Saturday, 26 January 2019

Border Crossing at Thailand - Chaing Khong to Laos - Huay Xai with a Malaysian Registered Motorbike

This process started nearly 4 months ago back in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Scouring the internet I was told that one could obtain the permit to enter Loas with a motorbike from the Lao Embassy in Kuala Lumpur so I paid a visit, prepared all the photocopy documents requested and obtained my permission letter within 3 days.

For info the documents required were :

1. Letter to Embassy Laos Requesting Permission to enter with motorbike
- Must indicate purpose, itenary, dates and port of entry/exit, motorcycle particulars, riders particulars

2. Passport Copy

3. International Driving Licence Copy

4. Vehicle Ownership Card Copy (Must be in name of Rider)

This was four months ago and I only had a rough idea of the trip, plus it was bound to happen anyway, a detour here and change of mind there, I knew somehow the letter content may not be exactly what I intended by the time I reached the border of Laos. I clarified with the officer at the embassy and do your best to explain at the border when the time comes and they will understand she said.

All the best on your travels she wished me as I scratch my head contemplating what she said.

Four Months later ....

At the small border town of Chiang Khong Thailand on the last day of my Visa on both my passport and motorbike, I had to leave Thailand regardless if Laos accepts me or not. 4 am in the morning and a thunderstorm hit Chiang Khong but in my mind it was great, best weather to sleep and if it starts raining now, by 10am all should be good and sunshine for me to cross the border. 

My traveling distance today was not far only 20 km from one hostel to another so I was not that concern.

By 11am after checking out the hostel in Chiang Khong the rain refuse to ease up and continue pouring on. Sometimes you just have to brave the motion and this was one of those times. If only I had another day on the Thailand visa, I would have definitely checked back in and sleep in for the day but as fate would have it, I had to move and cross borders on a rainy day.

I reach the Thailand side of the border before the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge IV and even with fully armed rain gear, it was soaking through my 3000mm resistant rain suit. Its only 10km more so even if I was soaking wet this crossing today will be a done deal.

Thailand side and I went to immigration and after some sign language I was escorted into the office for processing the exit with motorbike. The officer was very friendly and could speak good English, asking for the original copy of my Vehicle Ownership Card, TM2 form when I entered Thailand in Trat and if I had any permission letter in advance to enter Laos with a motorbike.

Your motorbike is less than 250cc!

The day before crossing the border, the hostel owner told me the same exact words. You cannot cross over to Laos with less than 250cc, its the rule and this was repeated again to me by the Thailand Immigration officer while he flip through my papers.

The other problem was the permission letter that I got a few months back from the Laos Embassy in Malaysia was not really relevant anymore. The letter stated point of entry from the Vietnamese side and date of entry to be 12 Jan 2019 but I was clearly a few days early before that.

I have to try anyway I told the Thailand Immigration officer, last day of Visa and last day legally for motorbike in Thailand. If Laos rejects me, I will just come back to Thailand and get a brand new 30 days stamp.

The officer wished me luck, and he photocopy the TM2 form and gave an exit stamp on the TM2 form with a few marks on it and handed it to me. This was new, since the last time I exit Thailand, the TM2 form was absorbed and I never got anything back. 

I was also asked for 200 baht for the paperwork done and an official receipt was given for the payment. I did not think much, paid and just pocketed the TM2 paper.

Immigration done, I walked up to customs to surrender the TIP form. A few seconds later the officer said OK .... You can go.

Ride over to the Laos side and first up was Immigration. Have to say, I am truly enjoying the ASEAN pact now that I am travelling. No Visa, no fees just passport, fill up arrival cards and I am in.

At the customs window, they asked for the Thailand TM2 form. Interesting I thought and now it made sense why this time I had a copy. I gave them the Thailand TM2 form with the exit stamp, original copy of VOC and passport. 

The letter from Embassy of Laos in Malaysia was shown to them but they barely glance at it before putting it aside. I doubt they even read it based on how fast it was put aside.

The officer typed in all the particulars of the motorbike and printed out the Laos TIP form and asked for my sign. Wait a moment she said and went off to get stamps and approval from the higher officer. 100 Baht payment for TIP form and I received the official temporary import permit for Bluey.

Insurance was next and I follow the sign to the second floor and bought 1 month insurance for 500 baht.

Barely 15 minutes processing paperwork at the Laos border and I was set to enter Laos with Bluey legally. No mention whatsoever of the 250cc rule.

Laos Huay Xai Border - Immigration & Customs 

Huay Xai after a Rainy Border Crossing.
Traveled on: Jan 2019
#Blurtravels #bordercrossing #motorbikebordercrossing #chaingkhongtohuayxai

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Route Info – Road Trip Cambodia

This post is a continuation of the previous post Route – Info Road Trip Southeren Thailand from Hat Yai to Arayanprathet

This is the actual route I took making a loop in Cambodia starting with entry from Poi Pet and exiting at Koh Kong back into Thailand. I know its a popular route for it is possible after the loop in Cambodia will hit back south towards home Malaysia. I went up north of Thailand after 1 month in Cambodia but that's for another Route Info Post.

(Entry from Thailand) Poi Pet -> Battambang -> Siem Reap -> Sra’aem (to visit Preah Vihear) -> Kaoh Ker -> Kampong Thom -> Kampong Cham - > Phnom Penh -> Kep -> Kampot -> Sihanoukville -> Koh Kong (Exit into Thailand Trat Province)

Route Info - Cambodia Loop From Poi Pet to Koh Kong

Things of interest .... to my point of view ...

Poi Pet

Run as fast as possible ... Border town but the Casino is twice the size of the town so run run run away as fast as possible once legally across the border


A city in the middle of a very huge rice field which can be seen for miles into the horizon. Best place to relax with shops to explore in the city and mini day trips visiting Banan Temple, Bamboo train, Phanom Sampov ( Temple on the Hill with amazing View of Battambang ), Ek Phanom Temple.

Siem Reap

Re-visit Angkor Wat. It never gets dull this place and of course the mass tourism means standard tourist town as well with all amenities.


This was the closest town with guesthouse to Preah Vihear. Single street town, Visit Preah Vihear.

Kaoh Ker

Single Street Town with almost no food. Most people just do a day trip to see the Ruins of Koh Ker but I stayed a night there.

Kampong Thom

Nice little town to explore on foot with nearby day trips to visits the Ruins of Prasat Sambor Prei Kuk and Phanom Suntuk

Kampong Cham

A town by the Mekong River. To be fair I know most guides will say to visit the famous Phanom Pros & Phanom Srei but I basicly just wander around the town and sit by the river chilling most of the time.

Phnom Penh

Casino + Gambling ...


Seaside town good to relax on a hammock lazing the day away while eating crab everyday


One of my favorite place in Cambodia. The town is compact to explore on foot with lots of variant things to see but the highlight will be day trip to visit Bokor National Park which has the best roads in Cambodia going uphill into beautiful mountains and at the very top, many small roads to explore abandon buildings in cool cloud weather. There was also a Casino at the top which had USD 2 Blackjack table.


Am I in a city or a construction site ?? The Chinese money seams to be abundant here in Sihanouk and Casino seams to pop up like mushrooms. If you can ignore the noise then the beach is beautiful but it is unlike any other place in Cambodia I have experience for it felt more China than Cambodia.

Koh Kong

Border Town to cross over to Trat Thailand. I kinda like this town thou since it was quiet and large enough to ride around for a day just exploring.

Traveled on : Nov 2018

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Camping in Khao Yai National Park

I have heard so much about Khao Yai and its all the craze now on Instagram and slightly off the beaten track travels on blogs and seeing friends on Facebook one after another doing trips to Khao Yai makes me wonder what there is in Khao Yai.

My cousin did tell me one thing .... skip Khao Yai ... its all fabricated for the tourist he said.

Still I had to see it just because I am now aware of it and good or bad, travelling is always about the experience and not the outcome. From Ayutthaya I headed for Khao Yai thinking I would stop for the night at Pak Chong town where the nearest hostel was but as I ride, before I knew it, I was already at the entrance to the Khao Yai National Park. The entrance fee was 400 baht per entry plus 30 bath for Bluey. 

Khao Yai National Park Entrance
Admission Fees to Khao Yai National Park

Entering Khao Yai National Park, it was a waste to do it just for a few hours and I decided to overnight at the National Park hoping there was some kind of campgrounds with tents to rent. I glean very little information from the internet but decided to take the risk and rode on. 

Pass the entrance and pay my respect to the entrance shrine, I was now riding inside the national park on a small road cut into thick dense forest. 

Shrine by the road entrance to Khao Yai National Park

The weather was cool, and the further in I ride the more fresher the air became with the smell of greens and the sounds of birds chirping everywhere. It was really something of a new experience for me riding inside a national park instead of hiking in. A little cheat for the older people like me allowing us to enjoy the inner peaceful sanctuary of a national park.

I got to the main Visitor Center Headquarters easily and they guided me to the camping areas, food and water zone, time of closure and the things to do inside the national parks. Mentally I blocked out all the hiking routes and went with the riding routes all around the national parks. 

Riding inside Khao Yai National Park 

View Point Khao Yai National Park 

Khao Yai National Park Visitor Center 

Khao Yai National Park Attraction Map 

Pha Kluai Mai campsite was the campsite I decided to stay for the night, the more quieter one with almost nothing to do other than hike to a waterfall. Tents were 225 baht for one night with extra such as sleeping bag(150), pillow(20) and tatami mat(50) costing a bit more each.

The other Lum Ta Khong campsite which I also visited was a large campground with locals setting up luxury glamping style camp which fully equipped truckers are parked close by supplied with all kinds of food, drinks and comfort for staying the whole week. 

My Rented Tent in Khao Yai 
Locals with their Luxury Glamping Tents at Khao Yai 

I could understand the lure of Khao Yai now for the locals. If Malaysia had such cool and nature place to drive a vehicle all the way in to camp in the nature without paying loads of money (locals only pay 40 baht for entrance), It would be a glamping hobby too.

The next day I packed up after a night of blistering cold which forced me to wake up digging into my bag for more clothes before having an inner fight between staying in the comfort of the sleeping bag and going out to the toilet to pee. The enjoyment of nature, yep one night is enough. Time to move on.

Naturally I had to ride around Khao Yai National Park and the few things I felt possible to do for this unfit traveler was the Pha Diao Dai Nature trail and riding up to the military Khao Khiew Radar Station. 

I wonder why my cousin told to me to skip Khao Yai ... it was not fabricated for the tourist and heck it was a national park and from what I have seen it was taken care to be not destroyed by tourism. 

The next day I headed down to Pak Chong to stay for the night and riding around the outer skirts of Khao Yai national park, I could now understand the misconception Khao Yai sometimes brings.

Khao Yai Floating Market, Strawberry Farm, and all the photo scenic farm life that is promoted to tourist was not in the National Park but outside and surrounding area where the locals farm highland produce but at the same time like my cousin said fabricated all these picturesque area to attract the tourist to visit. Oh well ... 

Khao Yai Floating Market

Traveled on : Nov 2018

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Exploring Ayutthaya

Google would probably give a more accurate guide on Ayutthaya and its history and nouce and I would probably get some facts wrong if I try to write it like a historian. Ayutthaya for me was a rest stop, to clear the mind and just wander around the temples and city alike looking but somehow not looking.

Temple ruins hunting .... that was my thoughts while I rode Bluey around Ayutthaya looking at one temple ruins after another. Some were more spectacular than others which usually being accompany by a 50 baht entrance fee but there were also many little ruins scattered around the city which made riding around aimlessly pretty fun.

Traveled on : Nov 2018

Friday, 11 January 2019

Being Lazy in Kanchanaburi

I spend 3 nights in Kanchanaburi resting up from the injury at Chunphon. Seams that the more I rest the worst it becomes. 

The lack of movement seamed to make any sudden movement now more intensified with pain. I wonder if I was really healing but at the back of my mind I expected it to be worst and at the same time worried that the intensifying pain will not subside and continue to get worst.

The incident in Chunphon set back a bit on the travel experience as a whole in a way. I reached Kanchanaburi with only one intention .... rest and do nothing. Hostel life is never the way we predict it to be. Where if I were to get a private room in a guesthouse or hotel, there will be no distraction but hostel always have people and when you wish to be alone, the most interesting group will appear and when you wish to have good company the wrong group will also appear.

I stayed at Asleep Hostel in Kanchanaburi and the first night once I checked in, I saw a few Asian sitting at the table. Ignore them and check in my thoughts was ... priority first and frankly I wouldn't mind not mingling with them. But once i got my bunk bed, a lively chirpy 19 year old Japanese boy greeted me and would not stop talking. (I cant remember his name ... and shall call him Nagano ... where he is from)

Where are you going?, Nagano asked.

Food ... number two priority after checking in.

He followed and at downstairs joined up with Harris from Shanghai and Pei Heng from Taiwan. A little bit later we were also joined by a girl from somewhere china.

Pei Heng was a genuine traveler ... I could tell from the few hidden sarcastic question I asked the group and with their genuine enthusiastic reply, only Pei Heng had the hidden sarcastic reply back to me. She been around alright with 14 month in south america and to many places around the world.

She even sneakingly somehow made me agreed to bring her on the bike to go sightseeing the next day. I can't outright say no to small little helps, but even with all my uncertainty of safety with the bike, falling down, injury and no helmet for her ... she still stayed true to abuse my kind soul.

A true traveler happy to get a free ride sightseeing Kanchanaburi the next day, she even sacrifice the two boys for they had no transport to join us but the two boys were resourceful to hitchhike to the first stop meeting us there.

The route was short ... about 20 km to see the monkey pod tree which was a huge ass tree and after that I forcefully detour with her no choice but to tag along to see two other temples. 

Monkey Pod Tree - Kanchanaburi 

Monkey Pod Tree - Kanchanaburi 

Pei Heng was not interested in temples ... but it was my ride and I guess partially because I refuse to be a pure motortaxi for her. Felt like pure taken advantage off if I were to succumb to her every request. So I drag her to see the temple which I pass the day before riding fast at the sunset to get to Kanchanaburi.

Wat Tham Suea was beautiful ... and while walking around the temple I could not help thinking that it was the first time I forcefully bring a girl to a temple .... what was the saying ... bring a girl in Thailand on a date to a temple and she is yours ? * chuckle * 

Wat Tham Suea - Kanchanaburi 

Wat Tham Suea - Kanchanaburi 

Anyway we part ways by lunch with me sending her to the bus stop. The next two days in Kanchanaburi was spent resting eating and sleeping.

Traveled on : November 2018