted. The person who told me its accepted later told me she only meant at the market just inside the border not this far in the country

Then the women talk amongst themselves and give me a plate of rice and spicy chicken which I really enjoy, I finish and go to pay them thinking that they will take Thai baht after all only for them to refuse any payment at all saying its for free, very nice of them indeed

A very nice group of people, in fact I found politeness here to be the order of the day and I was referred to as sir on a number of occasions

A bit further along the road and this gentleman was crushing bits of sugar cane about 800 mm long

Then he would bend it in half and repeat the process

Then again and sometimes four times, the sugar cane water was being sold but I have never noticed this in Thailand

I see the time is 3.30pm and I start to ride back, I didnt know that Malaysian time is one hour ahead of Thai time until I checked my watch about an hour later and saw it was still around the same tme

Time to negotiate those nice hairpins again and enjoy the lovely scenery

These hairpins are another set nearer to the border than the previous pictures

The market stalls just inside Malaysia where they do happily accept Thai Baht

Approaching the Malaysian Immigration

I am back in Thailand and filling in my Immigration form when the heavens open

Its over in about fifteen minutes and less than 1 km down the road its a bone dry road. I now have another 90 day visa in my passport which takes me to 20th may by which time I will be back in England. Well todays trip was just brilliant, I could never have imagined that it would have been this great as I was expecting to need all sorts of paperwork to get through. If anyone wants to smuggle a bike into/out of Thailand do it here as no one asks for anything. I ride home from here the way that I rode here

Its a nice pasta dish at Port Satun tonight, great value at only 60 Baht

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