Wednesday, 18 August 2021

The Aquamarine Waters of Chiew Lam Lake & Khao Sok National Park

From Surat Thani staying one more night after coming back from Ko Samui, I went straight to Khao Sok National Park. Along the way, I stopped at Chiew Lam lake to visit the so called famed Little Guilin of Thailand but it was a new challenge trying to find people to share the boat ride out onto the lake.

The boat cost 1700 Baht but can be shared up to 10 people. Only difficult part was getting the people since they did not organized shared boat so one needed to approach and ask random strangers if they wanted to share.

Chiew Lam Lake - Khao Sok National Park

The guide boats going out into Chiew Lam Lake

The majority of people seams to already had a group tour booked, coming in directly by Van and busses and straight onto the boat with their groups organized. Local Thai tourist comes in the big pick up trucks with big families so they just paid and load up immediately. The lone and stranded travelers like me trying their luck was quite rare.

I waited nearly an hour and finally found a couple from Germany who were also looking to share the expensive cost of the boat. 10 minute later another girl from Belgium came and we were set with four people bringing down the cost to 425 baht per person for the boat.

It was really by sheer luck that these people turn up. Me riding without much thought trying to wing it at Chiew Lan, the German couple (Tobias & Alah) riding a rented scooter from Khao Lak also trying by luck and the Belgium girl (Mimi) also riding a rented scooter from Phuket without any research other than the location of this beautiful Chiew Lan Lake in Khao Sok national park.

Boat ride was 2 hours and it was pretty simple. Boat out .... cruise all around and the pit stop at one of the floating resorts for a swim then back to the pier.

The Little Guilin in Chiew Lam Lake 

The sky blue aquamarine color of the lake with beautiful backdrop of limestone rock formation sticking out of the water was really a sight to see and if it were cheaper, a stay in one of those unique floating bungalow set with personal Kayaks for exploration would be so amazing but I was really reluctant to spend the money and it was really really costly to stay overnight.

Thing is, the cheapest tour was only 2 hours but that barely touches the fringe of the lake which is very large. I would say this was one of the most best preserved eco retreat yet easily assessable that I have ever encountered. Price was steep to stay overnight and I guess it was warranted. If I was not on the budget, definitely would have rented the more expensive floating bungalow and head out.

During Swimming ... I carelessly jumped into the water forgetting about my glasses. The moment I hit the water I knew the glasses came off and franticly trying to catch it not knowing where it was before it sinks to the bottom of the lake yield no luck.

Floating Bungalows along Chiew Lam Lake 

Total cost of this minor pit stop in Chiew Lan lake ... 425 Baht for boat ride, 300 baht for national park entrance fee and one very expensive spectacle.

Khao Sok National Park.

Riding on I stopped at Khao Sok National Park for a night. This place greatly remind me of Taman Negara in Malaysia with the self jungle trials walks and pristine virgin jungle and ice cool rivers during a hot day.

Definitely one of those hidden gems ... and not so touristy as beaches. For a long term traveler like me .. this was like haven for a secluded escape for a few weeks. But then again I had a clock ticking on Bluey's permit to remain in Thailand hence one night was all I had and headed back on the road towards Phuket to meet up with cuz.

Khao Sok National Park 

Bang Hua Rad - River Outpost in Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok National Park 

Khao Sok National Park

Traveled on: Apr 2019

Saturday, 14 August 2021

The Island of Koh Samui

I spend much time in Koh Samui just riding around and visiting the whole island enjoying the scenary daydreaming really. This island is truly a beauty.

Ferry Ride to Koh Samui 

Bophut Fisherman Village - Koh Samui

Koh Samui Beach

Big Buddha - Koh Samui

Local Basketball game in Koh Samui 

Lamai Beach - Koh Samui 

Only one mini adventure in Koh Samui which was to take bluey out for a spin on the Island inner jungle road. The tourist information said it was good roads just inland up and down and barely anything to see.

The ride started pretty nice with fully paved concrete road going up some steep slopes, curving and cutting around the hills of Koh Samui and at one point I saw a sign saying no Automatic Bikes allowed. No picture taken since I was riding and it was already steep and then I was going up this steeper slopes where no Automatic Bikes are allowed since its too dangerous.

Bluey is now a season veteran ... I went though those slopes tackling it with technical skills instead of just blaring the throttle to push my way up. It was a good feeling knowing I now the skills to take on such mountain climbing challenge and then it was downhill to the coast.

Inner Jungle Road 1 - Koh Samui

Inner Jungle Road 1 - Koh Samui 

There was two inner island roads in Koh Samui and after going through the first one in the morning pretty easily I thought .... why not do the second one as well.

This one was as challenging as the first one and my mind kinda went blank just focusing on each corners and each climb, and just then the pavement became dirt road, and the dirt road became something that looked like a river bed dried up. Heck am I still on the road ?? still there was only one road so far and the GPS still said I was going the right way.

Looking ahead at the crazy slope up and bends with loads of cracks in the dirt road filled with stones and pebbles, I had a bad feeling but at the same time I also felt it was so close to the top of the climb .... If I could just get there ... then it was just a downhill challenge ... downhill is never that hard ... I can always just slide down worst case with bluey scraping the road and me watching with heartache ...

The climb was beyond my capabilities and Bluey went to a stop with it’s back tire wedged deep in a crack dirt road filled with stones. All my attempt to move forward or even trying to turn bluey to get the tires out of the cracks was a no go ... in one attempt the slide backwards made me lost control and bluey fell sideways pinning my legs hot with the engine but not before I yanked the leg out quick and kill the engine.

Bike down ... no one around.

Inner Jungle Road 2 - Koh Samui 

I manage to pick bluey up ... and I could hear a vehicle coming from behind .... I was at a bad location, in the middle of the slope and also just after a bend to if the vehicle came to fast there was a high change it could collide with me which was still holding on to bluey.

Blared the horns and the vehicle slowed down at the turn and I saw an ATV. Locals ... and I asked for help. With their help, they tried to get bluey uphill thinking they have the skills to handle this terrain but after a few tries with even me pushing bluey behind ... the guy gave up and said no way ... no way .... turn bluey around and they help be bring bluey back down 100m to a more safer gradient albeit still challenging to continue on downhill. They said good bye and I watch them ATV up the steep rocky terrain ....

Very slow ride downhill and that was the end of the mini adventure ... long way back to the hut to lick my wounds ....

Koh Samui 

Koh Samui

Guan Yu Shrine - Koh Samui 

Traveled on : Apr 2019

Thursday, 12 August 2021

The easy ride down to Surat Thani

From Samut Songkhram it was then a easy ride back down the gulf of Thailand. No adventure, no new sights but just revisiting the pit stops which I had did along the way up many months ago.

Life was boring ... and it was good ....

Salt flats farm for a tea break, no idea whats the place is called but in google if you want to find the place this is the address “4012, Tambon Ban Laem, Ban Laem District, Phetchaburi 76110, Thailand” - Its called 
ยุ้งเกลือ - บ้านแหลม 

Ban Laem - Salt Flats 

Ban Laem - Salt Flats 

Tea Break at the Salt Flats - Ban Leam

Had Puek Tian Beach for the famous sculpture in the sea,

Had Puek Tian Beach 

Hua Hin for a few good hostel nights by prestine seaside watching people kite surfing,

And a long ride all the way down to Surat Thani. I did not even see much of Surat Thani as it was just a gateway to take Bluey on a ferry to the island of Koh Samui.

Hua Hin Beach

Hua Hin Beach

Traveled on : Apr 2019

Monday, 9 August 2021

Train Market Samut Songkhram

On the 2nd day of Songkran, I ride out of Bangkok to Samut Songkhram to see the famous train market at the same time really starting the journey back down to Malaysia. The little town was quint looking like a blast from the past type of photo with old wooden two shops with overhead power cables running though the streets that if one were to open the window the first thing seen would not be a beautiful town sidewalk but a mess of ugly dangling cables hanging right in front of the window.

Samut Songkhram Town

Samut Songkhram Town

Maeklong Station was the famous last stop for the train which attracts many tourist every day. Before the train arrive it a genuine market not catered for tourist but rather the locals buying fresh produce, fresh meat and fish but somehow I wonder how long this would last. The number of tourist walking the market was way more than a local trying to go about their daily lives in a market.

Maeklong Station - Samut Songkhram

Train Market - Samut Songkhram

Train Market - Samut Songkhram 

Train Market - Samut Songkhram 

Train Market - Samut Songkhram 

Train Passing the train market at Samut Songkhram 

In a way, it was only a matter of time souvenir shops would dot the line and slowly replace the authenticity of the wet market but then again, once that happen, so goes the tourist as well which does bring business to the little town of Samut Songkhram.

As the time comes for the train to make its passes, the market was transformed within minutes shoving buckets, tables, goods, shelter and anything in the way to become a railway area. As the train approaches, tourist dotted the sides taking photos of a good time while the locals waited lazily for the train to pass so their business can resume as usual.

Traveled On : Apr 2019

Saturday, 10 July 2021

Songkran in Bangkok

Bangkok .... if not for Songkran ... I would have entirely avoided riding Bluey into Bangkok. But the old city charm is unique to Thailand.

I will assume those that read my blog will know what is Songkran ... for those who don't ... google it. In a way I have always heard of the stories of Songkran festival but never had a chance to experience it. Crazy water gun sales, load of people with smiles on their faces blasting random strangers all in good fun.

Not much to write about .... so pictures it is ....


A little shopping in Bangkok

A little High End Window Shopping in Bangkok

A little River Boat Taxi

A little Souvenir in Bangkok 

A Little Souvenir in Bangkok 

Shopping for Weapons of Songkran 

One is not enaugh ...... Rambo !! 

Night Market Gentlemen Barber 

My Actual Songkran Ammo .... - 5 Nos of Mineral Water Bottles. 

Hooters is Closed during Songkran ^^ 

Just doing Business in the rain .... selling ICE WATER 

No one is Spared .... If you come here ... No excuses ... Be Prepared to be drench ... 

Good Ole Gang Up Water Gun Fight ... 

You look cute .... 

Police Joining the Fun .... Songkran 

Traveled On : Apr 2019