Monday, 29 September 2014

Goodbye Thailand. Hello Malaysia

Some of the riders from the Charity ride
I have had such a wonderful time in Thailand. Meeting so many fellow bikers  (now good friends) along the way. People who have supported me, showed me great riding roads, put me up in their homes and generally showed their support in any way they can. The welcome has been overwhelming and I am honoured to have met you all. Thank you. Thailand is a beautiful country with a lot to offer any bikers wishing to travel it's roads. The riding is diverse, the people are pleasant and the food alone is worth a visit. Whether you want on road or off road action, there is certainly enough to keep you busy! I rode North to South and East to West but I still feel I have barely scratched to surface and I look forward to visiting again some day.



Anyone for an autograph?
Before leaving the land of smiles I met up with some riders in Hat Yai for a yearly event called the 3 Nations Charity ride. Singaporean, Thai and Malaysian bikers get together in aid of various charities to join forces and ride together for the day before enjoying some social time in the evening. I was amazed at the turn out and felt privileged to ride with perhaps 600 bikers from all three coutries. The line up was over 1km long and I relished the sound as we revved up our engines in unison. Nothing beats that sound as it touches your soul. It was a powerful moment that bonded us together and I think even the toughest of bikers had goosebumps just then!

These are the moments that remind me why I love bikes and bikers so much!

Oreo time with Keith and Pong
I had been fortunate enough to meet with a Malaysian rider during my visit to Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. Keith is a member of a club called Passionate Riders and he certainly personifies the name. After meeting him for a beer in Riders Corner, he offered to host me in Malaysia and show me the best of his country. Of course I accepted and so after meeting him again at the Charity ride, we continued together across the border and in to country No. 19. We also had a Thai rider called Pong, join us on his rather tastefully modified CRF250L.

Is this the Queue for Malaysia?
The night before, Pong had recognised me, having followed my journey from the UK. He stopped and asked me to sign his bike and his crash helmet.
Man! Did I feel Rock N Roll! I could get used to this!

The border crossing was busy and it was extremely hot as we queued in a line of bikes to leave
Thailand. It was otherwise easy and my Carnet was processed on the Malaysian side in record time. Perhaps thanks to my new riding companion who spoke the language and perhaps also because the officer was a fellow biker. The visa was a quick stamp and there were no charges aside from the bike insurance which was cheap and easily processed at the border.
Made it across the border

Keith is well connected with the bikers here and so before arriving in Penang, we stopped at a
Motorbike workshop to meet some fellow riders. They gave Rhonda a courtesy service and a check over before we shared some lovely traditional Malaysian food together. I believe food is an important part of Malaysian culture and I have been warned that I will be gaining some pounds during my 2 week visit here!

Malaysia is full of bikers and bike clubs and I plan on visiting several during my stay. From Penang we head to Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur before making our way down to Singapore to hit by 20th country. I will then make my way back to Penang where I will put Rhonda on an onion boat. I will fly over and meet her in Medan, Sumatra where we start our next leg through Indonesia.

Bring on Malaysia and all the company of the Malaysian bikers I have heard so much about!
Thanks for the service!










5 comments:

  1. So there is much better reading than headline news at home. Enjoy the being away from it all. I reckon come next June you'll be tempted to turn around do a return circuit !!! Regards

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  2. We fellow Brits 'bumped into' Steph and her proud guide Keith at 'The Smoke House' in Cameron Highlands and learned of her amazing exploits! And being a small world we learned she lived in Colwyn Bay and York where we too lived (and live!). We wish Steph well and a safe onward adventure! Roger, Vincent, Pat and Mike.

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    1. Hey Roger (like the Moore!!)
      It was great to meet you guys and in such a lovely place. Our cream tea was delicious!!! Enjoy the rest of your trip.

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  3. is there any plan to visit Indonesia?

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  4. Good to meet you at the Smoke House. Very supportive of people following their dreams.
    Go for it girl!
    Pat & Mike (York)

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